“I Need to Change My Life”

Posted on by COYFC

Katie Snell, City Life

      "Sidney" started coming to City Life about seven years ago.  She was disruptive, hard to get to know and disrespectful. We normally try to avoid kicking kids out of the Center, but Sidney has had to leave on multiple occasions. If you just look at her behavior, you might conclude that she doesn’t want to better her life.  But I’ve learned a lot about her in the last seven years. She and all of her siblings were born to a crack-addicted mother. Her mother is a prostitute. As a child she was nicknamed “Screaming MiMi” because she wouldn’t stop screaming. Her father didn’t really want her - to him she was just a prostitute’s daughter that happened to be his. She reads at a second grade level and has a hard time comprehending the simplest of things. And she believed she was unlovable. 
      She stopped coming around for a few years. One day she texted me and said, “Katie, I need to change my life.” We hung out and for two hours she shared her heart with me. She explained how she was lost, that she was coping by using drugs and sex. She told me she was just giving guys what they wanted because she knew they would never want her. She admitted that she had traded her body for money. As she shared the deepest regrets and pain in her life, she was emotionless. She said, “If I don’t change, I will end up just like my mom -- but I don’t care because I have nobody.”  I felt my heart get heavier and heavier as she unloaded. I listened. It took everything in me not to burst into tears. After that night she started coming to the Center every day. She sits next to me at my desk and shares her life with me. 
      When we were preparing for our Annual Fall Camp she told me she wanted to come. I was hesitant because she was so disruptive at the last camp she attended we had to ban her from the next two camps. A week before we left for camp she nearly got into a fight at the Center. She needed Jesus. I decided to let her go to camp with us. And did Jesus show up! She was the first person to answer questions in our small group. She shared her past with the girls, which is unusual because of her deep trust issues. She was respectful to the staff and other students. She was a completely different girl. The next day in group another girl was adamant about accepting Christ as her savior and Sidney said, “I want to do that too.” We all prayed. The two girls talked to Jesus from their hearts asking Him to forgive them.  When it was my turn to pray, I couldn’t get the words out. I just cried. 
      At the Center we celebrated along with the angels that Jesus describes in Luke 15:10, “In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."
      Celebrate with us by praying for Sidney. Her healing journey has just begun. 
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