My name is Kate and I was born in Russia. I grew up in a lovely family and I enjoyed my childhood. I was loved and treasured by my sisters and my parents. But my life changed when I was raped by my uncle. Some would say that’s because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was a young girl, so I didn’t understand what happened, I  just felt that something was wrong.

I stayed quiet. For about 8 years I kept the secret. I was afraid and full of shame. I didn’t understand why this awful thing happened to me. Over and over asked God and received no response. I felt rejected, I never thought I was good enough, smart enough, or funny enough. I withdrew from people. I distanced myself from joy. While others were living their lives, pursuing dreams and falling in love, I was stuck, unable to move forward.

When I attended a worship conference in Germany I finally realized that God was personal and cared for me! I came to understand that God will bring us through the difficult things in life. I began praying daily, pursuing the God who loved me so much and, miraculously, he began healing me. I prayed for a best friend and he gave me one. More than that, now I have many precious friends in my life. I prayed for a godly young man and I know that God will give me that in time. I’m just thankful that he’s turned so many wrong men away.

God is no longer this far off guy who’s mad at me, but someone who loves and cares for me. I lean on him daily and trust that he is leading me.

Now, when I come back to the question "why", I realize that God suffered with me. I also realized that through this experience, which was a hard one, I matured and became more patient. I’ve become a better person. I have since fulfilled my dream of becoming a nurse and now I have the ability to understand and empathize with the suffering of my patience. Day by day, year by year, I’ve gained strength in God; because of Him I’m prepared for the hardships of this life.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy this happened to me, neither is God. But if this experience made a better person out of me and drew me closer to God, then it’s all worth it.

Trusting God was the best decision of my life and I’m secure in Him. He’s given me new joy and and special purpose in my life - I’m immensely grateful!

Now, no matter what I do or where I go, I want to show people, through my life, that hardships happen so we can grow closer to God. And, when tragedies strike or terrible things happen we can trust that God is always with us.