Identity & Purpose

Bullied, Judged, Hurt: Stories of Those Who Overcame

I Am Second

July 17, 2020 | 3 minute read

Whether it’s a bully in school, unfair assessments at work, cruel comments online, or someone has hurt you, God still has a plan for your life. Whatever you're dealing with, God is with you to help you overcome. We’ve got a few stories to help you see how:

Darrin Ray came into this world with no roof to his mouth and a deformed face. This led to years of bullying. His physical struggles continued when later a drunk driver struck him head on leaving his body broken. While he worked to heal physically, he’d also have to learn how to heal emotionally.

“I knew I needed to forgive him. But I didn’t want to. I wanted him to suffer, like he made me suffer, like he made my family suffer.”

“Growing up all I saw was broken pieces. But God took those broken pieces and put them back into something completely different to make me whole again. Oh what a life he gives.”

“Out of my despair God brought me hope. At first I wanted to die, but now I want to live. Not only do I want to live, but I want to live for him.”

“They held a restitution hearing. I asked the judge to forgive the amount of debt [$2.5 million] that this man owed us directly… because I have a savior who forgave me my debts that I could never repay.”

“When I learned how to forgive this guy, it made me better and not bitter. I think it really really helped me to heal.”


Doug Bender struggled to make friends. Negative thoughts and self-doubt filled his mind. He hated the way he looked and the way he talked. And the bullying he experienced at school only compounded it all. Then when he invited his classmates to his birthday party and no one showed, he knew the worst of his fears to be true. Did anybody love him?

“Inside of me, I was just dying. What is wrong with me? Why isn’t anybody coming? On that day, I just felt like nobody loves me.”

“I used to cry myself to sleep every night and just begged God. I said, ‘God, I just want one good friend.’ I looked at other people who had friends and I was just so jealous.”

“I believed in God. I went to church and all that. But there was something missing in the fact that I didn’t quite understand that God loved me.”

“As my 16th birthday rolled around, my mom insisted that I was going to have a party, even though I hadn’t had one since the one where no one showed. I was nervous that nobody would come. But everybody came.”

“I realized that I had friends now. But bigger than that, I realized that the small prayer that I had as a kid was something that God heard. All those years I prayed for a friend, and I finally realized that God was that person. God was my friend.”


Moriah Peters Smallbone had beauty, charisma, and a voice that could make you weep. After months of tryouts and callbacks, she finally won her place before the American Idol judges. While they noted her obvious talent, they voted her out because they wanted sexy and edgy. Could she still find God’s purpose for her when the world only had judgment?

“There’s a few months between the first audition, when you see that huge arena full of people, and that moment on the screen when you see the contestants in front of the celebrity panel. I made it through those few months of auditions and I got to the celebrity panel. They complimented my voice, complimented my look, but then they started saying things like, ‘So we see on your bio here that you’ve never kissed anybody and that you teach a girls’ Bible study.’”

“Then the comments came, ‘You need to go out and kiss somebody and that’ll make you feel sexier, and then come back.’”

“I walked out of the room and I was fighting the tears. But then this small part of me said, ‘God has opened up the doors up until this point, but now he’s closed them. I’m not going to question any of this, because I know that he has a greater plan.’”

“Really, from the time that I stepped out of the auditioning room to existing the building was the amount of time that it took for God to open the next door and do a complete miracle.”

“A man came chasing after me and said, ‘I heard you singing and I want you to meet somebody.’ Since then I have signed with a label, signed with the manager, and I’m engaged to Joel.”


God has a plan. That plan often runs through a lot of struggles, hardships, and, yes, the cruel or unfair judgments and actions of others. But in the end, God’s plan always wins out.

I Am Second

I Am Second

Blogs written by the I Am Second editorial team.

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