Katarina MacLeod says if it weren't for God and her eldest daughter, Deidre, life would be so much different.

Growing up, MacLeod experienced physical and sexual abuse, along with plenty of other trauma. This led her down a very dark path.

"I grew up in a church setting. I believed in God, but after the abuse started happening to me I was like, 'okay here's this God that I learned could see everything and hear everything, but if all of this stuff was happening to me, where was he?'. I felt I was betrayed. I felt that he wasn't real. It just left me on a road of destruction," MacLeod explains.

MacLeod started drinking and doing drugs to numb the pain, and by the time she was 14 years old, she was pregnant with her first baby.

"I really wanted to have something that would love me and not hurt me. I thought if I could have a baby, that's what I would receive, not realizing the responsibility that would come along with it," said MacLeod.

Katarina delivered her daughter, Deidre, at just 15 years old and passed her off to her mother before carrying on with her unstable lifestyle.

Years went on with plenty more trauma before Deidre reintroduced her mother to the church and God. 

"I was reading to take my life, but I kept hearing this voice. I finally pulled over my car and said 'God if you're real, do your thing'.  I'll tell you there were no sparks, anything like that, but that hole that I had been trying to fill through drugs, through materialistic things, was instantaneously filled," said MacLeod. 

"For the first time in my life, I had peace and it was a peace I can't explain to you."  

Today Katarina is the Founder & Executive Director of Rising Angels Awareness & Restorative Care, where she helps other women who have been in similar situations. 

Today on Connections, Katarina will share her story of survival, how God and her daughter helped her escape and how she is using her experience to help other women going through a similar situation.