Christine Caine: Sometimes a very big reason that we drift is because we just keep rehearsing the past: our past mistakes, our past disappointments, our past failures, our past hurt, our past rejection, our past betrayal. And we end up getting on this treadmill and we obsessively ruminate. And you know, you cannot move forward if all you do is keep looking back. There comes a time where we need to place our past at the foot of the cross of Jesus and allow it to stay there and put it all on Him, because He has borne our guilt and shame and our pain and suffering.
You Can’t Move Forward If You Keep Looking Back: Christine Caine & I Am They – Episode #255
Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling Podcast. It’s often been said that we shouldn’t live in the past, but sometimes, inevitably, our past mistakes can haunt us. Regret over decisions made, things we’ve said and done that impacted others negatively, or opportunities missed. But God calls us to a different reality—one that is based on the present with Him and the promise for a future that He lovingly prescribes. Our guests this week have all had events in their pasts that haven’t been easy to overcome. But each of them took a step forward, a step toward God, and stepped away from having their past define them. We’re talking to author and speaker Christine Caine and the members of the popular worship band I Am They—Matt Hein, Justin Shinn, and Abbie Parker.
We’ll start with some encouragement from Christine Caine about leaving our past behind us.
Christine: I grew up in Sydney, Australia, and I’ve got to say, Sydney is one of the most beautiful cities on planet earth. I’m the daughter of Greek immigrants and so I grew up speaking Greek as my mother tongue. And I didn’t really learn English until I was five.
You know, I’ve found that the Lord always uses all of the elements of our life to help direct us into what He has called us to do. I also found out when I was thirty-three years old that I was left in a hospital, unnamed and unwanted when I was born. In fact, my birth certificate doesn’t have a name on it. It just simply says “Child’s Name: Unnamed, #2508 of 1966. I also grew up the victim of childhood sexual abuse. And so, as you could imagine, there was a lot of brokenness in my life.
God Never Wastes a Hurt
I had a lot of shame, a lot of guilt, a lot of bitterness and unforgiveness and just hurt and brokenness and rejection. And I think obviously that’s what happens when you have the rejection of being abandoned and then adopted and then encountering abuse.
And so there are a lot of things in my life that, you know, it would seem naturally speaking, should have stopped me from fulfilling my purpose and destiny. But Jesus, being the amazing God that He is, He not only saved me and healed me and restored me, but He used those broken fragments of my past to not only give me a future, but to help me give other people a future.
“There are a lot of things in my life that, you know, it would seem naturally speaking, should have stopped me from fulfilling my purpose and destiny. But Jesus, being the amazing God that He is, He not only saved me and healed me and restored me, but He used those broken fragments of my past to not only give me a future, but to help me give other people a future.” – Christine Caine
You know, God never wastes a hurt. And it would be just like God to take this girl left in a hospital in Sydney, Australia in 1966, who had experienced abuse and shame and guilt and brokenness, and then to allow me the privilege of being able to rescue the victims of human trafficking around the world, who also have experienced abuse and brokenness and shame and guilt and pain. I can help them to know that the same Jesus who saved and delivered and healed me is able to do it for them. And I can see all of the broken areas of my past being woven together into a fabric of the grace of God and helping to give other people a future.
Towards the end of 2016 and 2017, I went through a period where I felt like in many ways—externally, things were going great. We were seeing the victims of human trafficking being rescued, and the work of Propel among women around the world was going forward. Things were flourishing externally. But personally, I’d taken a few hits at that time. My mother passed away. My sister-in-law, who was my age, passed away. My husband’s sister passed away, and one of his brother-in-laws passed away, all in a matter of just a few months. And, you know, when you’re living on the other side of the world, when you lose person after person after person, it’s very devastating when you’re so far away. And of course, for me, losing my mum just triggered a lot of my own pain [that had] to do with my adoption and my biological mother. And I think the Lord was wanting to do a deeper level of healing in my life.
When It Feels Like You’re Drifting
I’ve had plenty of times in my life where I thought, I can’t do this. This is too big for me. This is too hard for me. I’m not good enough. I’m not equipped enough. But I have never come to a point, after thirty years of following Jesus and doing what I was doing, where I really wondered if I keep doing this and keep my foot on the gas at this level and be all in pursuing the calling of God.
