She grew up in foster care. With no parents or close family to claim Her, She was shuffled from one house to the next, the faces of the foster families barely more than strangers before She was moved again.
She was pregnant at 16, struggling to carry her child while in a group home with other orphans.
Although her existing family had written her off for the “choices” she made, there was an aunt who agreed to take her baby after it was born. She handed off the precious child, hoping that his life would be better for it, even as the door was slammed in Her face.
She was alone. With no support and no income at 16, shunned by her family, She believed She was worth nothing. It was easy to say yes to the man with the smooth smile who said he would take care of Her in exchange for Her work on the street.
At first it seemed to be the ideal situation, She had a man in Her life now who loved Her and did what was best for Her. She repeated this to Herself each night before the first john arrived.
It wasn’t long before it became unbearable – the number of men increasing, the fear of what would happen if one of them got too violent, her first and second abortions, the unshakeable loneliness that came in the few quiet moments She let Herself feel.
Drugs were the answer. They numbed the pain and enabled Her to push through another night of work. She thought She might die if She didn’t have them. This was a half-life, a shadowed existence.
When She became pregnant with twins, She didn’t cry. She knew She would give them up, even to the same foster care system that broke Her heart and set the course of Her life as a scared child. There was nothing else to do. She couldn’t keep them and She had no family.
It wasn’t until she stumbled into the Salvation Army, one warm summer night, almost naked and strung out on drugs, just having suffered a rape, that someone tried to help Her by showing Her real love.
“Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world.”
– James 1:27 MSG