Jessica Rexroat: Giving Jesus Control
By Jewel Graham Taylor
The 700 Club
CBN.com-“I’ll never forget finding out I was pregnant,” Jessica Rexroat said, “ It’s like the world stopped as I’m looking at that pregnancy test. Especially because I came from the family I had come from.”
Jessica Rexroat grew up in a family that was in church every time the doors were open. She had just graduated high school and received her college acceptance letter.
Jessica remembers, “I think at that point I had hoped I would have died. I could not imagine anything worse than telling my parents who had taught me all those years about the sanctity of the marriage bed.”
But Jessica had not listened to her parents for years. The separation between her and her family started when a cousin abused her.
“Due to the abuse, there was anger that built up and resentment and secrecy and shame. Those things started piling on,” Jessica said, “and so I started closing down and started pulling away from the family.”
The emotional wounds of the abuse sent Jessica into a deep depression. In addition to being promiscuous, she began cutting herself.
“My cutting marks go all up and down my arm, and there’s some on my legs. I would use scissors, I would use knives, I would use box cutters, I would use glass. By then I was cutting to the point of ‘if I died, that was okay,’” she said.
Shortly after she gave birth, Jessica’s depression worsened. Her parents gained guardianship of her daughter. Jessica was diagnosed with bipolar disease.
“I was hospitalized five times. Cutting on myself, I think at one point I was on like nine different medications. I would have a job, would lose a job, would have a job, would lose a job. I moved from home to home. I was married three times within and eight or nine year period. I hopped from relationship to relationship, grasping at some sort of semblance of a normal life. I think that is what the marriages were about. I knew I wanted stability, structure, love and some normalcy. I was empty,” Jessica said.
After her third marriage dissolved, Jessica was out of places to go. She was thirty years old when she moved back in with her parents. Jessica’s sister was still living in their parent’s home. The two had great nights of here laying in Jessica’s bed with her, just hanging out and talking to her. Jena shared Christ’s love with her older sister.
Jessica described her sister’s faith, “It wasn’t a faith where she had to walk around shaking her finger or she had to get in my face and talk to me about it. She didn’t need to preach to me, she just loved me and then lived her faith in front of me and never forced it on me.”
Jena said, “I think I loved my sister without even realizing it, just because she’s my sister. I think through my curiosity of what her life was like we kind of formed a relationship that I then began to intentionally love her because I started to realize and recognize what it was she needed.”
Jessica went of church services with her sister.
“There was this energy and this warmth and this love and openness; an acceptance of everything. Their arms were open and they wanted to listen and love and just live their lives next to me. So that was the low point and the turning point when Jena brought me into a whole new view of what Christianity and faith really is,” Jessica said.
The two sisters attended a baptismal service one Sunday evening.
“I literally felt this tightness in my chest,” Jessica said. “Like the hairs standing up on your arms and there was an undeniable pull.” Then, Jessica knew she was ready to commit her life to God and be baptized. “I don’t’ think I have been that excited since I was baptized. When I came up out of that water, I put my hand in the air and I screamed! Everybody laughed but for me it was a celebration. I understood that as I came up I was a brand new person. Really! Not just figuratively, not because I’m going to go to church now, but because he will change my heart and He will change the brokenness and take it away.”
Over the past eight years, Jessica says she has been healed from the wounds of the past. She married again and her husband Fred became a Christian as well. She had a second chance at parenting both her daughter and their son. And Jessica’s relationship with her parents is restored.
“I think those people are broken and angry and lost and hurt and had terrible, unbelievable worse things happen to them than me, and if they hear messages of Christianity and faith I want them to know that it isn’t pretty talk. It is not just words and the idea of being saved or born again or being made new again if not a figure of speech – that it literally happens! It is not a process of counseling or medication in your hand; it is a true renewal and healing. You can have knowledge about Christianity all day long, but it is the faith that is the key. Once you have that faith, those promises come true!” she said.
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