I was born to two wonderful people, the middle of three daughters. Dad was a traditional Aboriginal man; he knew how to hunt, fish, prepare hides, and was fluent in Cree. My mom, a lovely and compassionate person, also spoke Cree.
Every summer we’d pack our bags and live at Hatchet Lake Lodge, where Dad worked as a tourist guide. This was the highlight of my year. In between we lived on a Reserve called Sucker River, surrounded by beautiful spruce and poplar trees, traversed by a river, and overlooking Lac La Ronge Lake. There was always so much to explore!
However, both my parents were alcoholics and when Dad was drunk he was often abusive. They also struggled with other substance abuses. Despite this, I view the first nine years of my life with great memories.
Then my mom, unable to endure more physical abuse, filed for divorce. Later, one day we were visited by police officers, social workers and uncles to tell us that our dad had committed suicide.
The next five years I struggled with despair, anger, distrust and shame. I attempted suicide, turned to alcohol to numb my pain, and tried to find my worth in relationships. At age 14 I hated who I had become.
God knew all of this. He saw my wounded heart, full of despair and hatred. In His amazing grace He revealed Himself. One summer a mission team from Sterling, Colorado began coming to my community to share the Good News of a Savior who created me to be in relationship with Him! I remember that like it was yesterday.
I trusted my life to Jesus Christ. I remember getting up off my knees, looking around my dark and quiet room, thinking that so much needed to change. God gave me the strength to let go of my addictions and abuses.
I couldn’t stop talking about Jesus and the Bible to my friends. My friends abandoned me, and that hurt almost as much as losing my dad. But now I knew that Jesus was my reason for living.
About six months after becoming a Christian I met another missions team, from Bethany College (Hepburn, SK). I soon had my heart set on attending there.
I was baptized in my community. God has helped me understand that my past does not have to define me. I’ve experienced His grace, not only the day I trusted Jesus, but every day since. It has not been easy – I still experience the heartache of living in a fallen world.
It blesses me to see the many people God has brought into my life to help me grow as a Christ follower. He continues to transform me from a scared, wounded, ashamed child into one who is confident in my love for Jesus, and His love for me.