Cheri Njiru

I was raised as a Christian. When I was a teenager, my dad was called to ministry. Moving from the role of churchgoer to becoming a spotlight of the church turned out to be a more difficult transition than anticipated.  We moved to to about three churches in my teenager years; which made it hard for me to feel like I had a home church.  The hardest part was the pressure from being the pastor’s daughter and having unforeseen expectations on me such as not living up to the perfect Pastor’s Kid role (e.g., always telling the truth, not praying or doing devotionals every day).  I always longed for a deeper relationship with God but many times, I felt as though I was just going through the motions and meeting the minimum expectations as a believer.

In my late teens, my life took a dark turn and my faith was shaken.  I put my trust in an individual, who I thought was a friend.  This so-called "friend" invited me to a get-together where I was alone with him and another one of his friends who I had never met. I was forced to do things that I am ashamed of and left me scarred to this day.  In that moment, I wondered why God would allow someone to steal my purity.  It has, since, taken many years for someone to earn my trust.  To this day, I battle with lies that leave me feeling damaged, ashamed, and unworthy of love which is something I am still working through with Christ’s help. 

God placed me right where I needed to be -- in the heart of Azusa Pacific University. He surrounded me with amazing Christian friends who came along side and loved me through these difficult times. I sought Christian counsel through the university and mentorship programs. Through this healing process God reminded me that I am His daughter.  I started to believe the truths about myself that I am loved and cherished and favored in his eyes. He has blessed me in ways I never thought possible. My junior and senior year, I received a full athletic scholarship to do track and field at APU.  I competed in two national championship teams and became a four time All-American. God has recently blessed me with an amazing career in finance and the ability to balance my time coaching track and field at Orange Lutheran High School. Lastly, He blessed me with a husband and soul mate that understands and loves me unconditionally.    

Overall, I will never understand why I had to endure such a terrible act of misconduct but I do know is that this experience will not define who I am!  God has shown me that he has His hands on my life and He only wants the best for me. He has blessed me with more than I could ever imagine. There was a time when I thought my brokenness would prevent me from finding someone to spend the rest of my life with. However, God had a different plan and has blessed me with an amazing man of God who I now call my husband. He is the most generous and loving man I could have ever imagined. He loves me despite my flaws and brokenness. 

Ephesians 3:20: Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.