You know, sometimes your gas tank might be full, but your oil tank might be a little bit low or your water level might be a little bit low. And I think what I had done was I hadn’t been checking all of my markers and I had taken a lot of emotional hits. And I think, of course, predominantly with the loss of my mother and my sister-in-law, and then I think a personal betrayal, and I just had not given myself enough time to really process some of those things with the Lord.
And you find yourself that you have drifted from the things of God and from pursuing God. So it affects every area. It affects our relationships, our friendships, our marriages, our families. I mean, all you have to do for your marriage to drift is nothing. Don’t pay attention to your children and your relationship will drift.
I think part of it is just looking up and saying, “God, I’m out here, I’m in a boat. I don’t feel anchored. I lost my anchor. I’m just drifting out to sea. Can You help me?” And your loving Father is right there to bring you back home. And that is the hope of the gospel. That is the hope of redemption. You are never too far gone for God not to be able to bring you back.
“You are never too far gone for God not to be able to bring you back.” – Christine Caine
There is nothing that you can do that can separate you from the love of God that’s in Christ Jesus. And if you just look up, you will find that your God is with you in the midst of the ocean, right out there out to sea, always forever waiting to bring you back into His arms and into His happy. There is nothing that you have done, there is nothing that you have thought, there is nothing that you have said that is enough to keep you away from the love of God that’s in Christ Jesus.
We have a wonderful Counselor that scripture tells us the Holy Spirit of God, that if we sit down and we open our Bible and we open our journal and we ask for the help of the Holy Spirit to enlighten our eyes, to open our hearts, to really see where we’re at, God is so willing to show us, He doesn’t hide it from us.
I think deep down, you have to truly believe that God is for you and God is good. See, if you do not believe that God is good and that God does good and that the Bible says that God is light and in Him there is no darkness, there is no dark side, and God is for you. If you don’t believe that, you will not trust God when you can’t trace Him. And oftentimes we drift in those places where we can’t seem to trace Him.
And so then we start to lose our trust and then we begin to want to control things—and that’s normally when we end up messing things up. But if we know in the marrow of our bones that as Psalm 119 says that God is good, God does good, God will work all things together for our good and for His glory, and that He has no dark side and He is for me, then even when things are challenging, even when it feels like the storm is hitting us from every side, we are still going to trust that our God is going to bring us through.
Prayer That Moves Mountains
Prayer is our ultimate connection with the God of the universe. That He would afford us the privilege of prayer, if that doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what does. The God that spoke this world into being invites us into ultimate communion with Him through the privilege of prayer. And, you know, I have found in my life that prayer moves God. And when God is moved, God can move mountains.
“I have found in my life that prayer moves God. And when God is moved, God can move mountains.” – Christine Caine
I would like to read from Jesus Listens, January 8th.
God, my Refuge,
Help me not to dwell on the past. I can learn from the past, but I don’t want it to be my focus. I know I cannot undo things that have already occurred, no matter how hard I try. So I come to You and pour out my heart—remembering that You are my refuge, worthy of my trust at all times.
One way I can build up my confidence in You is to tell You frequently: “I trust You, Lord.” Speaking these affirmations of trust brightens my day immensely—blowing away dark clouds of worry.
You are always doing a new thing! So I’ll be on the lookout for all that You’re accomplishing in my life. Please open the eyes of my mind and heart so I can see the many opportunities You’ve placed along my path. And protect me from falling into such a routine way of living that I see only the same old things—missing the newness.
I’m learning that You can make a way where there appears to be no way. With You all things are possible!
In Your amazing Name, Jesus,
I love this reading with such a passion because I feel like it wraps up everything that we’re talking about. I think that if we could trust the character and the nature and the goodness of God, we will get to the other side and find that our God was in control the whole time. I love that about God. He’s not just doing the same old thing in a different way. He’s doing a brand new thing. And that’s why we ought to have a spring in our step, a glint in our eye. We need to be getting up and looking for the new thing that God is doing. He says, “Behold, I make all things new.” I love that about our faith. I love that about our God. He doesn’t want us to get just into a rut or into a comfort zone, but He invites us into a faith adventure where all things are being made new day by day.
“I think that if we could trust the character and the nature and the goodness of God, we will get to the other side and find that our God was in control the whole time. I love that about God.” – Christine Caine
You know, the scripture says, “Fix your eyes on Jesus.” He is ahead of us. He is waiting for us. And I think if we try to undo all the things that have been done, we just cannot do it. We have to place it in the hands of Jesus. That’s what forgiveness is all about. That’s what redemption is all about. That’s what a brand new start is all about. All things are possible. Nothing is impossible. Impossible is where God starts.
