The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Crying Out to God in Desperation

By Christine McWhorter
The 700 Club -Katrina Sweet spent most of her life searching for stability. When she was only 11, her stepfather began molesting her. “He stole my innocence. He took my innocence from me. He took my ability to trust. I became very afraid; afraid to do simple things, afraid to be in a room by myself, afraid to sleep at night.”

Church was the only place Katrina found solace. “I grew up in church. Whenever I was there, I always felt this incredible peace.”

Katrina finally told her mother. Her mother refused to listen. “No one said a word. I felt rejected. I felt abandoned by my mother. I felt that she was placing her husband over my protection and my safety.”

The pain became too much, and she moved in with her grandmother. Her abuser was gone, but the pain lingered. “It left a void in me of wanting to be loved, wanting to be affirmed. I wanted someone to look at me as being special, so the first guy who said ‘Hey, you’re pretty. You’re beautiful,’ then I gave myself to him.”

Before long, Katrina became pregnant. By now she was tired, confused and hurt. She thought back about the peace that she felt in church as a child and she gave her life to Christ. Over time, Katrina’s faith grew. She married a Christian man, and had another child. She also helped the pastor with secretarial work. “I saw him as a father figure. I saw him as someone that I could trust.”

But soon that image was destroyed. “I was sexually assaulted by the pastor. I was devastated. I thought church was different. I thought church people were different. I remember praying to God saying, ‘If this is what church is like, then I don’t want any part of it.’”

To make things worse, her husband didn’t believe her. He refused to leave the church. “When I was younger, I blamed my mother for not protecting me or people in my family. When that happened with the pastor, I blamed God.”

Katrina divorced her husband and left with her two children. After that, she became involved in a series of relationships, each time, she wanted the same thing- to feel safe, wanted, and loved.

One day, she with her boyfriend, when his phone rang. “He looked at the caller ID and I said, ‘Who was that?’ and he whispered softly in my ear and he said, ‘Your replacement. Your replacement.’ I can’t even describe to you what that did to me and how that made me feel. I’m thinking the whole time how ugly I was, how useless I was and without purpose, ‘no one would ever want you. Why are you still here? Just end it! Just end it.’”
Katrina left the house and drove to a bridge. “I remember sitting in my car looking at the bridge thinking, ‘This is it. Why not just end it here.’ And sitting in the car, pounding on the steering wheel, weeping because I felt so useless.”

But her tears were interrupted by thoughts of her children. “I envisioned my children seeing my body pulled from the waters. I didn’t want that image to be with them for the remainder of their lives.”

Katrina knew then that she needed God. “I remember praying one word. I cried one word, ‘Help!’ ‘Help’ is what I said. I feel like God heard my cry for help.  And I didn’t know how my life was going to turn out; I just had a sense that everything was going to be okay.”

She found a church and a woman there invited her to a women’s retreat. There she rededicated her life to Christ. “I didn’t understand it all then. I didn’t have the full picture, but I knew that as time went on God was with me. Most importantly, I knew that I had a relationship with Him and that He was with me, and I wanted to learn as much as I could learn about Him.”

Today Katrina is an author, motivational speaker, and founder of a nonprofit called PATCH. She says she is grateful that God healed her emotionally so that she can share Christ’s love with others. “I never thought anything good would happen for me. I always saw only good things happening to other people. I feel that God has restored everything that I’ve lost. Everything that I thought wouldn’t be, God has and is making it into reality.”

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