Real Families. Real Hope.
Offer God's hope to hurting families.
Yes, I will help struggling families!

Desperate for Love

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
Kendra and her daughter, Lyelia (Howard Photo + Film)
Kendra and her daughter, Lyelia
Kendra was searching for affirmation ... in all the wrong places

She just wanted to be loved. She just wanted somebody — anybody — to tell her that she was smart or funny or pretty. Instead, Kendra heard that she was ugly and undesirable ….

And a mistake.

Daddy told Kendra how he was drunk when she was conceived; how Mommy had tricked him into getting her pregnant; how it never would have happened if he had been sober. Daddy also told Kendra that she would turn out just like her mother. Whether that meant she would be an addict or an AIDS patient didn’t really matter. Whatever he meant, Kendra didn’t like it. Whatever he meant, Mommy was still dead.

Mommy passed away when Kendra was 10. Like most 10-year-olds, Kendra didn’t know much about AIDS or how Mommy got it, but she knew enough. She knew it was a disease people died from.

Kendra remembers visiting the hospital, her mother on life support.

“She was holding her hand out to me, trying to get me to come to her,” she recalls. “But I was

It was her last memory of Mommy alive.

A broken road

Kendra went to live with Aunt Tricia, but — unlike Mommy — Aunt Tricia had rules. By high school,
Kendra had started skipping classes, and then skipping school altogether. Aunt Tricia was done.
“You’re going to live with your father,” she said.

Staying with Daddy was Kendra’s punishment. Her father’s insults were now routine, and she
eventually started believing them.

“I wanted anybody to love me,” she says. “I would try to get close to my friends’ moms so they could
love me. That’s how it started with the boys. I wanted what I saw in the movies. I wanted to be
loved like that.”

Any boy who gave her attention — a compliment or even just a smile — Kendra ran with it. All the

“I ended up giving my body to different boys in school. That cycle began in high school, and it
lasted well into my adult years.”

Pleading to God

By age 21, Kendra was a single mother on her own. Her daughter’s father had evaporated, but she had
a good job as a medical assistant, a new apartment and some money in the bank.

The only nights Kendra wasn’t out drinking were when she couldn’t find a baby sitter. Weekends,
weekdays, didn’t matter. Yet regardless how late she stayed out on Saturday, Kendra was in church
come Sunday morning. She’d listen to the sermon and tell herself she was going to change, but that
conviction never made it past the sanctuary doors.

Convincing herself that she needed extra money, Kendra became a stripper.

“I thought that men loved strippers,” she says. “You can control men with your body. I wanted … just to be wanted.”

She assisted patients during the day and danced for men at night, while her daughter stayed with
family or friends — sometimes for days at a time. Kendra eventually quit dancing and tried to settle
down, but a broken engagement and two failed pregnancies left her barren and lonely. She’d spent a
lifetime looking for others to fulfill her, to complete her, and now no one was even answering the

“It was just me and God. I got down on my knees, and I was screaming, I was crying, I was praying,
‘Lord, please, I don’t wanna feel like this anymore.’

“I said, ‘Lord, You got it. I won’t call on anybody else. The only person I should be dependent on
is You.’ It didn’t get better right away, but that was the moment I realized, when nobody else
answers the phone, I can always call on Jesus.”

A fresh start

Not long after that night on her knees, Kendra got a new job at a doctor’s office. She had stopped
drinking, but she was struggling to remain abstinent and her daughter was acting out. It was her new
co-worker Mayerlin who told Kendra about a radio program called Focus on the Family.

“It had such a big impact,” Mayerlin says. “She would come in each morning and tell me what she
heard and how she was going to make changes in her life. It just encouraged her to seek God

Kendra related to host Jim Daly and his story of losing his mother at a young age.

“From the very first show, I was hooked,” Kendra says. “I’ve gotten tools and advice that I don’t
think I would have learned anywhere else.”

Mayerlin says Kendra has realized the power of forgiveness and the damage associated with sex
outside of marriage. And the positive changes she’s seen in Kendra have overflowed into her
daughter’s life.

“Focus on the Family helped her become a better mother and is preparing her to be a good

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.

Understand How to Respect and Love your Son Well

Why doesn’t my son listen to me? Have you ever asked that question? The truth is, how you see your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. In fact, we’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.
Book Cover: Aftershock A Plan for Recovery

Aftershock: Overcoming His Secret Life with Pornography: A Plan for Recovery

This book is for women who have discovered their husband’s struggle with pornography and other sexual infidelities. Based on biblical principles and psychologically sound advice, Aftershock is designed to help women heal, grow, and receive restoration for themselves, their husbands, and their marriages.

That the World May Know

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

You May Also Like