Not to Be Bought and Sold

“My view of God began to break down after I was raped and beaten by a stranger when I was eleven years old,” said Jordan Hall. “I thought the rape was my fault and was afraid to talk about what happened. It was hard to match the idea of a good and loving God with the reality of my experience, so I closed off my heart to the Lord.

“After years of living in isolation, I began cutting myself as a way to cope with the trauma. I slipped into deep depression that kept me from functioning normally. At 13 years old, I attempted suicide and was taken to a psychiatric facility for adolescents. It was terrifying to be the youngest kid there. I’d describe many of the kids in that facility as ‘throw away kids’ – the ones people were afraid of or could not handle.

“I can’t tell you why, but the kids there loved me sacrificially and selflessly helped me find healing. God used them to give me a glimpse of how He sacrificed Himself so that I could find life in Him. As a result, I decided to share with my parents about the sexual assault and became an active participant in my recovery.

“After high school, I went to Texas Christian University. That was the first time I’d ever been around people who identified as Christ-followers. I always thought God hated me and couldn’t understand why He would allow bad things to happen to me. This experience was different, and eventually, I felt prompted to go to church. On the first day I attended, the sermon was about how a good God could allow evil in this world. What are the odds?

“That day I heard for the first time that God sent His Son, Jesus, to be sacrificed so that sin and evil could be addressed, and I could be reconciled with the Lord. God hated what had happened to me – so much that He did something about it through His Son. Knowing that there was purpose to my suffering ultimately led to finding my hope in Jesus.

“I’ve been on a slow and steady journey to know more about God ever since. At the time, I had no experience with church and was reading the Bible for the very first time. As a new believer, I was trying to figure out what it looked like to be a Christian and truly follow Jesus. But, I became confused when I met those who claimed to be Christians on Sundays, but were partying and living for the world Monday through Saturday.

“I met a group of women who were involved in the re:generation recovery ministry at Watermark. They told me about Shelter, Watermark’s ministry to women who have been sexually abused or assaulted. Sexual abuse is a tool that the Enemy has used to keep myself and others in darkness. Like other women, I believed the lie that people wouldn’t love me if they really knew who I was, and that lie prevented me from living in Christ’s freedom. God used Shelter to help me deal with the burden of shame I was carrying. I learned that God has been with me every step of the way. My hope is that many more women come and experience the love I have found in Christ.

“At Shelter, I met other believers who knew the journey I had been on and loved me. Those women were a beautiful picture of how the Lord loves us completely. Now, I have a community group of women who continue that legacy. They follow Jesus whole heartedly, and are a constant reminder of God’s grace. They pray for me in tough times, rejoice in my victories, and challenge me toward deeper devotion to Jesus.

“Today, I work for The Net Fort Worth, a nonprofit organization serving women and girls who have been sexually exploited, the homeless, and the refugee community in Fort Worth. I have the privilege of working directly with women and girls who have experienced sexual exploitation. Our mission is to share with them the message that they are not to be bought and sold, because they have been purchased on the cross by Jesus. Just as God has used community in my life to remind me that my worth does not lie in what has been done to me or what others say I am, I get to share the Good News that we are desperately loved by the God of the universe.

“God has used this job and many other experiences to completely change the way I see the world. After my assault, I could not see a future for myself. Now, I have a Wonderful Counselor and Savior who comforts me. He is my shield, and I can do all things through Him, because He strengthens me. I still have many places where I need to grow, but I can say with confidence that freedom does not exist anywhere apart from Jesus. He has brought me so much joy!”

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