Teen Can’t Read

I first met Monica when she was 16 and incarcerated for the eighth time. She told me she had multiple problems for which she took an abundance of medication.

She said she had ADD—Attention Deficit Disorder.  She claimed she could not read and struggled with depression, fears, anxieties and social phobias.

I handed her my Bible and asked her to read John 3:16. “You said you can’t read. I want to see how bad your reading is.”

She stumbled over some words, but slowly read the entire verse.

I said, “Monica, you CAN read!  I suspect you don’t read very often. Is this true?”

She nodded.

“I think if I brought you a book that was simple and really interesting, you could read it. I believe if you were to begin reading a little bit every day, your reading would get better and better. God loves you, Monica. He wants you to be able to read and to enjoy reading. He wants you to read the Bible, too, and learn more about Him and His plans for you. I think we should pray and ask Him to help you.

“Here’s an idea!  Next week I’ll bring a good but simple book. We will pray and ask God to give you understanding. We’ll pray that He will help your reading get better and better and better. What do you think?”

“I don’t know.”

“Are you willing to try? Would you like to see what God can do in your life?”


I began bringing her books for early readers. We would pray that God would give her understanding. Week after week she would proudly tell me she’d read my book/s. She progressed until she was reading The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder—how she loved those! Every week she was waiting to tell me she’d finished another book and was eager to begin a new one.  One day she said, “My mother is so happy.  She can’t believe I’m reading books!”

Not only was she reading books, she was also reading the Bible. One day she said she didn’t require as much medication anymore. God had removed her anxieties—but she still had her social phobia.

“What? You still have social phobia? Monica, when the call came for Bible study tonight, I saw you stand.  I saw the other girls sneer and make remarks as you walked away. Yet you stood tall and came anyway.  That took guts!  If you still had social phobia you could not have done that.

“God has changed you so much and you don’t even realize it!  Let’s thank Him for what He has already done and for what He will continue to do in your life.”


[This life is temporary. This life is short.  When this life is over, our bodies will die and become empty shells, but our souls will continue to live forever.  Where will the “real you” live?  Will you live for all eternity separated from God?  Or will you spend eternity in the presence of God in heaven?   Learn more so you can make your most important decision:   http://www.godlife.com/gospel/  and  http://www.godlife.com/en/about-christianity

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About Kathleen

God delights in working through His people as they submit to Him. Jesus said to go into all the world and preach the good news to everyone (Mark 16:15). No matter where we live on this planet, people are separated from God because of sin. We ALL need a Savior, and there’s only ONE. It brings me great joy to share Christ with the lost and lonely. Over the years I’ve learned a great deal while facilitating Bible studies. I’ve found myself on college and university campuses, the beach, the streets, the hospital, the jail and the juvenile facility for incarcerated teens sharing God’s message of love. I also serve as an online missionary with Global Media Outreach. I’ve seen countless lives transformed when people turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. The changes God makes are real and lasting. These are some of my experiences. NOTE: My stories have been altered, removing any and all identifying factors. This includes names and other particulars in order to protect confidentiality and anonymity.
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10 Responses to Teen Can’t Read

  1. Jeannie says:

    How precious are the feet of those who bring good news! That is the song I think about when I read your posts Kathleen. What a precious daughter of the Lord you are! You are so loved!

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