Cheryl Irish

I am broken, but I was created as God’s child, on purpose and for purpose. He has taken my brokenness and made it whole! Through a horrifying experience as a child at the age of six, I was sexually abused. In my childhood misunderstanding, I felt guilty. I understood the abuse was somehow my fault. I felt dirty and ashamed. As I grew older, I came to the understanding that the sexual abuse was not my fault. I learned that abuse did not make me dirty or guilty. God used my sense of guilt and dirtiness to make me aware of my need for a clean heart – for a Savior. I knew I was a sinner – even though I may have confused my abuse with sin, I knew there were plenty of things I did that were sinful. It was that early awareness of brokenness that brought me readily ask Jesus to come into my life, forgive my sin and heal my heart. He replaced the guilt and shame with His peace and joy. Even at 6 years old, I had been freed from guilt in a way that could not come from any human source. I learned that Jesus paid the penalty for my sin. I have come to realize that God cherishes me as His own child, that he will never hurt me and that he sees me as completely whole. God knows my heart. The Holy Spirit convicts me when I am not walking with the Lord. During those rebellious years, most people probably would not have considered me rebellious. But I disobeyed and lied to my parents. I treated my brother hatefully, I hung out with friends and pretended not to be a Christian. Inside, my heart was broken; I was very unhappy. I was incredibly miserable I finally broke down and confessed to my mom that I wanted to get right with God again. Through the Bible, my mom’s prayers and my pastor’s faithful teaching, God assured me I was forgiven! All of my sins - even the sins that I didn’t even know or recognize I had committed were forgiven and my heart was clean! Just as God assured me that the sexual abuse in my past did not define me, he used this turning point in my life to teach me that he alone can fix brokenness. I found, through what God tells us in the Bible, that we all need His touch to mend our broken hearts. It is not just the ones who society labels as broken who need a special heavenly touch. And those who look like they have it all together need His touch, too! All of us are broken inside because we have all sinned (Romans 3:23). We are all in need of forgiveness; each one of us needs heart repair! God has used my own understanding of brokenness and forgiveness by giving me a heart of compassion for those who have been abused or who have disabilities. He has helped me to see myself and others through his eyes. He has shaped me to be grateful for the simple things I often take for granted, like being able to brush my own teeth or comb my own hair. He has shown me not to view people with disabilities as broken. God didn't make a mistake when he created any of us! He loves us as we are and wants to give every one of us a clean heart, hope and a future! We are ALL created in His image and are beloved in His eyes. My passion is serving others, especially those who experience what the world calls, "brokenness."

My Life

Favorite Quote

I John 1:9. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” Phil 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank him for his answers. 7 If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus”

My hobbies

Reading, jewelry making, card making

My undergrad alma mater

Corban College (Previously Western Baptist Bible College)

In college I drove

Ford Maverick

If I weren't a professor, I would

be a nurse or social worker

Favorite movies

Shining Through with Michael Douglas and Melanie Griffith

Favorite city


Favorite coffee

I'd rather drink tea!

Current Research

My research interests relate to "Third Culture Kids" (TCKs), children of expatriates who are not part of their home culture or the culture of the country in which they are living, thus they belong to a "third culture." I find I have a lot in common with TCKs as I was one myself, being the daughter of a Navy Sailor and completing 1st through 3rd grades in Japan.