Step Two: Hope

     I have known despair. It’s ugly, it’s dark, it’s alone and it’s ruthless. As I carried the weight of my addictions, I felt so messed up.

      I remember turning twelve and going to young women’s. I think this was a turning point for me. I felt the spirit as my teachers taught me, I felt the love of my leaders and they really helped us girls bond together. 

     The biggest turning point for me was at age 14. I was in my freshman year and it’s when I first knelt down and discovered just how much God loved me.

      I don’t remember what I was going through, what upset me or why I was feeling so incredibly alone, only that my family was gone and I had the house to myself. I remember just breaking down and sobbing. I was so unhappy.  I was in our living room and I knelt in front of the light beige and green swivel rocker, and poured my heart out to my Heavenly Father. I wanted to know if he was really there, if he cared about me at all, I just needed to feel his presence in my life so much. In that moment I felt what I can only describe as hundreds of warm blankets wrapped around me. I felt the embrace of a loving Father reaching down telling me he was there, he did care and he did love me. I can never deny that moment in my life and it is what woke me up to His love, His complete, total, undeniable love for a small town girl struggling with a sexual addiction. This gave me the first glimmers of what I would call hope. He totally loved me in my imperfect mortal state. 

     Little did I know that the very next day, my testimony would be put to the test. We had a wonderful seminary teacher and I happened to be in a class full of mostly senior high school young men . They were full of energy and joking around. I felt the frustration of our teacher as he was trying to bring in the spirit. This is when he questioned the class with the idea that he wondered if anyone in the room even had a testimony. My heart started pounding, and I began to shake profusely. I couldn’t deny what I had just learned for myself, no way could I deny it. So I rose my hand, in the midst of all those young men, that scared me immensely, and shared what had happened to me the night before.  I testified that I knew without a doubt the church was true. I testified that I knew God loved me. This was the  first time I voluntarily bore my testimony and the very act of sharing it seemed to strengthen it even more. God had filled me with so much love and so much hope, I couldn’t, I wouldn’t deny it. Even in front of a bunch of scary high school seniors, I was completely and totally filled with hope. 

     I am so grateful for the grace I was given. As I continued on in seminary, I was filled spiritually as I studied His word and a spiritual stirring began to take place within my heart. 

     God knows me personally, and He knows you. He knows your name, your eye color and each hair on your head. I testify that he is here for each one of us. He provides healing through our Savior Jesus Christ.

     I would like to invite you to study Step Two: Hope. Prayerfully and thoughtfully answer the questions. Ponder your experiences and how you can make your life more meaningful.

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