Thank you for giving Sarah a new beginning.
Because of you, she has joy in her heart this Easter!
Darkness, fear, and shame haunted Sarah for most of her life. From the ages of 5 to 14 she suffered beatings and abuse at the hands of her father. At times, she said the abuse was so severe she thought he may actually kill her. Because they lived alone, and because Sarah was shamed into keeping quiet, the abuse went undetected and left both physical and emotional scars that she carries to this day.
“I’m sharing my story now, because there is so much pain in secrecy. Secrecy allows all the negative feelings – shame, guilt, and thoughts of suicide – to fester and manifest in destructive ways. That’s what happened to me. My father stole my innocence and childhood, but I refuse to let him steal my future too.”
Determined not to let the past define the rest of her life, Sarah threw herself into being the best wife, mom, and employee she could be. She kept herself busy so she didn’t have to acknowledge the extreme pain inside her. To the casual observer, it looked like she had it all. But inside, Sarah was a hurting, broken little girl desperate to hide from the horrific memories, shame, anger, and guilt she’d carried for almost 30 years.
Eventually the pain took its toll. Through a series of circumstances, Sarah lost everything she held dear. When she arrived at the Rescue Mission, she was alone, homeless, depressed, full of fear and anxiety, and not prepared for the love she was about to receive.
“I was scared when I first came to the Mission. I was recently divorced. I’d lost my job and house. I’d gotten a DUI. My daughter had to go live with her dad, so I could get my life together.”
“It’s embarrassing to say that I was basically homeless, and that’s why I came to the Mission. I was so angry at the world. I had it all, but I’d given up on life. I had no desire to do anything. I didn’t want to go to work. I didn’t want to get up. I was so lost and desperate.”
“I am a survivor.”
Sarah had never allowed herself to confront her past. Here, she found a safe place and the love and support she needed to slowly put together the pieces of her shattered childhood, so she could find healing and peace.
“I had never allowed myself to be angry at God or my father for what happened to me; I wouldn’t even allow myself to think about it. The Mission gave me the opportunity to expose my feelings and deal with them. It has been a divine intervention for me.”
“During my time here I have begun to heal through counseling, the classes, and the love and support of my ‘sisters’ in the program.”
“Most importantly, I started walking with the Lord, and it’s changing everything. It’s changing me.”
Sarah used to feel worthless, but now she knows she is a survivor and is worthy through Jesus Christ. Her desire is to provide hope and empower child sexual abuse survivors by shining a light on an issue that is uncomfortable to talk about.
“It is so empowering to have the hurt I carried for 30 years finally lifted off my shoulders. I believe there is healing and freedom in speaking up and speaking out, and there is power to overcome when you believe in the Lord.”
With Jesus’ love in her heart and hope for the future, Sarah is grateful for your support this Easter. “I am hopeful God will open the door in the future for me to speak to others who have gone through what I have. I want to share my story to help others find the voice and healing they so desperately need – a healing that can come only by way of Jesus Christ. I want my story to point others to the Healer and to glorify Him.”