For most of her life, Shawn felt like she was falling through the cracks. Through your help, the light of Jesus shone down through those cracks and saved her!
Abuse as a child led Shawn into abusive relationships later in life. Shawn realized the strength of God’s love, experienced healing, and left shame behind. Your support made this possible!
Shawn grew up in privilege and abundance, but behind closed doors suffered every form of abuse at the hands of her mother. Her parents were prominent business owners in a small town and made a show of going to church. Shawn said, “It was always more for me. I’ve known and felt Jesus for as long as I can remember.”
“I continued to go to church, Bible study and participate in bell choir into my late 20’s until my husband deserted our two young children and me.” And with that came overwhelming shame because she was facing divorce.
“I equated love with pain.”
After the divorce, “I started a cycle of abusive relationships with men because I equated love with pain. I lost everything several times and could only ever bring myself to act to protect my children,” Shawn shared.
Shawn learned about domestic violence and how to ask for help, but found that she didn’t fit the typical profile of someone in her circumstances.
She said, “As I fell through crack after crack in the system I internalized my lack of progress and growth as more proof of my unworthiness. Most of all, I felt unworthy of God’s love and didn’t have anyone in my life to negate that belief.”
Nearly dying after one instance of abuse, Shawn knew she had to make radical changes in order to stay alive. Since her children were in college, she decided it was time to do whatever it took to leave abuse and shame behind. “I knew returning to my faith was a key factor in my plan, but I was still overwhelmed by unworthiness,” she said.
“He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.”
– Psalm 147:3
Through a chain of events, Shawn came to Lighthouse Mission’s Agape Home in Spring 2018.
Since then, so many things have changed in her life. And Shawn credits much of it to Mary McDonnell (pictured at right with Shawn), the manager of Agape Home: “The power of having a godly woman I greatly respect acknowledge and value me has reframed my references and opened my heart to complete humility before God.”
She continued, “I now recognize I’d come to a place void of relationship with anyone, including my Creator. Through the Agape love that Mary personifies and God’s perfect love, I have been saved, am healing, and am now able to help others.”
Shawn has gotten involved at a church. And last Easter, she was baptized with Mary by her side!
“I share these things to let you know how much of an impact your generosity has, not just for me, but for hundreds of other people going through difficult, traumatic times in life. Thank you so much.” – Shawn
Shawn now oversees Agape Home when staff are off duty. She is grateful to you for supporting her and making the change in her life possible!