Cassidy describes her childhood environment as toxic, her parents fought a lot and she struggled to connect with people. As she grew, she was teased for her appearance and for being smart. This combined with a move from Florida to Tennessee left her feeling depressed and alone. Disappointed by friendships and devastated after an abusive relationship, she felt lost. Here is some of her story in her own words:
"I didn’t know who I was, and I believed there couldn’t be a God. I found myself thinking horrible things like “if God exists then why would he put his beloved children through these things? Why would he put ME through these things?” I found myself looking for love from the most horrible places, rather than from myself and Jesus. This led to more abusive relationships and more downfall – I was just digging my grave rather than climbing out of it. Getting out of bed in the morning was hard for me, and I found living just so exhausting.
But in eighth grade, my family took a sharp turn. My dad did something that I struggled to forgive him for, and my mom was practically dying in the hospital. Despite the chances and her injuries, she pulled through and lived. To me, that could only be God’s work. I began to gain hope and faith again. It was painful and hard and one of the worst things I’ve had to experience, but I’d go through it all again if it meant realizing what i did that day: God is real. and a relationship with Jesus is my number one priority.
I began doing devotionals, reading scripture and journaling my thoughts down. I found acceptance and others who were going through the same as me - people who didn’t judge my beliefs. People who understood the pain and the fact I had a hard time with my faith and instead of giving up on me, they worked with me. They taught me how to find God in myself and in the world: how to accept Him into my life like I haven’t been able to before. Now, while I’m standing in front of all of you, I'm going to completely give myself to Him, my Savior. As the years go by, whenever my belief dwindles, I’ll look back on this day and remember why I began finding Him in the first place. Here’s to my future, which is bright and filled with love, with God on my side.
Thank you for praying for me, I am one. "