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The Path to Freedom Started Behind Bars

 “I don't remember her leaving. I don't remember her packing up. I don't remember her saying goodbye. One day she was just gone, and my father was left with all of us,” Katherine Llop says. When Katherine was just 10, her mother left her four children and her husband.

“My father had a very hard time and he emotionally checked out,” Katherine says. “I don't remember doing homework with him or anything. I just became very lonely and confused and I was a very sad child.”

Katherine became rebellious and sought comfort in alcohol at a young age. “I had a lot of wounds in my spirit. I started believing lots of lies about myself, about abandonment, and, you know, if my mother could abandon me, she must not love me. I must not be worthy of anyone's love. I started drinking and I got arrested for the first time when I was 12 years old.”

At 13, she ran away and began living on the streets.  

“I didn't care about things anymore.  I was going to go out and do what I needed to do to make myself feel whole. I ran away to the streets of Atlanta and I lived on the streets with other street kids. I lived in an apartment that was abandoned. I started using drugs then too. I smoked marijuana. I tried cocaine. I did LSD for the first time. I was not going to school. My father and my family were looking for me. And they actually did find me, and I went back to jail.”

Katherine was then sent to live in the young women’s residences at boys’ town, where she lived with a stable, loving family. “There was a couple that I lived with, Mack and Carey, and they figured me out very quick. I became a professional at walking around with all of my wounds sealed very well with Band-Aids. They challenged my walls that I had up with pure, pure love. Carey was the first one that told me about what it was like for her when she asked Jesus to come into her heart. I never really read the Bible. I never learned anything about who Jesus was, why He came. All I knew was that there was a God, and something about Him seemed right.”

Katherine got clean, made good grades and was even a cheerleader and prom queen at the high school she attended. Her senior year, she got an unexpected phone call.  “It was my mother and I was very shocked. I had nothing to do with my mom for an entire decade, And I was just so happy. I wasn't mad that she had been gone for so long and had nothing to do with me. All I wanted to do was talk to my mother.”  

The two reconciled for a while, but then their relationship soured, sending Katherine down an emotional spiral again. “After my freshman year in college, I started using drugs again,” she says.

Several more arrests followed. “They have a program called Drug Court, and they offer it to first time offenders,” she says. “You get randomly drug tested. I relapsed maybe a month later and went AWOL from the program. I got picked up and sent back to jail.”

While she was in jail, Katherine began seeking God. later, her father introduced Katherine to a friend who was a Christian. “She was trying to understand how my life had gotten there. And I told her all about it she said, ‘Katherine, Jesus is here right now.’ She was like, ‘He wants to heal you. Do you want to be healed?’ When I prayed with her, I physically felt something leave the center of my body,” she says. “And I just had this cleansing cry. It was a cry of relief and joy”

Despite the power of this supernatural experieince, Katherine was tempted by drugs one last time.  “It was the longest stretch of a very dark drug addiction I've ever had in my life,” she says. “It was so demonic, and I saw demonic things. And I went to jail again. February 7th, 2007.”

Katherine knew she was done playing games with God.

“In that cold jail cell, I chose life that day. And I know in that instant I was delivered from drug addiction, and my life was never the same after that day,” Katherine says. “I had a lot of hard work ahead of me. And there were some days Jesus had to drag me through life and He did. But I chose Him every day, no matter how hard it was.”  

Katherine was once again released to attend a halfway house treatment program. She also began studying scripture, and plugged into a local church. “I wanted to know more about this Jesus guy,” she says. “I started diving into scripture. I was like, ‘I'm going to read this book and see what this is all about. All of a sudden, all of these lies that I believed about myself, started being filled with what I call spiritual bricks. Lies started being removed from my spirit and I had supernatural downloads of truth into my spirit. All opf these lies I had heard my entire life started leaving.”

She has reconciled with her parents, and has written her testimony in ‘undeniable god.’ she is also involved with a messianic Jewish dance ministry in Atlanta, and knows she is finally free indeed.

“Every single thing I had ever experienced with God was confirmed in the Word,” she adds. “In Psalms there's a verse, ‘I came to heal the broken hearted and set the captives free.’ because I experienced that. God has been so real in my life. I live a life of wanting to please God because He has been so good and so undeniable to me. He set me free. He healed me and swung the prison door wide open. It was just up to me to walk out. “

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