Everyone has a story...this is Jessi's story in her own words.
This is part of my story…
I once would wake up every day wishing that I could just go back to bed instead of deal with life. I would wake up thinking, “Is this it? Or is there more?” When I left home for college, I started going to clubs often to try to dance away the emptiness inside. When the natural high faded or the buzz of alcohol wore off, I was back to feeling empty again though. “I feel like I’m dying inside” is repeated on many of the pages of the journals I wrote in during that time. Nearing the end of college, I was sexually assaulted, and my identity shattered to the core. I spiraled down a path of depression, crippling fear, guilt, anxiety, suicidal thoughts, numbness, and self-hatred. I used throwing myself into work and grad school as an excuse to try to escape the pain and barely attended church anymore. I thought I had finally escaped the pain, but eventually it hit me again. Vulnerable and desperate for relief and comfort, I entered a toxic relationship that ultimately left me isolated, ashamed, feeling worthless, and very broken.
But God gave me the supernatural courage that I never could have had on my own to end the relationship, although I still was not done running from Him. I was numb (yet angry), bitter, and full of a lot of shame and grief. After running out of money, I was left with no choice but to return home. But it was at rock bottom and through returning home that God began the restoration process. God restored my relationship with my family, and began to put all of my broken pieces together. I returned to church even though I was very skeptical about God, but God’s unwavering love and constant pursuit of me softened and melted my heart that had grown distant, cold, and angry towards Him.
My now is so different from my then – thank you, Jesus! He put me back together, and now I have peace. Now I feel safe again. Now I’ve found “the more” I was looking for, but never found at nightclubs, in relationships, or through trying to better myself through my own efforts. Those things never fully satisfied me. I have found freedom and full satisfaction in Jesus and absolutely nothing else. The “more” I was looking for, was found when I encountered Jesus and entered into a relationship with Him. The work of God’s Spirit - the Holy Spirit - has done more to heal me than time ever could or counseling. Now I have hope for the future, and I can’t stop singing about God’s goodness. It’s almost hard for me to remember who I was “back then” before and during everything… He has truly changed and restored me into a new person. Because of how He has kept me through my hardest times, I have faith that He will come through in other areas of my life. I no longer feel dead inside – I feel AND am alive inside. Because of God, my story is not over and is just beginning. I’m letting God write the rest…
PS: Holding this story in for years, led to a lot of inner turmoil that wore me down emotionally AND physically. I believe it became the root of health challenges like migraines, severe muscle tension, etc. But that’s another story that God’s faithful hand was and is in… I write that to say that time does not heal all wounds – only God does - and some stories can eat at you and cause a deeper wound. Our shoulders are not broad enough to try to carry some things ourselves. I am hoping and praying that the pain I once felt can lead to someone else’s healing. Thank you, Jesus, for getting me to the place where I can share this while having peace and knowing that my past does not define me.
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© 2016-2018 by JESSI HUGHES