Content / Trigger Warning: This episode does contain mentions and descriptions of abuse, rape, attempted suicide, self-harm, and trauma. If any of this may be triggering for you, we recommend you either listen carefully, listen with someone else, or you may even consider skipping this episode.
Tricia Collins’ primary memory from her childhood was one of fear. Tricia grew up in and aged out of the foster care system after she was the victim of horrific abuse at the hand of her dad. But through the people God placed in her life, she overcame obstacles and started to find healing from what was done to her. In this conversation, Tricia openly shares her story, how God worked through other people to pursue her, what it has looked like for her to experience healing, and the eternal impact one foster family had on her life. Today, she is the Director of Missional Impact at Child Bridge in Montana, connecting the church to the needs of children in foster care and asking them to step in and make a difference like Jesus did for us. Tricia’s story is an absolute glory to God, and we are grateful to share it with you today.
HERE ARE 3 TAKEAWAYS FROM TODAY’S CONVERSATION:
1. Healing from trauma takes time.
Healing takes time. Tricia shared a powerful story of how her foster parents met her right where she was at, not rejecting her based on her behavior, but instead recognizing all of it as a result of the pain she was experiencing. That acceptance and love was something she had never experienced and was crucial to start the process of healing. This is a slow process. Tricia wasn’t able to fully articulate her gratitude or healing journey until years after her healing journey started.
“These were different people and they worked with me differently too. Their M.O. was acceptance so they didn’t judge me for my behavior. They saw my behavior as an outcome of my upbringing.”
2. The effects of abuse and trauma impact our perspective of God.
For Tricia, the abuse she endured at the hands of her dad greatly impacted how she perceived God. When she heard people refer to God as “Father,” she couldn’t escape what she had experienced with her own father. It took time, and a whole lot of redemption for that title, for God to reshape her understanding of what a father is and should be.
“One of the things to understand is that as an abused person, they talk about how Jesus comes into your body, and as an abused person I have to name that and say, ‘I’m not a super big fan of inviting men into my body.’…And they called God a ‘Father’ and based on the fathers I had, I would tell you that you can keep your God.”
3. God is not done with you or your story.
It is easy to feel discouraged about where our story is at or how little “progress” is occurring. But our story isn’t finished being written yet. Our foster child’s story isn’t finished yet! There is hope and God is still at work shaping and writing each of our stories. No matter what chapter we’re in, He has called us to be faithful and obedient, leaving the ultimate outcome in His hands.
“We are in charge of the output and not the outcome.”
Meet Our Guest
Tricia Collins is the Director of Missional Impact at Child Bridge, an organization that connects the church to the needs of children that have been abused or neglected. Her own story started with abuse and she grew up in foster care. Tricia’s experiences gave her a powerful voice for the voiceless. Her life verse is Genesis 50:20, which says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” And her hope is that her testimony would bring hope and encouragement to all who hear it. In addition to her work at Child Bridge, Tricia is a wife and mother to two school-aged girls.
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