Emma found love and approval in her heavenly Father

I never realized until recently how much my family situation, specifically my dad, affected how I see guys, myself, and God.

Growing up was kind of hard. When I was 3 years old, I moved from Aurora, Illinois, to South Carolina. We have moved around a lot since then. We usually rented a place for a year, then moved again. It was during the time we moved from Illinois that my parents got divorced.

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My dad is an alcoholic, so that has been really hard on me and my family. I began to get involved with drugs, alcohol, and guys. I didn’t really know what love was because I didn't feel it from my father. I never realized until recently how much my family situation, specifically my dad, affected how I see guys, myself, and God.

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When I was 14 years old, I felt like the Holy Spirit put on my heart to tell my mom everything I had been doing, so I did. Our relationship has never been the same since. She is my best friend, and we know everything about each other.

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Even though I told her everything, I still felt so much shame and guilt. It was so hard to tell my friends everything I did. Then my mom started dating this guy. She had dated a few guys before, but he was different. For the first time, I saw a man that loved me and cared for me. He saw me as his own daughter. That is when the Lord wrecked me with His love for me. It was through my now stepdad that I got to see a physical example of God’s love for me.

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Understanding this has been a huge change in my life. This last year, the Lord has taken me through of journey of being healed from the pain of not having a good, earthly father. He is teaching me how to be loved and how to receive it. My relationship with my real dad has not changed, but I know that he needs Jesus just as much as I do. I know that I am my father's daughter for a reason; none of this is an accident. There is so much freedom in knowing that God loves me just like He loves my dad. 

Sharing your story is a simple and powerful way to tell people about Jesus.

Sharing your story is a simple and powerful way to tell people about Jesus. By talking about what Jesus has done for you, it’s like joining a conversation God is already having with them.