From the outside, Julie Ann Rose's childhood home was a place of beauty. Inside those four walls was anything but that.
At the age of six, Rose's father began abusing her, both physically and sexually.
"He would beat me. He sexually abused me. He sold me to other men to sexually abuse me," said Julie Ann. "The complicated thing was that he was very wealthy. My parents literally owned the town of Libby, Montana. He had all this power and influence in that town, so there was no one I could go to or talk to."
Julie says this left her feeling like a rag doll that was used up and tossed aside.
"I was confused. I equated sex with love because that's the only time [my dad] said he loved me," said Julie.
Even amid abuse, Julie says she had an incredible love and joy in her that no one could take away.
"I remember getting beat up badly by my dad and then going to this waterfall to cleanse myself," said Rose. "I remember asking God to help me love a broken world. Little did I know that God was going to accomplish that statement."
The abuse went on for years before Julie eventually ran away.
"I had just turned 17 and was pregnant, and I didn't even know who from," Julie explained. "My home became very violent at that time. My father started beating me even more. They didn't give me a choice. They took me to an abortion clinic and forced me to have an abortion. It sucked the life out of me in every single way. I didn't want to do this."
The day after she graduated high school, Julie took her diploma, walked two miles to the train station and left town.
Her problems didn't end there. She faced a road of endless trouble until she met Jesus.
"In the middle of the night, I heard a voice that said, Julie, I love you. That voice woke me up. I knew somewhere someone loved me," said Julie. "By then, I had had two abortions. I was a volunteer for Planned Parenthood and I had slept with so many men. I was the worst sinner ever, but it didn't seem to matter because someone out there loved me."
This was a turning point in Julie's life. She says this started her down a path of forgiveness and beauty.
"God's love got me through. God's joy got me through. I always had an unending fountain of joy inside of me. I knew that God was meeting me in profound ways even though I may not have known it."
She went on to forgive her father, and today Julie is a Christian therapist, licensed ordained pastor, writer and speaker helping other trauma victims find freedom.
Today on Connections, Julie Ann Rose shares her powerful testimony, how she survived the trauma she experienced and how she is using her experience to help other trauma victims.