As a little girl, Blanche Ferland experienced the light of Jesus Christ breaking through her nighttime fears and shining truth and peace into her young heart. She knew Jesus as her Protector, her Shield, and her Strong Tower. Although she had seen the light of Jesus vanquishing the literal darkness, she struggled, as a girl, to understand that Jesus wanted to shine light into every part of her life, and she could not sweep sin into a hidden corner where He would not be able see it. For years, Blanche lived a life of hidden duplicity: a good girl who loved Jesus, lived morally, and succeeded academically, but also a girl whose rebellious heart tugged her into secret sin she couldn’t overcome on her own. Read Blanche’s story to see how God called her to deeper faith, confident identity, authentic relationships, and victory over sin – bringing her out of darkness and into the light.
Blanche spent most of her childhood in Canada. Her father served as director of a Christian camp, and she grew up hearing the Word of God from her parents. One night, Blanche was struggling to fall asleep. Fear invaded her six-year-old thoughts, and she found herself seeking comfort from her mom.
Blanche: My mom came and she comforted me with a story from the Bible. It was the story of David and Goliath. Of course, I knew the story by the heart, like every child in our church. But that night, the words resonated with me in a different way. I saw how David defeated Goliath because he put his trust in God. I didn’t know how to trust God like David. My mom shared with me that the only way I could have this peace and trust was through Jesus. She told me that if I believed in my heart that Jesus had died for me to live, then I would be free from sin, free from fear of sleeping, and I would be protected by a powerful God. We prayed together. That was the first time I remember actually speaking to God on my own.
Blanche came to Jesus Christ that night with faith like a child, although it took years for her to truly grasp what the Lord had done on her behalf. When Blanche was 11, her family uprooted from Canadian soil and embarked on a far-flung adventure to France, where they intended to remain for one year. That year stretched into five, as their family came to love the French people and culture. They helped with a small church plant and continued to explore France.
I was baptized when I was 12, in France. I wanted to proclaim publicly that Jesus had saved me from the price of my sins, which is death. My faith was genuine and I wanted to live for Jesus, but I struggled. I was a slave to my schoolwork, believing that I had to have the best grades and test scores in order to be worthy. I was living by labels and trying to fit in in a world that rejects Christ. On one hand, I believed I had to do lots of good things to prove that I deserved to be saved. On the other hand, I was wrapped up in a secret life of sin and temptation. I was reading books about sex, and struggling with masturbation, sinful dreams, and inappropriate thoughts. I didn’t think God knew about my secret life, which, of course, was wrong.
In France, the Christian life was a lonely life. Blanche had few friends who shared her faith. While her parents offered spiritual encouragement, Blanche didn’t confide in them. When their family life was rocked by unexpected challenges, Blanche sought the Lord, drawing nearer to Him, but not yet surrendering her secret struggles.
"I was living by labels and trying to fit in in a world that rejects Christ. On one hand, I believed I had to do lots of good things to prove that I deserved to be saved. On the other hand, I was wrapped up in a secret life of sin and temptation."
When I was fifteen, we moved to Cody. Our missionary friends in France had purchased a home here with the intent of moving here full-time eventually. We decided to move with them, but we were ready and able to move nearly a year before they planned to come. Immediately when we arrived, we found Outpost. The church here has been such a blessing.
Moving internationally was nothing new for Blanche. Accustomed to being “new,” and comfortable with spending time alone, she didn’t mind the upheaval. Since the Ferland children were not able to attend school on their initial paperwork, Blanche found herself completing her sophomore year online – a process she found unpleasant.
Even though I hated doing online school, it was a blessing. That time helped me to put schoolwork in perspective, to see that I had made school an idol in my life. At the same time the Lord was working on demolishing the idol of academics, He also began to sweep my heart clean of the sins I had tried to hide for so long. As I got involved in the youth group and in a community group at Outpost, I felt compelled to confess my sin for the first time ever. When I confessed, that sin lost its hold on me. Knowing that I am accountable to my friends has given me strength to close the door on those patterns.
As a community group leader for a small group of teen girls, Blanche gets the opportunity to challenge her friends in their faith while growing in her own. Now a junior at Cody High, Blanche shares her faith daily both inside and outside of class.
Right now, I just want to live for the Lord. God is my passion and I want to share about His grace every time I have the chance. I am meeting a lot of new kids at school, kids from different places and backgrounds, and I love to tell them about Jesus. I try to share about God somehow in every class. It is outside of my comfort zone to talk about God and to be open about my own sin. But I am wiling to do both of those things because other people need to know about Jesus. I also text and call my friends from France often and share about my relationship with Christ.
As Blanche looks to the future, she doesn’t know where the Lord might lead her. She wants to keep studying His Word and pursuing Him faithfully. Whether following God leads Blanche to Bible college, or to sharing Christ boldly while joining the workforce, she intends to make Jesus’ love known to those around her while continuing to grow in her understanding of His Word.
The Christian life is not easy, and I am not perfect now. I am still a sinner. But I want my life to confess that God is more powerful than my sin and weaknesses. I need His strength each day to do the things He is calling me to do. I am living a renewed life with the Holy Spirit inside of me, and I am trying to lean on Him and fully trust Him for the things He has planned.
“For you are all children of light, children of the day. We are not of the night or of the darkness.”
1 Thessalonians 5:5