Natalie

I grew up in a loving Christian home and my family raised me with a solid foundation of good values. They truly showed me who God was and when I was four I accepted Jesus as my savior. Even though my family had taught me about the gift of God, when I hit adolescence I remember becoming afraid of not being good enough. I never seemed to understand that I did not have to work my way into God’s favor. This fear grew and soon I began doing whatever to please my peers for acceptance even if it was destructive to me. I really began to feel like my performance was what mattered most.

This quickly turned to self-hatred as I realized I could not meet my own expectations of perfection. This led to self-harm, eating disorders and thoughts of suicide. I looked for value in other people and even though my parents tried to help me I pushed my problems deep inside and refused to address them. I turned to every type of relationship for satisfaction but found myself hopelessly empty. I decided God wasn’t real and declared myself to be an atheist but inside I was miserable and angry with God.

My lifestyle went downhill quickly, drugs and bad relationships became toxic. I distanced myself from those that loved me and really began to spiral out of control. Nothing mattered anymore except numbing the pain I was in, so drug use became a daily habit. My parents were very concerned for me and that was when they found Teen Challenge.

When I was first enrolled I was angry but the unconditional love of God began to soften my heart. As I was given the opportunity to study God’s word, I realized that perfection was not God’s goal for me but instead His desire was to make me whole. I understand that this cannot be possible without healthy boundaries and a life giving relationship with Him. He loves me no matter what and when I make mistakes I have the gift of repentance and grace to help me move forward in Him. In March I rededicated my life to Christ. He is healing me of my past hurts and I am being made new in Him!

Thanks for supporting girls like me to get the help they need!

Natalie

I WANT TO HELP

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