I was brought up in a Christian family and we used to go to the Salvation Army.  It was there I gave my life to Jesus as a child, so I always knew about God. We left the Salvation Army and started going to another church called Welcome Mission.  Then we went to Father’s House ( formerly known as Wath Pentecostal Church). I loved it and was involved with the youth. As a teenager I rededicated my life to God and was baptised.

I had loving, godly parents but it didn’t stop bad things happening to me.  All through my childhood I was abused and felt too scared to tell my parents until I was 16 years. I told my mum and dad and the abuse stopped. I used to cry myself to sleep every night and wondered why God would allow me to go through this, why was this happening to me, and what had I done to deserve this. Many times I thought about ending it all. It felt like suicide was my only option and with a hand full of tablets and tears rolling down my face I started to take them one by one, but after taking three tablets I started thinking about my mum, dad and the rest of my family. What they would feel like if I ended it all? Then I started to think about my life and what I was put on this earth for: what was the plan for my life? I started to blame God for allowing this to happen to me.

When I was 18 years I left church and did my own thing. The meetings felt boring to me because all I had was religion, not a real relationship with Jesus. I used to spend time with God and read my Bible but I never felt His presence near me. All the time I was away from church I still loved God, and would think about God too, even when I still blamed him. I met my partner and we lived together. After suffering four miscarriages, we eventually had a beautiful daughter. I suffered many years with post-natal depression, feelings of guilt, my fault and shame, and feelings of being dirty from my childhood. I was prescribed anti-depressant tablets.

I split up with my partner and I started going back to Father’s House in 2001 and re-dedicated my life back to God. I was back to where I knew I belonged. I love going to Fathers House. We are a big family and we look after each other and help each other. Soon after, I was baptised again and filled with the Holy Spirit. God gave me a hunger for His presence and filled me with His fire. This time it was different. I no longer just had religion, but a relationship with Jesus.

When God really touches your life you are changed forever. I didn’t blame God anymore. I knew that God created us all with a free will, for us to make our own choices. I knew that what happened to me as a child was not my fault, and it wasn’t God’s fault, because God gave us a free will to make our own choices. We can choose to do good or bad things to others. What satan used to destroy my life, God uses for His glory to touch others. God healed my brokenness and gave me the strength to forgive the ones that had hurt and abused me as a child.

All that I have gone through in my life has made me stronger and I give God all the glory for who I am today. I can’t ever imagine my life without having a relationship with Jesus. He is faithful and He has never let me down, He has never left me or abandoned me, and He provides all I need. He has washed me clean with His precious blood; I don’t feel guilty, shamed or unclean. I have been made whole. I’m clothed in righteousness because Jesus purchased me by dying on the cross and shedding his blood for me and you. He has exchanged His life for mine.

Jesus was my only option. I know that without Jesus in my life, I wouldn’t be here today. Jesus has been with me all my life and what I have gone through – I didn’t go through it alone. Whatever you are going through, you are not alone. Jesus is there with you. He answered my prayers and He will answer yours too.

I love it when God gives me opportunities to share His Word and be a witness for him. I am now married to my partner and we have a lovely son. I thank God for my husband and my two children, who both love Jesus with all their hearts.

Janine Cooper