Unwanted and unnamed yet unashamed
Australian wife, mother, writer, and international speaker Christine Caine has come through the challenges of her life to be unstoppable, undaunted and unashamed.
“God created me intentionally. I was not an accident,” says Christine
Christine Caine may have suffered sexual abuse, abandonment from her biological parents and a bout of cancer but nothing will hold her back from life.
In her latest book Unashamed, released last year, Christine shares that her first experience of shame came in the form of racism from her kindergarten peers because she was raised in a Greek family.
Enduring sexual abuse from several men as a child cemented this feeling inside her.
"Nobody talked about that stuff [40 years ago]. You walked in the shame of it, and you buried it," she told Today's Christian Women.
"When you're first abused, you're filled with shame about what is happening to you," Christine says. "When it happens over a long period of time, you then begin to think it's happening because of who you are.
"So I grew up feeling a lot of rejection, shame, insecurity, fear, and anger. Over the years I've had to fight to renew my mind to a place where I understand at the core of my being that Jesus is trustworthy," she says.
Her family were always regular church goers and Christine grew up with a strong God-consciousness, which developed into a personal relationship with Jesus in her early 20s.
"When you're abused, you shut down and think you're used goods. You think God could never really do anything with your life," Christine admits. "It certainly has been the fight of my life to get to the place of trusting God to redeem the broken pieces of my past for his glory."
Christine started to serve in youth ministry in her mid-20s, and that was when she began to deal with her own dark past, in order to help lead others to the light.
"The pain of recovery was great," Christine admits. "We have to undergo a process of restoration to have the wounds of our soul healed, and to allow Jesus to touch those dark places."
Little did she know she would become the director of nationwide youth ministry Youth Alive.
Later, she and her husband Nick founded Equip & Empower Ministries, started the A21 Campaign to prevent human trafficking, and founded Propel Women to "honour the calling of every woman, empower her to lead, equip her for sucChristicess, and develop a sense of God-given purpose".
The truth [about my identity]
never really changedThen, at age 33, Christine found out she had been adopted.
In an instant, her entire life's foundation was shaken. Who she was, where she was from, who her family was, what her cultural heritage was; all had been a lie. She was not the daughter of Greek Orthodox immigrants. She was "unnamed #2508", as she found out once she got a hold of her real birth certificate.
The social worker report said she was "unwanted".
Unwanted, unnamed, yet surprisingly fine, because she explains, "My life is built on the firm foundation of Jesus Christ".
"Even though all the facts about my life changed, the truth really never changed and the truth is that I have a Heavenly Father, and He loves you and me so much that He gave His only begotten son to die for us.
"My birth certificate might say I am unnamed, but God says before I was even formed in my mother's womb He had named me.
Christine Caine. Photo from her book Unashamed
"God created me intentionally. I was not an accident. Even before I got to the planet He planned for me to be here, He planned good works for me to do when I got here. My knowledge of my circumstances have changed, but the truth never has."
Her mind began to race, but she says she "had to trust that God knew what was going on in my life and that if He brought me to it, He would bring me through it. His grace would be sufficient for me".
She wrote on her website: "I was blind-sided by a surprise attack, but God was not. I felt many emotions and very vulnerable, but I could also feel God's presence with me in a very real way."
The growth in Christine's throat was removed during a one-hour surgery two months later, leaving no trace of cancerous cells in that area.
There is a verse in the Bible that says, "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me" (Psalm chapter 23 verse 4).
Christine has walked through many dark valleys in her life. But she says, "There is something about walking through the valley of the shadow of death with Jesus: You come out knowing Jesus.
"No one can take that from you. No one can silence you. You no longer fear." ?
Christine has also authored Undaunted: Daring to do what God calls You to Do and Unstoppable: Running the Race you were Born to Win.