Hey Joel, I just wanted to message you to thank you for tonight. (I was the girl you prayed for at the very end.)
As a 3 year old girl I was raped by both my father & grandfather. Then my mum re married when I was 7 to a man who went on to rape and abuse me for 5 years of my life. My mum allowed it to happen, so much so that my stepdad would pay her to leave and she would. My sister ended her life in 2012 and that is when I decided to fly to Auckland to live at the age of 16. I didn't know anyone here at all. I simply found a flat on trade me and enrolled myself in high school. I thought I was on the right track, I got into media, began to get a following from acting/TV presenting and then I went to Bible college. I started an organisation to help people without a voice with a friend from LA and it went crazy. I received awards and commendations and even the news papers, magazines & TV shows were covering what we were doing. I shared parts of my story thinking I was over it however, I soon met a young girl with a very similar past to mine. I began mentoring her & last year she committed suicide. She messaged me right before she did it and I saw it but I didn't reply in time. From that moment I left church and spiralled out of control. Fighting self harm and suicidal thoughts, guilt from the young girls death and revealing the shame I still carried from what happened to me as a child. I have shut absolutely everybody out of my life who knew any of my struggles, I didn't open up because my name was known as someone who carried hope and I didn't even know what hope was anymore,
As I mentioned when I came up for prayers I had been in a coma most of last week after attempting to take my own life. I had overdosed in a forest & not told anyone at all however someone biked past me as I was slipping unconscious and called an ambulance. I was in the coma for 4 days before waking and when I did, I was so mad that I hadn't succeeded. Doctors told me 20 more minutes unfound and I would have been dead. My work place & flat mates freaked that I had disappeared off the face of the planet and called the police making a missing a person report in which the police told them that I was in ICU in critical condition. As I don't have anyone on my next of kin (I've had no family since I was 16) the hospital were not allowed to tell anyone what happened so I got away with telling every person that it was my heart that put me in there. Because of my heart condition they believed it. Not a single person except hospital staff knew what really happened.
When I left the hospital on Saturday last week I began to again plan how to take my life properly and ensuring that I do not get found before it works. Tonight I was actually driving, with a rope in my car to go and hang myself. That's why I was so far away from home (I live 35 minutes drive from that church) and as I was driving, I came past the church. I don't even recall parking my car and walking into the church, but I walked out a different person. I tossed the rope to the side of the road and I drove back home. Tonight, there is now no doubt in my mind that God saved my life and he used you to facilitate that. Thank you.
So many parts of your sermon hit me hard; especially the part on forgiveness. Tonight you spoke on that boy forgiving his abuser, and the power in forgiveness. Tonight I forgave my step father and my granddad as I drove home. You prayed that guilt and shame would leave and as I acted on that in the car, it did. I broke down at the feeling of relief and peace I experienced when forgiving the men who abused me. I also forgave myself for the young girls death and wow, the extreme peace and love I felt when I did!
Tonight as I lay in bed I feel so at peace and have no urge what so ever to hurt myself. Thank you, for playing a huge part in not only saving my life tonight, but enabling me to do things that have the power to permanently break my mindsets. Apologies for the novel, I just wanted you to know the full impact of what happened tonight & I am too excited to not share it!!
(DUE TO THE SENSITIVE NATURE IFTHIS TESTIMONY SOME PARTS OF THIS STORY HAVE BEEN ALTERED TO PROTECT THE IDENTITY OF THE PERSON WRITING IT AND OTHERS SPOKEN ABOUT)
A daughter or God - Auckland, New Zealand