Finding Lasting Peace

For years, Sharon struggled with depression and thoughts of suicide. She says, “I always felt like I was just so messed up. I felt as if I didn’t deserve anything good in life. That was for other people.” She never felt truly loved.

Today, she looks back knowing that it began with her dysfunctional childhood and the pain of always feeling like a bother.

As the youngest of five children in a Catholic household, Sharon learned to stay out of the way. Drinking and arguing between her parents and older siblings was a way of life. When her dad would come home drunk, Sharon would go hide in a corner with her hands over her ears.

But she also learned to keep up appearances—pretending everything was fine. This habit continued even as she grew older and suffered in her own abusive relationship. She says, “I put the face on and pretended to be content in front of people all the time. I always felt inside that I needed to push down what I was feeling and keep everybody happy around me.”

I Felt Like a Robot

At 21, Sharon married for the first time and had two children. But she still felt lost inside. Now instead of trying to hide in a corner, she’d go into her closet and cry alone. There were so many days when she was driven to keep going only because she knew that she needed to take care of her children.

Years later, after almost 20 difficult years of marriage, Sharon’s husband left her and their children. She was forced to find a job—and was constantly trying to juggle her meager funds to cover bills. Many days she’d arrive home after a hard day at work to discover that one utility or another had been cut off yet again.

And her children, teenagers now, began making choices that brought more pain. Those were her darkest days. Looking back, she says, “I was so lonely and sad. I cried a lot. I’d think, ‘Ok, do what you have to do to get through the day. Then go to bed. Then get up.’ I felt like a robot.”

Discovering Grace

One night, Sharon sat on her couch flipping through television channels looking for something to watch. That night was different from all the others. She explains, “It was like God kept knocking. I could just feel the presence of Him saying, ‘I’m here, and it’s ok—stop at that channel.’ And I did.”

As Sharon watched Amazing Facts on channel 44, she knew a miracle was happening. “When I first started watching, I felt the Spirit of the Lord just came over me,” she says.

The message of grace that Pastor Doug Batchelor shared touched her weary and hurting heart. She listened as he shared his own story, and she began to understand the truth about who she was in Christ. Sharon felt the tiniest beginnings of hope.

“I always felt so unworthy. I knew I was a total mess. But watching the program taught me about the loving Father I never knew growing up. Pastor Doug made it so simple—that Jesus will meet you where you’re at. I realized that I could come as I am, and I began to understand forgiveness.”

Sharon was hungry to learn more.

She sent away for free booklets that Amazing Facts can make available only because of gifts from generous donors. She found Pastor Doug made God’s truth both realistic and biblical. Her heart opened even more.

So she sent for the Amazing Facts Bible Study Guides. The more she discovered, the more her life changed. What she learned helped her to find healing from past hurts created by all of her painful family situations. “Pastor Doug taught me how to actually live with people that can be coming up against you. He said to learn to trust God because people will disappoint. Now I live by Proverbs 3:5, and I rely on God to give me strength.”

Sharon also found tools in the Study Guides that helped her to think in positive ways and not give in to depression. And she learned to recognize the lies and traps of the devil—especially his tools of guilt. “God is greater than my past!” she says. “I see that the grace of God is such a beautiful thing. You talk to Him and ask forgiveness and repent. And then you can move on.”

Sharon spent years trying to get approval from the people closest to her—only to feel rejected instead. Now she doesn’t carry that burden anymore. Instead, she praises God for how He heals and restores even the deepest pain. In her darkest times, she never would have pictured that God would bring her relationships with her father, her grown children, and even her former husband to the place of peace she experiences today.

A Way of Life

Sharon wants to share with everyone how she’s found freedom through forgiveness. Not just the forgiveness of God to her, but her forgiveness of those who hurt her. “I just want people to know that when you hold on to bitterness, it eats you up inside. But God gives me the strength to forgive. I tell people that Jesus is not a religion—He is a way of life. You learn His ways and your life will be better. It’s that simple.”

Today, Sharon prays to be the hands and feet of Jesus to everyone around her. “I never knew God—never knew Jesus—until Amazing Facts. For years I was so depressed and filled with gloom. But I am so different today. I have peace. I keep my eyes on Jesus and the cross, and I fear death no more.”

Sharon’s joy recently overflowed as she watched her two precious grandchildren be dedicated to God. “Now my goals are simply to teach my grandchildren about Jesus and His ways. I want to shine every day—everywhere—to everyone. And to all those who make the Amazing Facts programs, I just want to say they have been life-changing for me—and I thank you a million.”

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