Stories

Thanks for bringing life to Abby’s story

“It’s not a coincidence that YFC visited my school to teach about self worth on the day I was planning on ending my life,” shares fifteen-year-old Abby reflecting on the journey that gave life to her story.

Today, thanks to your support, Abby is able to share her story in schools to encourage others girls in their identity and worth.

The bullying had started when Abby was in her first year of high school. The toxic mix of verbal abuse, gossip and social isolation inflicted on Abby, by students at her school, began to destroy her self-worth.

“I went from looking in the mirror and being completely okay with what I saw, to completely hating myself,” Abby recounts. “I thought I looked fat and ugly because that’s what I had been called. I became really insecure and I started to isolate myself from everyone.”

The feelings of insecurity were soon joined by depression, anxiety and, eventually, self-harm.

“It’s not a coincidence that YFC visited my school to teach about self-worth on the day I was planning on ending my life.”

“Self-harm was my way of coping with what I was going through. I felt ashamed for what I was doing but I couldn’t stop. I thought I was going to feel like this forever.”

As the bullying escalated, suicide started to feel like a reasonable solution to Abby, until God intervened in her story.

“I had felt suicidal for weeks,” Abby recalls.

“I had lost hope. I believed my life had no purpose, that I was worthless. One morning I woke up and I thought to myself, ‘this is the day that I want everything to end.’ I wanted to die.

“But for some reason I felt like something was telling me to get up and go to school, even though I didn’t want to. I just made myself. That was the day Eleven88 came to my school and ran a body image workshop with my class and told me I was beautiful and I did have worth.”

YFC’s Eleven88 Movement is a club based dance program that visits schools to run body image and dance workshops – sharing a message of self-worth and identity with young girls.

Abby, with some of the Eleven88 team, on a recent mission trip to WA.

After that day Abby continued connecting with the Eleven88 team and began being mentored by some of the leaders. One night Abby attended an Eleven88 performance at the local YFC centre which featured a Christian dance group from New York. One of the performers briefly shared their Christian journey and gave an opportunity for anyone who wanted to start following Jesus to receive prayer.

That night Abby stepped forward and gave her life to Jesus.

“Jesus healed me and mended my heart.”

“Jesus healed me and mended my heart,” Abby states emphatically. “All the pain and anger I had towards those people who had hurt me was gone and for the first time, in such a long time, I felt joy and happiness. I knew that everything was going to be okay, because I had God now!”

Abby was soon connected with a local church community where she continues to grow in her faith journey. As a member of the Eleven88 performance team, she now uses her story to positively impact and encourage other young people.

“I am so grateful for the people God has put in my life, they are family to me,” says Abby. “But I’m most grateful for my best friend, Jesus Christ! I wouldn’t have gotten through this without Him.”

On Abby’s request, she was baptised by YFC team members during a recent mission trip to WA.

Thank you for helping bring life to stories like Abby’s.