by Sarah Atkins…
So my name is Sarah Atkins I am 33 and from Leeds.
I had a very troubled upbringing and felt rejected from a very early age. This led me to try and find a way of coping with the hurt I was feeling within myself. My way of doing that was self-harm and eating disorders. I tried gaining acceptance by excelling at high school being the only one out of five children to complete and came away with 11 GCSE’s
When this failed, at just 17 I chose to have my daughter, but I didn’t know how to love as I had never experienced what love was. I quickly fell into a relationship with a man who was 11 years older. I was young and naive he promised me the world but the reality was that he beat me, controlled me and raped me leaving me pregnant. This led to my downward spiral into drug addiction. I couldn’t cope with my son, drink and drugs were the only things to get me through the day. Then when I lost my daughter I had lost everything in my eyes. I tried ending my life on a number of occasions but God kept his hand of protection over my life.
By the end of a 15-year addiction, I was homeless, I’d lost my children and my marriage was a mess. That’s when I went into Teen Challenge, a Christian rehabilitation centre. I met with the Lord there in a mighty way. It took a long time but God really did heal every wound within me. He has broken every chain that kept me bound and restored far beyond what I ever thought could be restored. I now have my own home and my daughter lives with me and I’ve just returned from my first mission trip. This year I am hoping to go to theology college.
God has restored my family back to me and turned my life around. I give him all the praise, all the glory and all the honour. Who the son sets free is free indeed.