Having experienced the trauma of sexual abuse, the death of her father, and instability at home all at a young age, Mary’s time in junior high contained thoughts of suicide and many tears. But after attending a weekend camp with Young Life as a high school sophomore, Mary heard the gospel message and surrendered her heart to the Father who would always be there for her. Despite giving her heart, past hurts, and wounds to God, Mary’s healing from her past trauma didn’t happen overnight. When describing her process of healing, Mary says, “When I was a teenager, I was surrounded by Christian leaders who prayed for me and showed me great kindness. … They didn’t judge me. They didn’t say, ‘That didn’t happen.’ They just listened and empathized and wept alongside me” (Stephanie Rische, “From Outcast to Overcomer,” Today’s Christian Living, accessed January 28, 2023, https://todayschristianliving.org/from-outcast-to-overcomer/). Simply being present to listen to and pray with fellow Christians can provide the safe environment they need to navigate the complexities of their faith journey.
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