Abuse, rejection, addictions, abortions, depression and even time in prison could not keep Kathy Hunt from accepting an unbelievable offer of a new life.
After being molested by a family member, Kathy thought being abandoned by her parents in a children's home at age 11 was the rescue plan and answer to this scared little girl's prayers.
Then, after being diagnosed with multiple personalities, no one would believe her when she confessed to being gang-raped by some of the boys living there.
"Brokenness escalated and at times it felt like I was being ripped into pieces, lost and afraid with no one to turn to," Kathy admits.
Drugs, alcohol, prostitution and gangs became her friends when she finally fled from her abusers, hitch hiking with truckers from state to state.
"Bitterness and anger boiled within me and I asked myself: why was I even born? I attempted suicide and thought I might as well give sex away so it couldn't just be taken from me. Abortions became my method of birth control," she admits.
Abusive marriages followed and Kathy struggled to bring up the children she had amidst her unstable home life and addictions to methamphetamine, marijuana and cocaine.
The drugs were still not enough to numb her pain and Kathy says she clung to the hope of 'one day' and would "talk towards the heavens" in the hopes that if God existed, He would keep her safe and make all the bad things stop.
Throughout her life she had dappled in various religions and cults but says most of it had been forced upon her.
"I had been baptized in the mountains of Dakota while at a summer camp at age 12, yet I did not truly and wholeheartedly believe that Jesus was real at that point," Kathy admits.
It was only a year after the death of her 12-day old son, Kathy says she began to understand who the real Jesus was.
She had been attending a small church with a pastor who motivated and inspired her to read the Bible, despite battling dyslexia.
"It was there I began to believe that there really is a Savior and His name is Jesus," she explains.
"As I read the Bible I began to pray 'God please make your Word come alive to me so I will know without a shadow of a doubt that you are real'."
God answered this prayer in a personal way after her youngest son was born and the baby's father was incarcerated, leaving Kathy feeling helpless and desperate in her circumstances.
"I prayed like never before, crying out to God 'I know there is more to you than this, show me who you are! I knew there was nothing left for me to do but give God all I had."
Kathy wanted to trust in Jesus Christ, despite her doubts, and prayed earnestly that God would allow His Holy Spirit to come into her life and help guide her.
"Deep in my heart all I could feel was a strong sense of assurance, and later I saw it was really in that moment of time that God was touching my life," she says.
God answered her prayers for help but, despite her genuine commitment, the doubts that God would continue to provide resurfaced and Kathy confesses she made some bad decisions "to get ahead".
Kathy was arrested in May 2009 and sent to a maximum security prison for 18 months where she says she was finally able to make a fresh start.
Upon her release she vowed not to return to her old ways but instead search for God's direction, which lead her to enroll in a Christ-centered transitional home.
"God blessed me and gave me a sound foundation to stand on. I excelled far beyond my own dreams and ambitions," she says joyfully after putting all her trust in Jesus.
Although she once felt completely alone, believing that no one understood the pain hidden deep inside her, Kathy now says God has given her a new outlook on life.
"Jesus met me right where I was, accepting me just as I was, and helped me understand the mercy and grace [undeserved kindness] of a living God who loves us unconditionally," she explains.
"The Bible says He lets nothing go to waste and I am a living witness of that and honored to let God use my life to give others hope for a future."
Understanding that God has forgiven her of past mistakes through Jesus Christ's sacrifice on the cross, Kathy knows He will supply all her future needs and never forsake her.
"I have also been able to let go of so many emotional scars because I believed the Scriptures when it says 'For whom the Son [Jesus] sets free is free indeed!'" she says.
"I can say when I gave my whole life to Jesus, He gave me a new life." •