“What happened to me made it really hard to trust people…But I was missing out on relationships because I was so afraid. There were so many things I wanted to do, but my fear always won out.”
We all know that feeling that Amy described to us when she reached out. Our past plays into our present, and if we’ve been hurt by people it can be so challenging to be vulnerable enough in relationship to trust again.
But Amy’s story reminds us that our attempts to protect ourselves might keep some of the pain away…but we also miss out on so much joy that God wants to pour out on our lives. “Our attempts to protect ourselves might help keep out pain...but we also miss out on so much joy.” Click To Tweet
Amy was diagnosed with learning disabilities when she was 5 years old. “More than one medical professional told my parents that in a nutshell…I would never amount to much.”
Thankfully, her parents didn’t buy it. They did all they could to get Amy the best education possible, and they kept in close communication with her teachers.
But then everything changed. When Amy was 11 years old, a classmate misunderstood some comments she’d made, and her parents were falsely accused of abusing Amy. She was removed from her parents’ home and placed in the foster care system. Her parents fought the accusations legally, and three months later she returned home…but she brought with her some scars after enduring verbal abuse in her foster home.
At school, Amy was bullied. She didn’t always fit in, and her learning disabilities made her stand out. “I was so scared walking the halls in between classes I would clutch my bookbag up against me and stay close to the wall,” she said. Through middle and high school, Amy was bullied and harassed every day.
Amy tried to improve her circumstances by adjusting her perspective on things. She checked out books on positive thinking and made every effort to move past the abuse she’d endured…but the harder she tried, the more she struggled. She couldn’t seem to will herself into trusting people again. After years of being marginalized, all of her decisions felt like they were determined by fear.
This cycle lasted until Amy was 34 years old, when a grandmother she was extremely close to died of cancer. “Her death made me seriously take a good hard look at my life,” Amy said.” She started reading Christian books on dealing with depression because she didn’t know what else to do. “I was at the point where I would do whatever the heck I had to do to get healing,” she shared.
Amy began to find deeper hope than she had experienced before, through the Christian books she was reading. And although she didn’t feel ready to visit a church, she started watching sermons on TV….and that’s how she found the Real Show. Scrolling through a late night TV guide, Daniel Fusco’s name caught her attention, and she tuned in.
“I have been watching the show ever since that night,” Amy told us. “The message brings me such joy, hope and peace.”
For Amy, it was the beginning of a miracle…But the healing required her to do the hard work of forgiving those who hurt her in the past. “Healing required her to do the hard work of forgiving those who hurt her in the past.” Click To Tweet
“I worked on forgiveness towards those who hurt me and my family. I had to forgive the people who discriminated against me because of my learning disabilities…I even had to work on forgiving myself for the comments I made that led to the false abuse allegations 20 years ago,” Amy said.
In the process, “God completely healed me from all the pain I had been dealing with for so many years!” Amy said. “He’s had to remind me from time to time about who He is, but I am just so grateful to God for what He has done in my life.”
At one time, because of her physical health issues and depression, Amy didn’t think she would live to see 40….but she just turned 41!!
What’s made the difference in her health and her outlook on life? “Knowing that I can finally move forward” Amy said. “I can just give up what I have gone through and give it to God.”