I grew up too fast, caring for kids in foster care.

Find a healing community.

Starting at a young age, Julie was a caregiver with her parents for kids in foster care with high medical needs. Eventually, several families took her in like their own. As Julie experienced unconditional love, she began to heal from neglect and abuse, developing healthy, fulfilling relationships.

"That love and joy has never gone away. Feeling this worthwhile is for you too."

Will you have your "step into the light moment?"

Video Transcription

My name is Julie Philippi. I was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon.

I was born into a family of five kids, very chaotic house who also eventually provided medical needs foster care for lots of babies, lots of toddlers. Kids straight from the hospital who, you know, they had severe colic or we had kids with down syndrome. We had a quadriplegic girl for a while who's my foster sister for nine years.

I essentially would say I was kind of employed by my mom. I was definitely not my own person that she saw and loved and accepted and welcomed and nurtured. I was definitely like a helper or an employee. I remember being like maybe like 10 years old. I had a baby that would stay in my room overnight and I was in charge of waking up and feeding this baby every two to four hours which made me independent but also left me with no caregivers for me. Very much unwanted. In fact, my mom verbatim like had told me that at one point in my adult life.

Beyond that in grade school, I was really athletic. I did every sport. I was very social but at home, it was not a good environment. There was a lot of emotional abuse, a lot of neglect, and some sexual abuse as well that I endured during that time. So, my outlets were anything outside of my home.

I would say I met Jesus when I was in high school for real. When I began high school, I was invited to youth group by one of my soccer friends. I remember that being kind of the start oh, this is my path in life. I was seeking maternal figures, seeking a sense of family. I just had tons of families who would just take me and receive and then give me love.

I just remember being scared to be curious like, why does God love me like this and my parents don't and each time my youth pastor and his wife who I was really close with would kind of, you know, just meet me with, you know, it's just love like you've probably not felt this kind of love before. It's interesting because it was foreign but also incredibly familiar. Like it just made sense and it sat in my heart.

God's love and what he does and how he repairs your life is there's no real words for it. It's indescribable.

I mean when I was in high school and in that first church that I was really like you know hugged by that community. I watched all these kids and in a lot of ways like babysitting these kids was healing pieces of my little kid heart and some of those families actually multiple of those families kind of received me as a part of their family in many ways like I would babysit and spend the night at one family's house learned a lot about siblings and how you could be attached to you know siblings are younger and what it would be like to be a big sister that kind of thing it's a direct reflection of what God has put in my life and given to me and restored and I knew God was for me he was with me it was God seeing me and then putting these people in my life to kind of repair pieces that have been broken before.

When I accepted Jesus, he put me not just in one family but in many families where I had different roles that I was received with unconditional love and really wrapped, you know, in his love through all these people.

Today, Jesus to me is the person I talked to about everything. Basically, like the backbone of everything I do was Jesus. Getting to know Jesus I call it a step into the sun moment and you realize life can feel this good. You've seen something you've never seen before and you're not going to go back because it's too good. It's like stepping into the sun for the first time. He's that sun, that warmth, that joy. You feeling this worthwhile is for you too.