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Have you ever wondered why you are alive? Sadly, as a therapist, it is a question I hear way too often. One individual who was horribly abused as a child, tortured, raped, burned, beaten, and was ultimately abandoned into the Foster Care System when neither parent wanted to "deal with him" anymore.

At age 36, this pour soul had such a terrible self image when he came to see me. He truly did not know why he was alive. He had been addicted to heroin and other pain medications, abused alcohol, and tried to find love in broken relationships that did nothing more than convince him that his life had no meaning or purpose and he was just surviving until the day he died.

For over a year we worked together to find him a purpose for living. He became clean and sober and worked on taking responsibility for his future. He was homeless, suffering several medical problems, and could not qualify for any government assistance programs because he was (according to him) "a white male capable of work." His circumstances could have been considered hopeless, and at times even I felt helpless for him, as for months I made myself available as a lifeline praying he would not take his life. He continued to press through every difficulty, he followed every suggestion and made small changes. Even though he had no money and nothing of value he never lost hope. The courage this man had to press through his painful past and move toward loving himself was truly a miracle unfolding in front of my eyes. He chose to let go of the past so there would be room in his heart for his future. He learned that forgiveness benefits us as well as those we forgive and by letting go of the need for revenge he began to heal. Today, this young man is working, has a place he calls home, and has found a purpose for his life: He wants to help teenagers in similar situations to have hope and a purpose as well.

As we approach the week before Easter, it's good to remember that we all have a purpose. Apostle John wrote,

"There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear."

1John 4:18a

If you would like to learn more about how to find hope and healing, please call Encouragers today.

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