Stay tuned to hear the members of the worship band I Am They, Matt, Justin, and Abbie, tell their stories after a brief message.
New 365-Day Devotional from Jesus Calling
Many of us want to develop a deeper prayer life. In this new 365-day devotional, Jesus Listens, Sarah Young offers daily prayers based on Scripture that will help you experience how intentional prayer can connect you to God and change your heart. Learn more about Jesus Listens and download a free sample at jesuscalling.com/jesuslistens.
Narrator: Our next guests are three members of the pop worship band I Am They: Matt Hein, Justin Shinn, and Abbie Parker. I Am They was formed around the idea that God is the one pointing the way forward, a collective desire for God’s plan. Each of the members have their own scars and stories and past pain that have fueled them to become warriors for Christ, including battles with drug addiction, pornography, and divorce, leading each of these musicians to their individual rock bottom moments. They came together to form a place of healing and grace, which allows them to authentically share messages of hope and light all across the nation.
Justin Shinn: Hey, I’m Justin, and I play keys in I Am They. I’m originally from Carson City, Nevada, where the band started.
I was actually born in Long Beach, California, but we moved to Carson City, Nevada, when I was really little and I grew up in the church. That was my first introduction to music. It was a foursquare church. So it was a little bit more charismatic. We had the full bands and stuff, and I remember just being totally amazed by the drums.
When I was about in middle school, I started taking some guitar lessons from the youth pastor and started leading worship. I was very involved in church until I was about, I think, thirteen. So when I joined the youth group, I was in sixth grade and Matt was on the worship team, and he liked to play the drums and he played the guitar. I remember the first time he kind of taught me how to play the drums and stuff, so Matt and I have known each other for a very long time.
But when I was in high school, I got into some bad things. My dad passed away and I was really young, I was almost thirteen. My mom is an ICU nurse, so she would be at work from seven in the morning until eight o’clock at night. So it was just basically me and my little brother. I was the head of the household at a very young age. So I was destined to rebel.
I slowly left the church and started to be more into just bad things and partying and that kind of thing. And I had hurt myself skateboarding one day, and I got prescribed Vicodin. One of my friends had told me to take more Vicodin than I should, and I was pretty much hooked at that point. So it went from Vicodin to OxyContin and then eventually it led to heroin.
At that point, all of my musical instruments were in pawn shops. I had stolen so much money from my family. I had no real friends anymore. And then I turned to selling drugs just to kind of support my habit because it’s so expensive.
So by the time I was nineteen, I was one of the biggest drug dealers in our tri-county area in Carson. I was probably selling about $2500 of heroin every day, every two days. Eventually, I got the knock on the door, the cop knock, and the police raided my childhood home. I was there by myself, and I remember I ran into my mom’s bathroom, and I threw like thirty balloons of heroin into the toilet and flushed them all down as the cops were kicking my door down, and all but one balloon flushed down. So the one that stayed afloat, that was enough to get me arrested, and they brought me in.
And then I was looking out of the little window in our door and I was just waiting for my mom to come bail me out before I was withdrawing too much, because she would always bail me out no matter what. So then I finally see my mom in the little window, and then I’m like, Oh, I had such a sigh of relief. And then I opened the door and they bring her in, and I see that she’s in handcuffs.
So what had happened was when the police came, I had a little bag of cocaine and I had my heroin blend. I threw the little bag of cocaine into her dresser and then went into—I don’t know why I did that—her bathroom and tried to flush the heroin. And essentially they went to my mom’s work and in front of all of her coworkers at the ICU, they just brought her out without any telling her what was going on. And basically, from my point of view, I just saw my mom in handcuffs and she walked right by, and she got booked into the booking cell next to me where all the females were.
We just made eye contact, and that was the rock bottom that I needed to hit.
It was just so apparent. Even the guy who was in there with me, we were just kind of talking about how tough and stuff we were, like, you saw that whole situation play out and he told me, he’s like, “Man, the only thing you can do right now is get on your knees and start praying.” And that was the first time I had prayed in maybe five years, and I never looked back since then.
