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I was sexually abused by my father from the ages of 13-16. It wasn’t until the age of 21 that I realized what had happened. I was a very angry person inside and I feared and hated men. However, I did not fully understand how this had affected me spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Through several different people, God brought me to ARISE! International and the Shelter from the Storm© curriculum.

During my time in Shelter from the Storm©, I discovered the lies that I had been living with as a result of my abuse. I was able to peel back the layers and replace those lies with truths from God. I acquired sisters for life who could fully empathize and support me. I received tools that I can use for the rest of my life to help me fight off the devil’s attacks. Finally, I was also able to confront my father and set boundaries so that I could feel safe.

Now I want to share my story so that others like me can receive healing and restoration. There is hope. Nothing is too bad that God cannot heal. I am now married to an amazing man and I have a beautiful 5-month-old daughter. The cycle can be broken!

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Alicia Warren Johnson

Thursday, April 28, 2016: Tonight, for the first time I stood in front of strangers and friends. I shared a small part of my story... Having been involved in a domestically abusive relationship where I was told by my ex that he would kill me and sought to destroy my worth with belittling words.... I survived. I shared my story of having being raped by a family friend and family member as a teenager and how the pain of my past affected every area of my life.... I survived that, too.

The road to recovery of faith in God's promises after the deep pain and trauma of intimate partner violence and rape at times seemed impossible. After walking through the storm, I'm stronger, I'm wiser, I have peace and an internal joy that could only come from God. Every day is unique in its challenges but I have faith in God's restoration and healing from the very sinful and painful situations that tried to destroy me.

I stand in amazement of God's love for me. It was so encouraging to stand amongst women-of strength and courage. Tonight was just one of those unforgettable ones!

Woman of Faith "Strength and dignity are her clothing; and she smiles at the future."

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Jasmine Speaks......

A native of Texas, I was born into a Christian family where I was taught the fundamentals of Christianity, but in 2008 I began to formulate a genuine relationship. I received my degree in Biblical Studies from Southern Bible Institute in 2013 and has utilized it to spread the Gospel and help people heal through many avenues. I knew my passion and wanted to focus in on women, of all ages, who needed healing. As a survivor of sexual abuse, which took ten years of my childhood, I have taken this tragedy and turned it into my testimony.

I began recovery by participating in a Shelter from the Storm© support group in late 2013 and upon graduation in December 2014 I was truly launched into service. I have spoken to young people about sexual abuse, the wounds it leaves and how God can heal.

On January 17, 2015 I began a new chapter in my life as a wife, which was something I never saw happening because of my past. I am a daughter, sister, stylist, a Shelter Sister and most of all a servant of God. All of these components have helped me to become a Survivor and an Overcomer.

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Angelee - Silent No More!

As April 2014 comes to an end, so does a chapter of my life: Silence.

It took twenty-three years, my engagement, Eddie, Sandi, and Miss Gwen for me to seek help, but I did. I am a survivor of sexual abuse. I was molested by a classmate in elementary school, molested by my uncle, and raped by a friend in college. I was ignored, denied, and blamed by a surprising amount of loved ones. I lived with shame, false guilt, and false responsibility that didn't belong to me. You see, the unfortunate thing about sexual abuse is that the victim lives with all the consequences. As long as everyone was happy and everything was in harmony, I could hide and live with my pain. I lived behind a facade of what I thought was normal, because if the real and broken Angelee was revealed, nobody would love me.

However, Someone already loved me now and before I was born...God. God loved all of me, good and bad. He wanted me to seek Him first. "Cast all anxiety onto Him because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:7) God had already forgiven me for my past, so I had to do the same. I am now ready to live the life God has intended for me. He has and continues to be SO good to me. God has revealed truth to me little by little through my healing, and I am forever grateful. If my story is the same or similar to your story, I hope it inspires you to seek help. Or you may be in a position to support a loved one in a similar situation. If you're in the middle of your healing process, I encourage you to keep going. Yes, healing has at times been difficult. BUT...It is worth it.

MOST OF ALL, I want to express my gratefulness to my circle. Thanks be to God, my beloved Eddie, Sandi, Gwendolyn, Penny, my sisters, and all my loved ones who knew and continued to support me. Without your unconditional love, I would not have made it through this journey.