As a young girl growing up I remember my mother and step father providing a very loving home for me. My biological father was never really a part of my life and I remember my grandparents, uncles and aunts all supporting my mother to help raise me. But at an early age I remember my weight becoming a real issue, and in 7th grade I was very aware how much bigger I was than my peers. I would try to hide my body under baggy clothing but on the inside, I felt like I didn’t fit in.

This is when I began to hang out with the wrong crowd and I got into a lot of trouble. My emotions were out of control and I would have outbursts at home and at school. When I hit high school, my weight was still a huge issue and I was desperate for attention. I became promiscuous and I experimented with marijuana. My weight had me in a constant state of depression and my need for attention was becoming destructive. My relationship with my mother and father was falling apart and my parents separated. I felt like I had lost the only father I had ever known. Things really began to spiral out of control from that point. A good friend died in a car accident and I felt like my life was falling apart! I would have panic attacks and knew I needed help, but I thought I could help myself. My family knew about Teen Challenge and my mother found an adolescent program in Virginia.

I was enrolled into Eastern Appalachian Teen Challenge in January of 2017 and I have been here for over a year now. When I first enrolled I was miserable and did not want to stay but the staff were patient and God began to work on my heart. Now over twelve months later God has restored my relationships with my family, but more importantly he has changed how I feel about my relationship with myself. I am learning that no matter what I weigh I am valuable to God and nothing can change that. I am graduating the program and high school at the end of February and I couldn’t be happier about my new relationship with Christ and the work He has done in my life through the ministry of Teen Challenge!

Thank you for helping make this possible.



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