One of the most exciting things is when one of our graduates decides to become a volunteer or and intern after they graduate from the Vision of Hope program. After going through our program and living life in victory after VOH, our graduates often make some of the best interns, as they truly understand the program from the perspective of those they are serving. One of our interns, BreyAnne, came to us nearly 4 years ago for help as a resident of VOH, and is now serving faithfully as one of our interns! Please be encouraged, as BreyAnne shares her story with us:
“Hi! My name is BreyAnne. I grew up going to church where I learned about who God was. I tried really hard to be a Christian and to me the Christian life was about doing godly things and being good then God would love and accept you. As problems arrived I felt like I didn’t know how to deal with them so I sinfully dealt with them by using anorexia, and cutting as escaping tools. I learned quickly that it was an easy way to numb myself from the stress that my life had in it.
In my first year of college the pressure of feeling like I had to please everyone and do things right controlled my thinking. I desired to please people and I so badly grasped for the freedom and joy I saw that others had when they worshiped God. I felt like I was never fully measuring up for God to allow me to have that same freedom and Joy. I thought I was continually letting God down and didn’t understand why He felt so far away from all my efforts to look like a good Christian. I also didn’t want to admit to myself that my dad had just passed away and tried to do whatever I could to avoid that reality. Feeling like I was failing in my efforts, I started having panic attacks and couldn’t control them. Everything from my past to my present would fill my mind all at once and nothing made sense. This is when I realized I needed a change and was desperate for anything other than what I had already tried. Through some encouragement from my college and a few friends I started the application for Vision of Hope.
I moved to Indiana almost 4 year ago to become a resident at Vision of Hope. When I first got there to be honest I had no idea how they could help me with everything I was struggling with and didn’t even know what kind of hope I was hoping for or if I could even change. I just wanted to stop falling apart and I was so tired of trying my way and failing. The situations that I had been facing were ones that were on going, life changing situations that I didn’t understand and some I had no control over.
When I got to vision of hope I tried to look perfect and that I had it all together minus the few issues I came in for But, the vision of hope staff loved me too much to watch me continue living this lie because the truth is I was so far from perfect Gods word says that in Romans 3:23 all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
I also started learning the importance of thinking and how hard it was for me. When I first was trying to think and work through my problems, I would get panicky and felt out of control because I didn’t know how or what to do with the feelings I was experiencing. In time I learned how to think biblically about suffering and trials and in a believer what suffering would produce. I began facing the realities of past sufferings from my life but still struggled with loving God and trusting Him. I had to be willing to lose everything. Matt. 16:24 says ‘Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.”’ Living a life for God, I was learning, is something that was going to cost me everything. On September 26, 2011 I asked God to save me from my sins realizing that I was a sinner and I needed Him desperately if I was ever going to change.
I started connecting why we suffer and his purposes for it in my life I also started realizing that I had to give up my idols of ease, comfort, and control for the belief that God would take care of me and only He can satisfy me. I grew in desiring to be honest and learned that I didn’t have to hide in my sin any more John 8:12 says, “Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, ‘I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.’ I started truly believing that he had set me free from sin and He is a Great father who loves me.
God has changed my life from being someone who had lost hope to hoping in Him. Being someone who had no purpose or desire to live, to someone who desires to live for him and love others. He changed me from being someone who didn’t know him and always strived for his approval to someone who is so blessed to know Him and daily experiences His love, freedom, and Joy.
After graduating from vision of hope February 28th I was able to go back to Crossroads Bible College and finish my degree in Biblical Counseling and I was given a great gift of becoming an intern at Vision of Hope in October this past year.
During my short time so far as an intern my passion for helping others see the Love of God has grown so much. I have seen how staff and interns truly depend on God to be able to help the ladies. I have seen ladies become believers and I have deeply been encouraged at seeing how God is changing these ladies lives right before our eyes. As an intern I get the opportunity to sit in in counseling sessions and see how biblical counseling is taught and applied to life situations. My hope is that I can grow in being prepared to share all the information that God has given me about Him to not only the girls at VOH but also to those around me. I also have been blessed with seeing what it looks like to have the body of Christ from all over the world come together and work as a team for the purpose of glorifying God and serving others. This internship has been really instrumental in showing me how to help my sisters in Christ. I am excited to see what else the internship will have in store this year. I don’t really know yet where God is taking my future and how he wants to use me. If I could choose I’d say I would want to move where my family is and be a godly example to them. I also would like to see myself as a public speaker to those who are struggling with addictions. Looking forward to the rest of my internship, I am excited to learn how to apply what I have learned in College to everyday life situations. I would like to learn how to grow in public speaking. I am excited to deepen my studies in the theology of God’s Word and how it applies to everyday life situations. And I am also really excited to see God work in the lives of the girls Vision of Hope serves.”
What an awesome testimony of God’s transforming redemption! If you are interested in more information about the internship program at Vision of Hope, please contact Jenn Breitwieser at firstname.lastname@example.org.