My mom’s charges got dropped because I took responsibility for the drugs and everything like that. So everything on that end ended up being okay. But just the fact that my mom, who literally is a saint in my eyes, was in jail for for something that I had been doing and all the help that she had tried to do before then to to get me off drugs and stuff like that, just seeing her like that because of me was just so crushing. It was the pain I needed to feel to make such a lifestyle change that I did.
After that, I took my relationship with God really seriously. I went into an eighteen-month drug court program. I was doing outpatient rehab, I was doing counseling, all that stuff. But what really made the biggest difference in keeping me clean was getting back involved with my church. It was the same church that me and Matt used to be part of the youth group worship team years before.
I remember the first day coming back, it was really scary for me, but they welcomed me with open arms. I was able to share my story to a bunch of kids and in a way, it was like me helping these kids not make the same mistakes that I did, but in a big way, it was me helping these kids which helped me keep myself accountable. That made a big difference.
“I went into an eighteen-month drug court program. I was doing outpatient rehab, I was doing counseling, all that stuff. But what really made the biggest difference in keeping me clean was getting back involved with my church.” – Justin Shinn
Abbie Parker: My name is Abbie, and I have been in the band I Am They for five and a half years I think. I’m from Illinois originally and in I Am They, I sing and write and sometimes play piano.
I grew up in a really sweet little Midwestern town. I grew up in a Mennonite church, actually, and the first time I ever sang in front of people was in that church. I was probably eight years old and I sang a little duet with my mom. And the more singing I did inside and outside of church, the more I realized it was my true passion for life. I loved performing and did musical theater, did band, you know, just everything I could with music. So it was always my dream in life.
Growing up in the Midwest, people are pretty practical. So I kind of took the practical path and went to college, got a degree, worked in cubicles at companies for about ten years until my life changed. And when I had that opportunity to change it all up, I went back to my true passion from when I was a child, which was music.
I was married for four and a half years, and right before I turned thirty, that marriage ended and I was just kind of directionless for a long time. I moved back in with my parents in the house I’d grown up in. And I felt like I had somehow taken this big left turn in my life that I wasn’t supposed to somehow.
I remember even when I felt like I was a failure because my marriage ended, I remember people at my church being really supportive of me, you know, reaching out to me and saying, “Hey, if you need to rage, if you need to cry, if you need to come in and talk, you can.” And that support from my church community meant the world to me. I felt the same support from my family, too.
Honestly now, looking back, I’m so glad that that was my life experience. I couldn’t have imagined when I was going through it that I would ever be grateful for what I went through because it felt like hitting the absolute rock bottom of my life. It’s funny because we’re taught to believe about ourselves what God says about us. And when you disappoint yourself, it can be really hard to believe that anyone else would not be disappointed in you, so that was a lesson that took a long time to relearn. But once I did, I felt like I got my life not only back. I was healed from a lot of things as well and just sort of followed that healing journey into therapy and counseling and developing healthy relationships.
“When you disappoint yourself, it can be really hard to believe that anyone else would not be disappointed in you. That was a lesson that took a long time to relearn.” – Abbie Parker
And as a result of that sort of investment in my new, more lovable self, I was able to find a partner and be in a healthy relationship and have a family. So I know for sure I would not have the health and the happiness and the contentment about my relationships or my life or myself, if I hadn’t gone through the hardest thing in my life of being divorced.
I found out about I Am They after I had been living in Nashville for a year and was kind of starting my life over and hoping that music would still be a part of it, but in a bigger way than it ever had before. I got a phone call from a friend of a friend saying there was a band that had just started. They were looking to replace a female band member, and would I be willing to come out and perform with them on the road as an audition? So the first time I met the band was in Colorado, I think. And we immediately hopped into a fifteen-passenger van and went to New Mexico and Texas.
I think there are a couple of taboos in Christianity and in church communities of things that you don’t talk about. And thankfully, people are delving into those in more public ways. I think maybe some of the overarching narrative of the lie of shame has been torn down bit by bit, divorce, miscarriage, infidelity, addiction, all of these things are things that, as a Christian, you’re expected to either have never encountered or to have some really good reason why it happened. I believe strongly that when we allow shame to dictate our lives, we’re blocking God and God’s grace out of the equation, we aren’t treating ourselves as the wonderfully, mysteriously created beings that God made us to be.
