My name is Julie and I have a very real and moving story I would like to share with you. I was born in Toronto in 1983 and taken by CAS at 3 months old. The details surrounding this are sketchy for me but basically my mother got arrested and she got my aunt to watch me who then gave me to a lady she met on the street. I had a very bad cough and the lady took me to the hospital who called CAS because apparently I had bruises.
I spent 10 months in foster care and was then adopted. I had psycological problems from the start and would destroy and rip everything apart. I think its because I never had normal bonding or was traumatised. I spent my youth very bullied and I would usually just walk around by myself all recess watching the other kids play. I liked to be alone and at 11 I was taken to a psychiatrist because I became so reclusive and stopped wanting to even eat.
I started cutting myself at 14 and smoking weed and cigarettes. I got sent to a psychiatric ward the summer after grade 9 and would never live with my adoptive parents again. I got passed through such facilities as Youthdale, Whitby psyc, Thistletown in Etobicoke and Crossroads run by Kinark. In the hospitals I was frequently left alone in restraints tying me to a bed and given so many drugs my personality was gone. My adoptive parents didnt even know me anymore when they visited.
At Whitby I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder by a team of psychiatrists. I frequently would run away from the group home crossroads and once in a fit of rage I climbed the fire escape and threw myself off the roof. An ambulance arrived and put me on a board. I had hairline fractured my lower back.
Shortly after this I ran away from there for good and met up with a 25 year old man named Andrew. I was 16 at the time He was homeless and I stuck to him like glue as he showed me how to live on the street. He had a terrible temper and would beat me especially when he was drunk.
I spent 11 months with him living on the street and for a short time in an apartment in Bradford they we got through a worker. The police would get called to the apartment because people would hear me screaming from him hitting me. I was abusing cocaine and would use anything I could to get high.
After we left there we stayed on the street again and one night around 2am Andrew was drunk and he was literally beating me to death. He was sitting on me and just going at it. The thought came into my mind to yell at him and desperate I started yelling at him to get away from me. To my astonishment he actually walked away from me yelling at me. I got up and ran pausing for moment to gaze a my reflection in a store window. My face was all swollen and just black from bruises. I ran behind a mall and found a man making deliveries who called mall security who called the police.
I got placed in a group home in Newmarket called Heritage Lodge. I met a 26 year old drug dealer and started dating him. He got me into using needles shooting cocaine and oxycitin. I would abuse any pills to get high such as Gravol. He would also hit me and I got kicked in the head by him 2 times in a row with shoes on so hard I blacked out for a moment. He got arrested for this and then I went back to him about 6 months later. I had no feelings of self worth or real love.
When I was 18, I took an overdose of pills and went to the hospital and told them I was suicidal. They put me in a small room to wait and see someone. The room had a framed picture on the wall and sadly I broke the glass in the frame and I slit my wrists so badly up and down my forearm that my arm is disfigured by scars for the rest of my life. Thick, ropey scars.
At 19 I got pregnant by the man who kicked me in the head and went with the baby to a woman’s shelter when the baby was around 3 months old. We went to Rosalie Hall in Scarborough and Sandgate womans shelter. I recieved emergency housing and was given a one bedroom apartment in a co-op. So now it was just me and my baby. My adoptive parents lent me a small black and white tv and a sleeping bag and I would camp out on the floor snuggling my baby until I got furniture.
After about a year I felt this urgency to find out the truth in life. I went to a used book store called Random Books to see what I could find. I found a book called “There’s A New World Coming.” The title sparked my interest so I bought it. I took it home and read it right through. It was all about Bible prophecy. At the end of the book was a prayer to receive Jesus as your Saviour. I recognized that I was a terrible sinner and jumped at the chance to have a Saviour. I prayed for Jesus to be my Saviour and to forgive my sins. I confessed my faith in Him.
Then I tell you the truth I felt God’s indescribable, powerful love washing over me like gentle ocean waves. I spent like a week crying and praying. Confessing my sins. You see having borderline disorder the only thing I had ever felt was desperation. Desperation to be loved but I had no idea what love was nor could I express it. I had felt rage, I had felt pain like there was a giant hole in my chest.
In that moment God filled that hole with His love and peace. He gave me His Holy Spirit and great faith. He forgave me for all my wretched sins because of His great mercy. I have never been the same.
I began distributing Bible tracts and going to church. I got baptised on June 12 2005 and my baptism certificate sits by my bed. Instead of self destruction and self hatred I can by the power of the Holy Spirit feel love and compassion for others. I will help anyone and am moved to express love for others in whatever way I can.
God has led me to have great compassion for the homeless as I know what it is like to sit panhandling. This new creation He has made in me prepares packages with Bible tracts and gift cards and treats and now I go seek out the broken and the lost on the streets of Toronto every two months.
This Christmas the Holy Spirit moved me to prepare gifts for the homeless and I set out with a hockey bag filled with wrapped packages of pot of gold chocolates, gift cards, handmade cards filled with Scriptures about hope and belonging. No Greater Love Than Jesus is what the covers read. God uses me to bring His love to them. God’s love and compassion are the most beautiful things I have ever felt and He fills my heart in an indescribable way. This is just one example of what God has done in my life.
I devote myself to street evangelism, sharing the Gospel with people I see. So when people dont believe in God I can tell them without a doubt that God is real. He has done a miracle in me. Everything in the Bible is true. God is good. He is pure in everyway. He is light and He sent His Son Jesus to destroy the works of the devil. The devil devours kids like I was but the Lord rescues them. He saves them.
My name is Julie and I am a living testimony that God is mighty to save and with His Spirit, He can transform even the most broken, hopeless person. Its all about having faith in Jesus and surrendering to His Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentless, faithfulness and self control. The works of the flesh (me without Jesus) were all destructive and led to death. Here is my poem called broken that I wrote 12 years ago during the first week I was saved. It poured from me like water.
I look at my wrists, I see the scars
I search my soul, I know my shame
I’ve been led by the blind and beaten down by sin
I should have died, but You wouldn’t let them win
I see Your hands, the holes in Your palms
I know your glory has overcome all pain
I turn to You Lord, in my broken suffering
A love unimaginable, how can this be
In all my wretchedness, You reached out to save me
A soul so pure, my hero, Your truth
The word of God that whispered to my heart and set me free
As I tripped over trials, in this deathly darkness
I looked for the way
Your light opened my soul and my eyes lit up with hope
You showed me a path that I can now take
Thanks to Your selfless sacrifice
This sheep will never fade away
I toddle like a baby, into Your strong hands
I am Yours, You have made me new again
Paralyzed with tears, my repentance shakes my being
Then You kiss my tears away and I am no longer unclean
Thank you Father, my cross I’ll bear
‘Till the day I go home, when You shout from the sky
All Your sheep will run to You with a happy cry
And there I’ll be, tucked safely under Your wing
As we fly away, this life will have seemed like a dream
I will never forget how You gave Yourself for me
I love you Lord Jesus