Eden: a lost wanderer

Posted on by Vince Sarfraz

The following story was written for Youth For Christ USA. These are real YFC Stories showing how God is using YFC as a vehicle in raising up life-long followers of Jesus all across the nation.

Eden thought her life was pretty normal.

She went to a normal school with normal friends and had a normal family.

But as she entered junior high, Eden began to feel alienated. She couldn’t explain why, but suddenly her friends didn’t seem like true friends. Her family members began turning their backs on her. Life didn’t feel so normal anymore.

She felt pushed away, unwanted, and, eventually, abandoned.

I met Eden when she was 15. Eden was a lost wanderer. In fact, when I first met Eden, she had aimlessly wandered through our Youth For Christ Campus Life doors.

There she stood. She was a quirky, fearful, and broken teen, directionless and motionless.

We connected almost immediately, and a relationship began to form. Eden became a dedicated YFC Campus Life student.

Still, at 16, Eden was totally overwhelmed. Her feelings of familial abandonment and the pressure of being a teenager, an honor roll student, and a highly involved athlete felt like way too much to handle. Anger, anxiety, and depression consumed her.

At 17, she was fighting with everyone, everywhere. She fought at home, at school, and with her boyfriend. Her boyfriend’s infidelity pushed her over the edge.

Five pills became ten pills. Ten pills became twenty. And twenty became a serious overdose.  

After several failed suicide attempts, we caught wind of Eden’s desperation. Standing before us was a scared 17-year-old, checked into a mental institution, defeated and desperate. I remember our conversation. She pleaded for answers and advice, and we offered Jesus. In the beginning she was hesitant, but her heart slowly opened.

After time in the institution, Eden was ready to embrace life again. Upon saying her farewells to every institution employee, she looked at me and asked, “Can we go to church?”

At 18, right before Thanksgiving, Eden surrendered her life to Jesus Christ. There was much to be grateful for around the Thanksgiving table that year.

Eden now helps our student leaders impact friends who share similar stories. She gets the pleasure of offering the same hope that was offered to her. She plans to continue the mission in college and beyond. Eden’s life has taken on a new “normal” and she couldn’t be happier about it. 

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