From Gunpoint to God

gunpt to GodDevastated by the betrayal, abandonment, and pornography of her long-term boyfriend, La Juana searched for hope. For years she tried to show her boyfriend that she was a loving, faithful, and forgiving woman. Eventually she discovered that no matter what she did or how much she gave it would never be enough.

“What the devil meant for harm God uses for good.” La Juana heard this growing up in a southern household until her life dramatically changed at 10 years old. At that time, her parents separated due to her dad having an affair. Before he left, she heard her daddy say he was done with the mamma as well as the chicks. At some point, she promised herself she would never leave someone she loved. She would stick by him no matter what.

La Juana met the father of her child in high school. She was 25 when she got pregnant and they had a daughter the following year. Their little girl had special needs causing the father to have nothing to do with her. Thus began a cycle of break-ups and reunions which spread across 27 years. During that time La Juana stayed loyal and faithful to her boyfriend remembering the pain of her father abandoning her and her mother.

Depressed, there were times that La Juana got out of bed, but could not even comb her hair before going to work. She gained 100 pounds and lost hope and meaning to life.

The final straw came in January of this year. It started when her daughter became sick. She had pneumonia and was in the hospital, yet her dad was too busy with other women to do anything for them.

Soon after her daughter was released from the hospital La Juana was robbed by a young man at gunpoint. At the gas station he stole gasoline from her pump to fill-up his car. Leaving her shocked and shaken over the brazen robbery in mid-day, she called her boyfriend who was with another woman. La Juana explained her fear and concern when she heard his cold response, “That’s too bad. Sorry to hear that.”

La Juana knew then that she could no longer continue to be with someone as insensitive and selfish as this man had been in their 27 year relationship. She needed to overcome her past pain to gain purpose, direction, and respect for herself.

Around the same time of the robbery and leaving her boyfriend, God took away La Juana’s appetite. Food was her crutch, her drug. For 3 weeks she participated in the church-wide fast at the Rock Church in San Diego. The fast helped her gain clarity and rebuild her relationship with God. La Juana learned that she could gain self-control and discipline with God. She no longer wanted to reach for food to fill the void in her heart. Now when she is upset, she uses that as a reason to stop and talk to God and not turn to the comforts of her past.

During the fast, La Juana knew she was meant to take the class on Overcoming Past Pain, since it started the week she ended her unhealthy relationship. God led her to a place where she could release her pain and expose the humiliation of her difficult relationship in a safe community.

At times she felt lonely, but she realized she had no stress, drama, or chaos going on in her head. She felt peace without being used by her boyfriend. Through prayer, fasting, following God’s Word, and the fellowship of other believers she had the support to stand steadfast in God’s truth. Moving forward she determined to let go of the past to never return to a life void of joy and the true love of her heavenly Father.

Although the robbery terrified La Juana, she has since come to appreciate that God can use anything for good. God used this violent crime to completely transform her life. Since then, she has respect for herself as a child of God. In addition, she has lost several pounds and forgiven the young man who held her at gunpoint. She says, “He might have taken something from me, but I have gained so much more.”

Testimony of La Juana Grady was used with permission. Overcome Past Pain is a class taught by Kirsten Strawn using her book LOVING THE UNLOVABLE. Register for Kirsten’s next class, Overcome Fear, taught in San Diego. Schedule Kirsten to speak at your next event or church service by contacting her at Order her book on Amazon by following this link.

God’s Promises:

“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” Genesis 50:20.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who[a] have been called according to his purpose” Romans 8:28.

“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord” Romans 8:37-39.

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  1. Donna

     /  March 14, 2013

    Feeling blessed by La Juana’s story and knowing that God will fill her heart and future with so much more than the past devoured. Thank you for bringing this story to us. To Him be the glory and honor and praise forever!

    • It’s been a blessing to see God at work in La Juana’s life as she has surrendered to God and followed Jesus. I look forward to what He has in store for her.


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