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Julie’s Life Takes Dramatic Turn

October 30, 2007

By W. James Edminson

A shaven head, facial piercings, dark, heavily applied make up, and a longing in her eyes – Julie was searching. The lifestyle she had chosen was dark, and she turned away from the love of her parents and the Christian faith she had been taught since she was a young child.

“When I looked in the mirror then, I saw an ugly, sad girl,” the 17-year-old high school senior says. “Now, I don’t see the pain, the depression or hate that I used to see. I look in the mirror and I see a pretty girl, but more important I see a girl that God has changed in every way.”

Julie didn’t know how to get out of the lifestyle that had “sucked” her away from those who loved her most. “I didn’t know how to stop it. I knew what I was doing was wrong. I lived in a deep black hole. It was scary.”

Desperate, her mother and father turned to their pastor. He referred them to Baptist Children’s Homes (BCH).

Julie arrived at Broyhill Home on November 26, 2004. “The first time I saw her, I knew she needed help,” BCH child care worker Judy Blanton says. “She needed me.”

Child care workers Judy and Walter Blanton and the other staff at the mountain campus surrounded Julie with love, and soon the teen began to hear anew about God’s love.

“I wondered why God would want me to be one of his children,” Julie recalls. “I thought, ‘I’m not good enough.’”

God’s spirit began “tugging” at her heart. One night during a church service, the pull was strong enough.

Julie gave her heart to Christ on March 12, 2005.

“I knew it was time; God was calling me. We were all attending church – all the cottages were there,” Julie remembers. “We sat on the left side.

“I started crying, but I didn’t know why. I knelt and prayed. I asked Jesus to come into my heart. I heard the demons screaming and saw the angels pour into me. The change was dramatic.

“There was a peace in my heart. It was amazing. I remember when I stood up I almost fainted. I knew that God was going to work in my life.”

The change in Julie’s life was apparent to everyone, especially to her mom and dad.

“My parents love me so much,” she says.

When Julie first came to Broyhill Home, she was very hurt that her parents would “send her away.” Now she understands the great concern they had for her to make such a difficult decision.

“I was angry at my parents,” she says. “I did not talk to them at all for a long time.”

But that is in the past. The daughter is enjoying a renewed relationship with both her father and mother. Her parents have been there for her and have been very supportive throughout this time in Julie’s life.

“This hasn’t only been about me,” Julie says. “It has been about our whole family. We can actually sit together and talk.”

Julie is planning for college. “I have a really strong desire to attend Gardner-Webb, but whatever happens, God’s going to work everything out.”

She wants to be a nurse. Julie wants to help others like everyone at Broyhill Home has helped her.

“Since I asked Jesus into my heart, my life has dramatically changed,” she says. “The life I live now is the only way to live.”

Julie is thinking about the future. She is looking ahead and is determined to make something out of her life.

“I’m not giving up,” she says convincingly. “I have my ups and downs, but as long as I have God on my side, nothing is too big or too small that He cannot handle.”

Walter Blanton reflects on his relationship with Julie. The two have a special bond. “I love her to death. I see such a change – it’s a miracle.”