I have been a prostitute for twenty years, thanks to my “mother.” She was a drug addict and my father was a drunk, and they sent me out to prostitute myself to support their habits….

My life is ruined, and the only thing I know is that I’m not worth anything…. I think the best thing I could do is kill myself so that I could stop this suffering that makes my life so bitter…. I don’t even have God’s forgiveness for all the bad things I’ve done.

Dear Friend,

Do you realize that the God of the universe knows who you are, knows how you became what you are, and loves you more than you can imagine? It’s true. You probably think of God as a harsh dictator who wants to punish you for all the bad things that you’ve done. But actually, God is a loving Father who wants to forgive you and then give you a brand-new life.

You say that your father was a drunk. Both your negative experience with him and your current opinions about him affect your beliefs about God, our Heavenly Father. Children who grow up with harsh, demanding fathers tend to think that God is harsh and demanding. Likewise, children who have fathers that abandoned them (either physically or emotionally) grow up believing that God is distant and uncaring. On the other hand, children who grow up with loving and caring fathers, unless they are explicitly taught otherwise, tend to think of God as loving and caring.

Our beliefs must not be based on our experiences. You can believe the world is spotted because your glasses are dirty. You can believe that no one is loving because you have not met loving people. You can believe that God is unconcerned about you because your biological father seemed not to care. And you can believe that you are not worth anything because that is the way your parents treated you. But believing any of that doesn’t make it true!

The truth is based on the Bible, God’s message to the human race. Through the pages of the Bible we learn of a loving, caring God who is separated from us because of our sins. But we also learn that God found a way to reach us by giving His only Son to pay for our sins. He gave His Son, Jesus Christ, to pay the penalty for your sins so that you could freely come to know Him and experience Him as your loving Heavenly Father. Jesus already suffered the consequences of your sin, so you don’t need to suffer any longer. Just pray in your own words and ask God to forgive you for the sins that you have committed and to give you a new life. Then begin to pray every day asking God to take away the bitterness, rejection, and lack of self‑worth. God can do a miracle in your life if you will only ask.

Your friends,

Linda and Charles