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Keela was unable to find purpose in this life. Keela had to take care of her mom from a very young age. Her dad was out of the picture until about age 7 and he turned out to be very abusive. Before age nine, Keela had already attempted suicide. Feeling ashamed, fearful and no purpose for living, the end for Keela seemed to be inevitable. But, then she was invited to a birthday party and her life was thrown into a tail-spin of change.

So it was a surprise when a friend told me that I didn’t have to be.
Sitting criss-cross-apple-sauce on the ground, at a birthday party of all places, a beloved group of friends told me a story that changed my life, that so catastrophically wrecked my way of thinking that I rose up from the ashes as a new person.
I asked them about heaven, more specifically if I would ever see my mom there. That got us talking, and all of a sudden, these nine-and-ten-year-old girls huddled around me and told me exactly what my heart had been longing to hear.
They told me that God loves me. Like, really loves me. They told me that my sins had separated me from God (Isaiah 59:2) and that’s why I felt trapped in a hopeless world, doing things that I knew were wrong. They told me that this sin kept me from God, who wanted me to be with Him. But then they told me that Jesus loved me so much that He died on a cross to take away the punishment for all the stupid crap that I had done (John 3:16). They told me that because of His death, I can have a relationship with the God of the universe and live with Him for all eternity in Heaven (John 14:6).
They told me that God created me with a purpose, for a reason, to be His (1 Peter 2:9). They told me that He will never leave me (Hebrews 13:5). They told me that with Him, there is nothing to fear (Isaiah 41:10).
Sitting there in that moment, I felt something in me that I had never felt before. A rightness. Hope.
Hope.
See her story on Instagram @keelahope

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