Redeemed! Redeemed! Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb!
Redeemed! Redeemed! His child and forever I am.
First and foremost, that is who I am: Father’s child forever. I am loved. I am beautiful. I am a woman created in God’s image, loved eternally, looking forward to forever with the Love of my Life. I celebrate His work in the world and His life in my heart. That is my identity. That is my story and my song.
Hi, my name is Ellen Kurtz. I’m a part of the millennial generation, thirty to be exact. I lived the first twenty-two years of my life in the plains of the Midwest, but now reside in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. I grew up in conservative Mennonite circles with five siblings now spread from the Midwest to the East Coast. I’m an aunt to twenty-odd nieces and nephews and blessed with amazing friends who know my heart. I’ve worked in various careers: housekeeper for retired folks, teacher in Christian schools, and now an accountant. My hobby is writing, and I love music and read voraciously. I play the organ and dream of learning the harp. Beauty speaks to my soul and connects me to God. Travel excites my senses and languages interest me. Chinese and Hebrew are next on my list! I keep a dream journal, a “bucket list” if you will, and sky diving is only one of the many things on that list with rafting the Grand Canyon a close second.
My story is one of great evil and great redemption, thanks to a God who’s never let me go even when I had let go of Him and all hope. Twelve years of sexual abuse from ages four to sixteen within a dysfunctional family nearly destroyed me. Parents with their own demons of abuse histories and undiagnosed mental disorders added to the trauma. Depression, suicidal thoughts, and plans to run away from home occupied my teen years. At age seventeen, after four long years of hating a God I thought hated me back, I looked down the empty years to come without God and knew I couldn’t do it. God hadn’t ceased wooing me even through those years of incredible pain, and I made a choice at seventeen I never doubted after: I’d follow Him. Through the years since, He’s never let go of me, even during the darkest days.
I live with the aftermath of all that pain now and talk about it freely on this blog. Complex PTSD can make living a productive life a challenge. As a result of all the stress I was under for so long, I was diagnosed with cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, at age twenty-four. That has been a roller coaster ride of multiple treatments during the past five years. A dysfunctional family adds a challenging dynamic to chronic illness and memories of trauma are sometimes triggered by the additional trauma of a cancer diagnosis and treatment. On this blog I post about the strange intersection when sexual abuse, cancer, dysfunctional families, and God collide. While great pain happens, great healing also occurs and God is still in the work of redemption in my life and in the lives of my family. Some days, I stand back in awe. Other days, I hang on through the pain. Whatever happens, He is with me in it.