Serena

Serena Serena KGF

Despite growing up in a single-parent family, I had a great childhood. My mom did an amazing job raising me on her own and we were very close. My dad was never a part of my life, besides the occasional Christmas phone call and the visits that I could still count on one hand by the time I was 16. Coming into my teenage years, this lack of a father figure began to impact my life in a negative way. I had extremely low self-esteem and was my own biggest critic. I criticized my looks, my body, and my personality - deep down, I didn’t believe I was worthy of being loved.

At age 13 I asked Jesus to come into my life, and although my heart changed, I did not begin living for Him. In Grade 9 I was introduced to a new group of friends with whom I found a sense of belonging. But many of my new friends also smoked, drank or did drugs which influenced me to do the same. Before I knew it I was a completely different person: I was consumed by parties and men, drugs and drinking.

My relationship with my mom was completely different by that point - she had become my worst enemy even though she was the one person in my life that was trying to help me and loved me the most. I moved out twice, each time resulting in a particularly horrible experience that slowly made me realize my life needed to change. My mom took me back with open arms and as I eventually let go of my old life, I became closer to God and rededicated my life to him - and this time I was serious. I stopped all my unhealthy habits and broke up with my boyfriend as he was not a Christian and I knew our relationship was not glorifying God. My life seemed like it was on the right track.

Unfortunately I still had one of my biggest struggles ahead of me...I had given up so much, but instead of replacing that fully with Jesus I exchanged it for a renewed preoccupation with self - it was all I had left. I developed anorexia and it destroyed me. It was the loneliest and most desperate time of my life. It was not about food, it was about control, lack of self-respect, and punishing myself among other things.

I learned the most about myself through that experience, and most importantly, who I wanted to become. God found me broken, hopeless and alone, and took me into a place of wholeness, renewed hope, and restored relationships. 

Life has never been better, my mom and I have never been closer and I have been blessed with an amazing husband and just recently, a precious baby boy. I am so excited for the future and for living for God all the rest of my days.

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