The Christian Broadcasting Network

The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Sharon Harris: Rescued from Despair

By Dory Nissen
The 700 Club

CBN.comWitnessing wild parties with lots of drugs and alcohol is Sharon Harris’s earliest memory.  Her mom was an addict.

“Every weekend there would be lots of drug use, lots of drinking,” Sharon tells The 700 Club, “which would always ultimately end in violence. I was terrified.  I never knew as a child what the next day held.”

Sharon relied on her sister Sojnya to ease her fear.

“As I lay in the dark in my bed, there was sense of security.  In my mind as a child if I could just hold on to my sister and I was next to her, I would be all right.”

Along with fear, came confusion.  Sharon simply couldn’t understand why her mother didn’t love her.

“My mother never kissed me.  My mother never hugged me,” she says. “I would do anything that I thought would make her happy just so I could get the love and acceptance from her.  But that never happened.”

As she grew older, Sharon’s fear of drugs and what they had done to her family turned into curiosity. “I can remember as early as 10 years old, I experimented with marijuana.”

When her mother found out, she gave her more.  So Sharon and her mom started getting high together.

“She would cry, I would cry.  We were able to connect and communicate in a way that we never did.”

Then Sharon was raped by a neighbor.  Assuming it was yet another normal part of life, Sharon continued to sleep with the man who was 20 years old.  Sharon was 11.  It wasn’t long before she was pregnant and gave birth to a boy. Social services quickly removed the child from her care.

“It was extremely painful,” she recalls. “I had no reason to live.  That’s how I felt. I felt I had no reason to live, because the only thing that I felt that loved me was this baby.”

At 14, Sharon left home, moved in with other drug addicts and was soon pregnant again.  This time, she moved in with the baby’s father who was twice her age and abusive. He beat her regularly for years until one day he almost killed her.  She knew she had to leave.  Another drug addict took Sharon and her daughter in.  His house too was full of violence.

She says, “They would be fighting over the gun, and I’m sitting there with my daughter.  At any time, it could just go off and killed me, killed her.” 

Sharon knew her life was a mess but didn’t know how to change.

“I lived every day of my life in a state of hopelessness.  I never thought anything good would come out of my life.”

One night Sharon got a phone call from her sister Sonjya who had moved to Milwaukee and had become a Christian.   She wanted Sharon to come and live with her.

“In my heart, I always knew that my sister loved me,” she says, crying.

Sonjya explained to Sharon that Jesus Christ could change her life.

“I thought maybe God does love me.  Maybe there is hope for me.  Maybe, just maybe, something good may happen in my life.”

Sharon asked Jesus into her life.

“And I just said, ‘Lord, all I have, all I ever hoped to be...  God, if You could just take this pain, the depths of my pain, and if You can make anything good from my life God, here I am.’  I totally surrendered my life to the Lord.”

Sharon took her daughter and left but had nowhere to go. 

“I said, ‘God, help me.’ A lady came out of her apartment, and she said the Lord woke her up and told her to bring us in. When that happened, I knew God was real.  I knew at that point that God was truly real.”

The women helped Sharon connect with a women’s shelter.  The staff helped her gain custody of her first child and provided transportation to Milwaukee.  At 17 years old, Sharon and her children moved in with her sister and left a life of drugs and alcohol behind.

“For me, I didn’t have 12 steps, I didn’t have treatment.  I had the Word of God.  I was in an environment that conducive to my spiritual growth and maturity.”

Sharon met and married a Christian man named Harry who raised her children as his own. Sharon got her GED and went on to get a college degree.  Today, she travels around the nation telling her dramatic story and sharing how God can save even in the midst of despair.

“He rescued me, but He saw in me what I could become. He loved me too much to leave me in the hopeless state that I was in. His loving kindness pulled me up from hopeless situation, and He has caused something beautiful to come out of my life. The pain of my past no longer dictates my future, because I realize that because of Jesus Christ, I have a future.”

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