It really bothered Stephany that she couldn’t understand — or even hear — the lyrics of Christian music played by her aunt and uncle.
“I was a lost child. I wore tons of makeup to try to fit on. I got into lots of fights. I was really depressed. I tried killing myself several times while I was in middle school and in my freshman year. I felt very unloved,” she says. “I didn’t have the Holy Spirit. The way Christians sang was like another language to me then.”
Because her parents got into drugs and alcohol, she was physically abused and neglected and fell into the foster care system.
“I was very angry at the world. I hated people because of my upbringing. I didn’t understand how God could have let this happen to my siblings and myself. I was just angry at God and I didn’t even know God. I hated God.”
Stephany and her siblings would sleep on floors of just about any friend’s house. One couple was very nice and even offered to adopt.
Mom was incensed by the idea that someone wanted to take her kids from her. So when Stephany returned, mom started beating her viciously. “My mom wasn’t well,” says Stephany, who had just finished her freshman year of high school.
In response, she ran away and hid in another friend’s house.
Her uncle and aunt took her to Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa, CA. They played Christian music, which Stephany found incomprehensible.
“When my aunt and uncle played Christian music, I couldn’t understand the words,” she says. “That really bothered me because I didn’t understand.”
When they sent her to youth group, she thought the other girls were strange.
“Ew!” she squealed to her aunt. “Nobody wants to be around Christian girls. Don’t ever send me with those crazy Christians again.”
She projected a tough exterior, but inside she longed for a love she never felt.
“I felt so lost, so abandoned. But at the time I felt God pull on my heart,” Stephany says. “All I wanted was to feel that freedom. But I didn’t feel like I was good enough. How can God love me, not even my mother loves me?”
One day her aunt shared the complete story of the gospel with her. Still, the message of God’s love didn’t penetrate.
“The more she shared the gospel with me, the more I felt saddened because I didn’t understand God’s love,” she remembers. “All I felt was that I was doomed because of how awful I was and how I was abandoned.”
Finally at a Greg Laurie Harvest Crusade in Angels Stadium, she relented and descended to the baseball field to receive Jesus.
“That moment that I stepped out into the grass, because my heart longed for him, I felt his presence surround me,” Stephany says. “I prayed and cried. From there I felt like I was really open to the Lord. I asked God for forgiveness, and I asked him to love me.”
She surrendered her life to Jesus and was born again.
A few nights later, her aunt “caught” her listening to music late at night on headphones. She asked what Stephany was listening to.
With tears in her eyes, Stephany said: “I can hear what they’re saying!” It was Christian music. Read the rest: Jesus foster care