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Kristin Emerges Into the Light

July 1, 2010

By W. James Edminson

Behind her closed bedroom door, Kristen cried. The darkness in the room paled to the darkness she felt inside. Her world was out of control.

“When my dad learned about my boyfriend, he became very angry,” Kristen says. “It was an unhealthy relationship. My boyfriend was bad to me, but I didn’t know how to get out. At the time, I didn’t want to get out.”

Sixteen-year-old Kristen has lived at the Children’s Homes for almost a year. Her father learned about the Baptist residential child care program online.

“I felt guilty,” she confides. “I felt bad about what was happening to me.”

The darkness in her world turned into depression. To escape her pain, she began to cut herself.

“When I cut myself, it would take my mind off my problems,” Kristen says. “The pain I felt from the cutting lessened the pain inside.”

When the pain became so terrible, Kristen remembers thinking of killing herself. “I prayed God would take my life.”

Living at Mills Home in Thomasville has turned her focus from praying about dying to praying about living.

“I pray to God about everything,” she says confidently. “Being here has woke me up.” Kristen’s self esteem has improved. Her outgoing personality has been turned loose. “I’m happy here.”

Never having played organized sports did not inhibit Kristen from trying out for the junior varsity basketball team last fall. Her real ambition was to play softball, and she believed playing basketball would help her get into shape.

“I wanted to try something new,” she says.

Kristen has been invited to play varsity this comng year and was named to the All-Conference softball team last season.

“I enjoy playing,” she says. “I like having a full schedule. I enjoy being busy.”

As well as Kristen is doing today, the shadows still remain. But Kristen’s perspective has changed.

“Teens just think they are on top of the world,” she says. “I felt like that. I didn’t care. In the middle of the worst of it I knew I was doing wrong. I didn’t want to face the consequences.”

She has advice for other teens.

“It’s important to let your pride go,” she says. “Always seek to have a good, clean heart.” Kristen’s greatest advice, however, is to never give up. “You will wake up one day, and the light will shine through!”