Stories of Faith: Thanks to you, Kyrsten has been given a life-changing gift this Christmas.

Fresno Mission Holiday Newsletter Story

“I’ve learned to love myself the way God loves me.”

Kyrsten grew up in a world of pain, shame and rejection. “My stepmother was very abusive, and I was molested by her father and brothers,” she says. “I didn’t tell anyone because I felt so insignificant, like nobody would care, like my depression didn’t matter.”

When she was 15, Kyrsten began numbing her pain with drugs. “It was a way for me to escape. I didn’t have to think or feel.”

As the years went on, her poor self-esteem drew her into abusive relationships. Her addiction escalated and her depression grew.

But, along the way, she had three children and it was her love for them that finally led her to reach out for help. She left them with relatives and came to our Center for Women and Children, where Bible studies and chapel services led her to surrender her life to Christ. “I’ve learned to trust God, and He gives me strength,” she says.

“Now I’m a child of God.”

Her newfound faith and Christian counseling have helped Kyrsten find healing for her emotional wounds. “I’ve learned to forgive. I’m no longer captive to what was done to me,” she says.

Through parenting and other life-skills classes, she’s becoming the mother she always hoped to be. “My kids are here with me now, and I’m passing on to them the same tools that have helped me heal and grow spiritually. Their little hearts are on fire for God.”

Kyrsten is now working part-time and saving money for a place where her family can grow and flourish. She’s also taking child development courses, with plans to work in children’s ministry. “Now I know there’s a plan for me,” she says.

It’s going to be a Christmas filled with joy for Kyrsten and her children – and she is so grateful to you for this wonderful gift of a new life. “I was hopeless, but this place changed my life. I’ve learned to love myself the way God loves me.”

Magdalena’s story appeared in the Holiday 2021 edition of Lighthouse News.