Precious Friend,

I know from personal experience what it’s like to feel powerless and defeated. I to grow up in what society refers to as a “dysfunctional home.” (Today, there are so many dysfunctional families that much, of the world has lost sight of what a healthy, functional family looks like.) My parents have been married and divorced three times each, and I’ve been a part of five blended families. Because they were always in one crisis situation after another, I never felt the freedom to go to my parents for comfort and direction. When I needed comfort, I found it in food. When I was in pain, I used drugs and alcohol to escape.

By the time I was sixteen, I was addicted to both the food and the drugs. I had made so many poor choices, burned so many bridges, and nearly destroyed my mind and body. I believed I was destined for destruction. I wanted desperately to crawl out of this deep, dark hole of despair, but the harder I tried, the deeper I fell into depression.

At the lowest point in my life, a friend challenged me with a painful question. She asked me how long I was going to use my past as an excuse for the poor choices I was making. She shocked me with the truth that I could do nothing to change my past, but I could choose to make the right choices to change my future.

That painful truth empowered me to change almost every-thing about myself. Believe it or not, in just one year, I lost all my weight, I stopped using drugs, I changed my friends, I changed my attitude, I improved my grades and a much better place in life. It looked like I had it all, and to the outside world I did. There was only one piece missing from what appeared to be the perfect puzzle: It didn’t matter how much I projected a perfect life on the outside, because on the inside I continued to die a silent and secretive death that no one could see but me, worldly success, and beauty could only hide my pain … they could not heal it!

I did not know how to deal with my feelings so I ignored the warning signs. I covered them up by filling my schedule with excessive busyness so I wouldn’t have time to feel any pain.

Then, at age twenty-four, I was again thrown back out on the road of reality. This time my emotional pain was so severe that every part of my body was hurting. I had panic attacks, crying spells, loss of memory, and chronic depression.

I had no more strength or desire to fill the empty pages of my life. I felt as if I were at the end of the story of my life. I could not decorate the pain I was feeling anymore. I thought out a way I could end my life quickly; I felt it would be better to die with the world thinking that I was successful than to disappoint them with the truth that I was a mess. The next week, I checked myself into a hotel room and decided that I would kill myself with sleeping pills. When, I walked into the room, I threw myself on the floor and screamed at the top of my lungs, “God, do You exist? If You do, please show me!” Something happen when I yelled for God’s help for the first time I didn’t feel alone. The next day A boyfriend called me and asked if I wanted to go to his grandparents house for dinner and they were the missionaries that led me to the greatest crown of all, not a crown appointment by man, but the crown of everlasting life found in Jesus. A crown that gives me something the world can never give—peace. When I first gave my life to Christ I lost my Jewish family for 10 years, praise be to God today my entire Jewish family is born again Christians.

The truth is that life is hard … but God is good and He whom the Son has set free is free indeed!