Stories of Transformed lives
Stories of hope
Shay began her journey back to God through Adult & Teen Challenge at the young age of 14. After her parent’s divorce when she was 7 years old, she experienced highs and lows while living with her mom. They began moving around often while her mom was in and out of relationships, leaving Shay feeling desperate for some kind of security in her life. A few years later, she went to live with her dad who had recently remarried to her stepmom.
“It was hard at first because I didn’t know who she was going to be to me and I didn’t know how we were going to get along. I started to feel like her expectations for me were changing often and I didn’t feel like I could meet them all of the time. So I stopped trying.”
Read the Rest of Shay's Story
Shay began failing classes at school, being disrespectful to her parents and teachers, and acting out in various ways. She wanted to rebel against all authority.
“I didn’t have any self-worth, I didn’t see myself as valuable.”
After years of struggling with this part of herself, Shay was brought to the Adult & Teen Challenge Boise Girls Academy by a transport service. She was scared and confused; she didn’t know where the transport was taking her. After arriving at the program, Shay struggled to accept that she needed help. She felt completely worthless and couldn’t trust anyone.
“I didn’t want to take ownership of my actions. I recognize now that my actions did cause a lot of pain and hurt to my family. The further I got into the program I saw that I needed to take more ownership and I wanted to heal.”
Change came for Shay after a parent’s weekend at the Boise Girls Academy a few months into her 15 month program. After spending some time with her parents, she realized how much of a burden she had been to them and for the first time felt sorry for her actions. She noticed a new desire in her for peace and a healthy relationship with them.
“I was sorry and I finally saw how much my parents did love me, my dad especially. Even through everything our relationship has been through, he still loves me a lot. That is when I realized I genuinely wanted to change.”
As Shay continued through her program, she felt like God was reaching out to her in tons of ways but especially through the other people around her. She learned about who He is and how much He loved her through the love of those other people.
Although she missed home and was struggling through change, she made fun memories with the other girls in the program and was able to act her age in a safe environment. After graduating the program, Shay became an intern and has just finished her first year. She is now 18 years old and is excited for what a life with God has to offer.
“I am excited to get my drivers license and I hope to one day be successful in working for Adult & Teen Challenge. I want to finish high school and get a car. I want to always keep growing and furthering my walk with God.”
Shay now knows that God always comes through on His promises. She is able to look back on all of the prayers that He has answered for her and knows that her future is safe with Him. A verse that speaks to her is Isaiah 43:18-19.
“If I could go back and speak with my 14 year old self, I would tell her that it is going to get better. It won’t be perfect and you will still struggle but the best is yet to come.”
From the first call we made to Boise Girls Academy we knew it was the right fit for our family. Matt Shaw (the director) understood our situation and our concerns and offered great advice and a plan that made sense for us. Heather and the staff at BGA are kind, caring and communicative. Adult & Teen Challenge was a very positive experience for us and has made all the difference in the world in our family dynamic.
“What a transformation. The dedicated BGA staff saved our daughter’s life and led her into a life of purpose in serving God and wanting to do more selfless work in her future. We thank God every day for BGA.”