It was at the young age of seven that I can remember my life beginning to get difficult. I had two very loving parents and we lived with my grandparents. They occasionally took me to church activities, but at this age I began to dislike myself. Being very tall I thought I was overweight and I also had to wear braces on my feet. I had poor eyesight so I had to wear very thick glasses and an eye patch. I felt like I stood out and began getting very self conscious. At that time my grandparents fostered a fifteen year old who became like my sister, but she was a very bad influence. Her behavior was so negative that my parents and grandparents would not allow me to see her anymore and they sent her away. I was very angry and harbored a lot of resentment.
I soon began public school and in the sixth grade I met someone who introduced me to promiscuous and occult type activities such as animal cruelty, violence and self injury. Because I was so self conscious and felt like I didn’t fit in anywhere I would agree to any activity to get the attention I craved. I soon became very depressed and began to purge, cut and burn my skin as well as take prescription medication that led to five hospital visits by the age of thirteen. The need became so great I began to steal from everywhere including my parents.
I lied about everything and I truly hated myself. I was so controlled by occult influences that I was in a state of paranoia. I wouldn’t go to school and I became withdrawn and isolated myself from everyone. I engaged in so much self injury that my body was covered with scars. The occult scene I had been involved in was so bad I was paranoid I would die. My parents hit their lowest moment of despair when they discovered me bloody from an attempted suicide. That’s when they found Teen Challenge.
I was so hesitant. I didn’t believe that anyone could love or care for me after all the things I had done. I thought they would kick me out of the program when they discovered who I really was. But the first night I sincerely cried out to God for the first time in my life. I really wanted to give it all to Him. That is when God began to speak to me. He answered my questions during my studies of the Bible and He confirmed to me his forgiveness through the staff and chapel services. He delivered me from the horrible images that plagued my mind. His presence is so tangible here at Teen Challenge that as my first days went by I began to feel peace. I knew I didn’t need to be paranoid or lonely ever again. He restored my hope and all I want now is Him. I have a long way to go and I know it won’t be easy but I feel now that I have purpose and strength I never had before. I had no reason to live and now I have every reason to live.
Thanks for making it possible for me to come to Teen Challenge
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