Don't Give Up. Look Up! I have been hurt. I have seen my mom hurt. I have seen my brothers hurt. Family life has been hard, but I have learned you don't give up. You look up! You look up to the One...

The greatest thing that I have ever done was accept Christ into my heart. I have been in church since I was about five years old. I thank God for that.

I have never gotten drunk, smoked, or had sex. I really thank God for that. I may not be able to help people with those kinds of situations, but I haven't had the best family life. What I have learned to do may be able to help you. I don't give up. I look up!

My parents divorced when I was three or four. My mom, my brothers, and I left. We stayed with my uncle. It didn't really affect me then because I was young, but it affects me now. My mom met a guy when I was four. He is now my mom's husband. They moved in with each other a lot of times. What I mean by that is we jumped from different houses. We moved here and there. Everything was okay. My step-dad wasn't mean. My dad just wasn't around. I didn't understand why he didn't want to come and see me and my brother.

I have two older brothers, but my oldest brother was a teenager, and he knew that my dad would not change. He still believes that, but I know one person, the only person that can change my dad. My dad would show up every once in a while and think everything was okay. It was okay until I moved to Valpo, and all my friends had two parents. Before that my mom had bought her own house, and my two brothers and I lived there.

My mom's boyfriend at the time would come over. He didn't like my older brother at all. He would tell my mom things that my brother did, and my mom and my brother would fight. My brother would leave and not come back for awhile. I would cry because I didn't want to see my brother go. At this time, my brother would get in trouble with the law, but I didn't give up.  I looked up, and God always comforted my mom and my brother through those times.

During this time, I would tell my dad how I really felt. I would tell him that I needed him around. We would get in fights, and I would cry all the time. One day, I realized that fighting with my dad would not help, but I didn't give up, I looked up. I prayed and asked God to help me talk to my dad and not fight. Now my dad and I don't fight a lot, but every once in awhile we will get into it. Things got a little better with my dad, but things with my step-dad went downhill.

My older brother went into the Army, so my step-dad didn't have him to yell at. He would pick on my other brother instead. By this time, he and my mom were already married. It hurt me to see my brother hurt because we were so close. I always told my brother that it was the devil. It was not a battle between flesh and blood. It was a battle of the spirit. My step-dad would yell at my mom about my brother. That would upset her. There I was, right in the middle of it. I would cry and pray at night sometimes, just asking God to help change him. I still pray for that now.

One day my mom had to go to the hospital. She was in there for three or four days. She wasn't suppose to go home, but she called her doctor and told him she was leaving. She was still in pain. The day she got home was the day my step-dad kicked my brother out. That's when things went bad. We were all upset. It hurt me to realize that I didn't have my brother there all the time. It hurt to see my mom hurt.

Now that he is gone, my step-dad tries to say things to me. I know that it is the devil, and it is our spirits that are at battle. The only thing that I do is show my step-dad God's love. It's the only thing I can do. You are probably wondering how my mom and I stayed through all of this. The answer is Jesus Christ. He would give us peace, comfort, grace, and love when we needed it.

My step-dad and dad have not accepted Christ into their hearts yet. Not a day goes by that I don't pray for their salvation. Even though things are still tough, I don't give up. I just look up. I look up to the One...

Who cared so much that He gave His only Son for you and me, so that we can have everlasting life.

Don't be one of those people who say I have time. Do you really? You don't know what will happen tomorrow. Accept Christ now, and have everlasting life. Let Him take that hurt and pain away in your life like He took it away in my life.

-- Jessica


Real Life God Stories Book - Chapter 1