“I believe strongly that when we allow shame to dictate our lives, we’re blocking God and God’s grace out of the equation, we aren’t treating ourselves as the wonderfully, mysteriously created beings that God made us to be.” – Abbie Parker
So I have been excited about our opportunity to share these “failures” of our lives with other people. All of us in the band have had folks come up to us after shows or write us messages on our social media saying, “Me too, I’ve been through that.”
We had one person that came up to us after the show and said, “I have experienced everything you guys individually have been through. I’ve been through that all.” I mean, it’s incredible, but that’s a power. We sort of flipped the narrative that shame would have cast in our lives and decided this is no longer going to be a shameful narrative. This is going to be a story of God’s grace and forgiveness and goodness and redemption in our lives. And that’s a message of hope that people need to see firsthand because it can sound too good to be true until you see someone who has lived that and come out the other side even stronger and feeling even more worthy to God than they did before.
“We sort of flipped the narrative that shame would have cast in our lives and decided this is no longer going to be a shameful narrative. This is going to be a story of God’s grace and forgiveness and goodness and redemption in our lives.” – Abbie Parker
This passage is from Jesus Calling on May 20th. It says:
WHEN YOUR SINS WEIGH HEAVILY upon you, come to Me. Confess your wrongdoing, which I know all about before you say a word. Stay in the Light of My Presence, receiving forgiveness, cleansing, and healing. Remember that I have clothed you in My righteousness, so nothing can separate you from Me. Whenever you stumble or fall, I am there to help you up. Man’s tendency is to hide from his sin, seeking refuge in the darkness. There he indulges in self-pity, denial, self-righteousness, blaming, and hatred. But I am the Light of the world, and My illumination decimates the darkness. Come close to me and let My Light envelop you, driving out darkness and permeating you with Peace.
I love every word of that passage. It resonates with each of our stories in I Am They. We were talking about shame only gathering fuel and strength in the dark and all of those lies that it wants to convince us of as long as we hide it. But just that idea of “Stay in the Light of My Presence,” in the light of God’s presence, is a thing that keeps us out of the dark, out of that cycle of shame. And it’s not something that naturally comes all the time. I think we have to work for it. We have to work to stay in communication with God, to stay in that presence, because life is going to throw all kinds of curveballs and temptations and stresses and left turns at us but knowing just knowing those promises, that God is the light of the world, and my illumination decimates the darkness, I mean, come on, what more do you need? That’s incredible.
Matt Hein: Hey, I’m Matt, and I am a guitar/singer/songwriter in the band, and I’ve been here since day one.
I grew up over on the West Coast, kind of all over the West Coast, really. My mom and dad were divorced pretty early on in my life. My mom was a single mom, and so we were traveling all over the place and we were kind of, like, bunking with friends and living with different families in different churches at different times. And it was a little crazy that way. But my mom was definitely my rock growing up, and she always, always had me in church. I was always doing something in the church and being part of the music ministry there, like hanging out, finding my friends there, friend groups and stuff like that.
Music was definitely always there in my life. My mom and my dad were both musical: songwriters, played guitar, piano, that kind of thing, always singing. Everything was a song, especially for my mom. She was always putting everything to music, all the scriptures that I remember memorizing, she would always make up songs to do that. But music was never, like, my dream, never on the radar for me, like, That’s going to be my thing.
I mean, I got into a band as a drummer through high school and middle school, but that was kind of the extent of it for me. And then I ended up picking up a guitar in church with some of my youth group buddies, and they had picked it up first. And because they picked it up, I didn’t have anybody to play basketball with so I was like, Where is everybody at? And found everybody learning guitar. And so they had an extra, and that was literally why I picked up guitar and then just kind of never turned back from there.
It opened up a whole new world for me. Once I got into guitar, I started writing songs and that’s what got me singing. I started jumping into the youth group worship team and that kind of thing. From the outside looking in, it was just kind of, He’s a little homeschooled, happy kid who’s just always in church and has a good friend circle and that kind of thing. I did homeschool and then private school and then went into public school for the first time. And coming out of middle school and going into high school was like when I started trying to be cool and you’re trying to, like, make more friends and be funny, and I started connecting to different people and wanting to socialize with different people. And then you just start getting different influences.
And so for me, pornography was introduced to me by my next-door neighbor in kind of like my early high school phase and it immediately hooked me, and it was just something that became the hidden addiction. And I never drank and I never got into drugs and that kind of thing, but this thing was kind of the thing that I could hide that was slowly but surely, in the same ways, eating me up from the inside.
