Have you read this week’s Featured Story, Forever Changed? When one of my colleagues began working on Kasey Van Norman’s book project, I knew we had to include her story in God Makes Lemonade. Kasey was a sweet fifteen-year-old girl with her whole life in front of her…until she was date-raped. Absolutely horrible. But I’m touched every time I read her story because one day, Kasey realized she didn’t have to let the pain control the rest of her life. She could be cherished and loved as she deserves. Now, every day of her life, Kasey uses what she’s learned from that experience to comfort and encourage other hurting women all over the country.
According to a newly released FBI report, there were nearly 100,000 sexual assaults in the U.S. in 2010, and experts say this is only a fraction of the actual number since so many sexual assaults go unreported. Before she experienced healing, Kasey’s life was sinking into the desperate self-destructive trend among an increasing number of teen girls: self-harm, substance abuse, promiscuity, and eating disorders. More and more teens are believing the lie that they will never be able to recover their innocence. I grieve whenever I hear these precious girls’ stories.
But despair never has to have the last word, and that’s why I love the second chance in Kasey’s story. The peace and love she experienced on that trip to New Mexico so many years ago changed the trajectory of her life. “Forever changed” is the perfect title, isn’t it? Never again will she be trapped in the darkness of despair. Now Kasey helps thousands of women discover the same healing peace and love in their lives. She is a living example of how sour circumstances can become surprisingly sweet.
Later this week, I hope you’ll stop by again for another inspiring true story.