Jodie Ballenger’s powerful life story intersected with her husband Billy’s when they met as teens at a juvenile residential facility in Indiana, where they both sang in the choir. In the years prior, however, Jodie’s story is radically different, as she was raised in abuse and neglect by her mother, who had been a prostitute, and a father who chose his new wife over her. Suffering mental, physical, and sexual abuse and abandonment and neglect, she knew at a young age she would need to learn to survive on her own.
Jodie began taking pills, smoking pot, and partying at the age of 9. She ran on the streets. When she met Billy, their paths became joined, eventually finding redemption before being sentenced to six years in prison. She and Billy grew in their faith while incarcerated, and after two years were miraculously released and reunited with their daughter. They haven’t looked back and, both together and individually, have shared their stories with audiences around the world. Jodie documented her story in the 2020 book, Beautifully Unbroken—The Prostitute’s Daughter.