“It was just something that became the hidden addiction. And I never drank and I never got into drugs and that kind of thing, but this thing was kind of the thing that I could hide that was slowly but surely, in the same ways, eating me up from the inside.” – Matt Hein
The more and more you do that, it feels like it grows and it consumes and takes you over to where you’re like, I couldn’t possibly get away from this. I’m still going to church and I’m still part of church groups at church, and you’re singing songs about surrender. And you’re like, Man, I couldn’t possibly share this or bring this to the light, because it just grows to the point where you’re like, I’ll be ruined, nobody will accept me. And for me, I felt that way about my family. I felt that way about my church and my pastor and my youth pastors. And I was a youth leader. I felt that, Everybody who either looks up to me or is helping me along is like going to disown me.
A girl, her name was Tori, basically, we ended up falling in love and we were doing ministry together. And it got to this point where one of my closest friends, I basically told him what was going on because I kind of was foreseeing this future with me and this girl, but feeling the shame and the guilt and the whole thing about this addiction that I had. As soon as I brought that kind of out into the light, I got so scared and I just felt like I wanted to run from everybody and I didn’t want to talk to anybody, even the guy that I shared it with, it was weird because I shared it with them. But then I was like, I never want to talk to you again. I just expected everybody to run out on me.
And so I just remember being instead met with point-blank grace. And I was working in a cubicle at the time at a government building and remember he put a Post-it note in my windshield wiper on my car and I got out of work that day and I got into my car and saw this Post-it note, and it just said, “God’s grace is greater than your sin.” I’ll never really forget that. It seems like such a simple message, but it was like it was just staring me literally in the face.
But I ended up in my pastor’s office in church with my wife-to-be Tori, her dad, and my pastor. And it’s just like the most terrifying place to be in the moment. And I was battling sitting there, and I just felt like all of the shame and guilt and, They’re going to push me out. And I ended up confessing everything that I was involved in and what my addiction was and what had root in me. And I just confessed right there and essentially just poured my heart out, like I was on my knees in the office. And I was sobbing everywhere.
Out of that confession, a moment where I thought it was going to be, These people aren’t going to want anything to do with me from here on out, and we’re going to write the new rules for my life and all of this. That was the moment that I found and I realized Grace and who Grace was and what Grace was capable of.
“That was the moment that I found and I realized Grace and who Grace was and what Grace was capable of.” – Matt Hein
All of us collectively have these individual stories that are different but crazy, and God put us out here to write music. But I think ultimately it had to do ministry and to share His grace and His love and His hope with the world and through ministry and being with people and hearing and sharing stories and sharing our testimonies.
Every time I hear Justin and Abbie’s story, it’s just awesome to hear. I just think again of how God can use the things that we’d never think that He could use, the darkest, worst parts. It’s just incredible to me. We can never take that for granted, just how God is writing our stories, and it’s never just about us, it’s always about somebody else. So that’s part of why healing is so important, and why it’s so important to choose the truth and choose grace.
There’s a song that we sang on our last record called “Scars” that says, “My brokenness brought me to You, and these wounds are a story You’ll use.” And so that’s what it’s about is turning that pain into praise based off of really who God has been in our lives and what He set us free from. And that we don’t have to hide. We don’t have to hide our scars. Ultimately, by His wounds, we are healed. And Jesus didn’t hide His scars. He actually came from the grave bearing His scars and with scars. And those scars told the story of life and not death. And that is the hope that we carry. That’s where we can turn the whole narrative into one of gratitude, of thankfulness to God for changing it and for allowing us to walk in the light.
If you’d like to hear more stories about letting your past go toward building a better future, check out our interview with Jamie Blane.
Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling Podcast, we speak with author, entrepreneur, and host of top Spanish morning show Rosie Rivera, who shares how she’s learned to trust God after navigating sexual abuse and the loss of her dear sister.
Rosie Rivera: I was so terrified that God would reveal my secret to everyone, but now that I know God was rescuing me, God knew that I was crying out to be heard. And I love Christ so much for that because it was my story to tell and He wasn’t going to force it out of me or shame me publicly, although the shame wasn’t mine. But He gave me the power to speak when I was ready and when I wanted to. And He still does that today.