Hello, my name is Shanna, I am 41 years old. This is my story of redemption:

When I was 15 months old I was put into foster care, because my parents were not able to take care of me. Right before I turned four years old I was adopted by a family. My mother first introduced me to Jesus by taking me to church.
As a child, some very unfortunate events happened to me, things that a six year old child should never have to go through. I convinced myself that I was dirty, and deserved to be rejected and never loved. I found myself, very young, seeking acceptance from relationships with boys. There was a false sense of comfort in these relationships, but I was still so unfulfilled. I was very rebellious and ran away from home twice. Finally, my mother sent me to my aunts house to live for a while. While I was staying there, a group of people came over and prayed for me, and I received the gift of tongues at 14. I moved back with my parents, and became pregnant with my son at 15. I was so scared to tell my parents that I hid my pregnancy for six months.

Shanna 03

Things are getting worse

After I had my son I was still so empty, and felt more worthless than ever before. I asked myself, »who could want someone like me?« I was 16 years old with a baby, hopeless and all alone. Although I now had a child, my previous lifestyle did not change. I started smoking a lot of Marijuana, thinking the only way I could be happy was to alter my mind. I graduated early from highschool and left home, with my mother caring for my son the majority of the time. At 19 I became pregnant again with my daughter. I was in an emotionally and physically abusive relationship for 11 years. My daughter unfortunately had to live through this. I began using cocaine, molly, and mdma at 21. In my mid 30's I started experimenting with other, harder drugs. My life was spiraling out of control. I was lying to everyone that I was ok, when I really wasn't.

God I give up

Here I was, at 38, living at my mom's, going through a divorce, with neither of my children wanting anything to do with me. This is the moment where God met me, and did something so beautiful. He totally took away my ability to get high. No matter how much crystal meth I did, I couldn't get high. I was so mad that I thought I was going to die. As hard as I tried, He would not allow me to get any »relief« from drugs anymore. I will never forget that day! I threw myself on the floor with my hands in the air and said »God I give up«. I wasn't praying, but I meant what I said. I gave up. That's where He met me; in a fully surrendered state. My mom kicked me out of her house, and the very next day I was in a Christ centered women's recovery program called Hope House.

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New beginning

I learned how much my Father loved me when He brought me to such a place. I dove into the word of God, and realized how unconditional His love was for me. He showed me that what I went through was part of my testimony, which would help others. I also learned that my identity didn’t come from anyone, or anything but Him. He showed me how precious I am to Him. The Holy Spirit opened my eyes to so much more than this physical world that we live in. Jesus chose me. He died for me, knowing everything that I would ever do. That's redemption! That's perfect love! That's how much he loves me. September 14th 2017 is a day I will never forget. It's the day that my Father rescued me from myself.

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Restoration and Missions

Today I have my relationships back with my children, and my mother. I get to watch my grandchildren too and my family has forgiven me completely.
Last year in August I was at a gathering at Help for all Nations. At the end of the meeting they had a calling for everyone to come up that was moved to do missions. After hearing one of their students speaking, the Holy Spirit just put missions on my heart like never before. Immediately I applied for my passport and took at the end of the year my first missions trip to Africa and am excited to see where God sends me next. I am unashamed of my past and will gladly share what God has brought me through.

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»And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.« 
Revelations 12:11
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