Christina lived a life no child should ever have to endure.
Raped at the age of 9 by her own family members, Christina lived as the “family slave.”
Verbally abused and called a “slut,” Christina lived without hope.
But a fateful interaction with this celebrity’s father led her to find a new hope that transformed her life forever.
After her own mother abandoned her, Christina entered the foster system and was passed around like a used toy from family to family, never having a place to truly call home.
But while in high school, Christina had an interaction with Tim Tebow’s father who planted a seed in her heart which appeared to change the entire trajectory of her life.
And her story is a convicting reminder to us all to never underestimate what the power of God can do to restore a life which the enemy sought to destroy.
According to CBN, Christina attended the same high school as Tim Tebow. And one day as she was sitting on the sidewalk, Tim Tebow’s father approached her and asked why she was sitting there alone.
Christina confessed her mom “sometimes forgot to pick her up.” Apparently, her response saddened Mr. Tebow, so he asked if he could pray for her.
Mr. Tebow could have dismissed or ignored her. But by offering to pray for her, Christina was given a glimmer of hope, and reminded to pray for others.
He saw her and made the conscious decision to enter into her pain and bring the peace and hope of Jesus Christ.
This incident changed the entire course of her life and gave her hope.
“Be strong and take heart, all you who hope in the Lord” (Psalm 31:24).
Christina still struggled after graduating high school and was homeless and poor — living out of her car and working multiple jobs to survive. But she held on to her hope and faith in God.
And about 5 years ago Christina received her big break and was crowned Ms. California — a platform she used to publicly speak out and share her story to help troubled youth.
“She traveled all over the country speaking to thousands about overcoming adversity and about the realities facing aging–out foster youth. After her reign as Ms. California ended she continued to share her story all over the country. Her hometown, St. Augustine, Florida, declared her a hometown hero. ‘Who I am as a woman, sister, friend, leader, and child of God has been shaped by my adversities,’ reveals Christina.”
Christina then went on to start a non-profit aimed to help troubled youth caught up in poverty and abuse.
Her memoir CinderGirl: My Journey Out of the Ashes to a Life of Hope which tells her story was just released and you can buy it here.
Christina’s story shows the world how the power of God can take what the enemy meant for evil, and use it for good.
She could have let her past define her, instead she let it transform her.
Giving glory to God, she is now helping others with the hope she was given, showing troubled youth that they are worthy of dignity and respect.
Christina could have healed from her past trauma and simply isolated herself going on to live a “normal life”, not sharing her past with others. But God doesn’t heal us from our past to remain silent – He heals us so we can comfort others with the same comfort we have been given.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction, so that we may be able to comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God” (2 Corinthians 1:4).
And Christina is certainly not missing an opportunity to share her story – her website ChristinaMerith.Org reports she’s been able to share her testimony “all over the country from universities to churches sharing her story encouraging others that they too can heal from the wounds of trauma becoming all they dream to be.”
The most beautiful part about Christina’s story is she gives glory to God for saving her. She also recognizes the Biblical command we have to forgive those who have hurt us.
“When you forgive others, you release them into the care of God. Although it was not God’s will for you to be abused, He does want you to be healed and set free to live out your purpose.”, shares Christina.
Brothers and sisters, if you see someone who appears to be alone and hurting, think about an encouraging word of Scripture you can give them and offer to pray with them. By approaching those who are hurting and entering into their space, you are showing a downcast soul there is hope found in Christ alone.
Who knows what would have happened to Christina had Mr. Tebow not offered to pray with her.
Prayer is a powerful weapon and it should never be taken lightly.
And if you have overcome a personal trauma or struggle in your life, pray for opportunities to share your testimony with another individual who can benefit from seeing how your faith has helped you overcome.
Have you ever been through a personal struggle God has redeemed? What are some ways you could share your testimony to help another person?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family and show them how the power of God can restore even the darkest of circumstances!
And don’t forget to pick up a copy of Christina’s book here.