Anne Beiler is best known as the founder of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, but she has come a long way. Before her success, tragedy struck her family and she hit rock bottom. She had to choose between darkness and light.
Beiler grew up in Lancaster county, Penn., in an Amish-Mennonite community.
"There were eight of us kids, a mom and dad who loved us, cared for us, took us to church every Sunday," she remembered. "Life wasn't perfect. But it was, as I look back on it now, it was almost like idyllic."
Bieler met her future-husband, Jonas. They married when she was 19 years old. Anne and Jonas had two daughters.
"We were living our dream. I was the happiest girl in the whole USA," Bieler told Green. "We were attending church and we loved God. And our whole dream was just to serve people, serve God, have a great family and we were on our way."
But soon their lives would be derailed in an unimaginable way. In 1975, their youngest child was killed in a freak accident on the family farm.
Angela Joy, who was just 19 months old, ran outside one morning and was caught in front of a bobcat operating on the property.
"I had no idea how trauma changes you," said Bieler. "She was killed instantly."
"I had never known disappointment. I really never knew anything hard in my life," she said. "The soul of me went from carefree, lighthearted, happy; [I] loved our youth group, loved my girls, loved my husband, loved God. All of that just changed for me."
Bieler described how she fell into a depression for years and questioned everything about herself, her family and her feelings about God.
"I felt completely alone," she continued, "Suddenly I felt like I even couldn't be a mom anymore. For years, I wanted to get a divorce because I didn't know what to do with me. I didn't know how to fix this. I didn't know how to move forward."
That turmoil would lead Bieler into an abusive relationship with a pastor, who took advantage of her in her distressed state.
"At the time, I didn't know anything about sexual abuse," said Bieler, "I didn't know anything about that subject. So I really didn't know what to do with it."
"But I knew one thing. I am never telling anyone. There is no way. So I never told anyone. And the choice I made that day was far-reaching. The secret nearly killed me. We don't understand the power of secrets, we don't understand where it's going to take us."
Bieler would eventually break away from her abuser, reconcile with her husband, and in the process, repair her damaged relationship with God.
To hear all of Bieler's inspiring story watch "Coming To Faith." And to see all that Fox Nation has to offer, including "Ainsley's Bible Study" with "Fox and Friends" co-host Ainsley Earhardt, "The Passion: Facts, Fiction and Faith" with Lauren Green, and much more, sign up today.
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