Continuing to Heal

continuing to healI came to Women of Faith hoping to meet God in a way I hadn’t yet. I was in desperate need of knowing God IS still there with me. I felt empty, lost, and alone.

I grew up in a Christian home, raised in the church, a Bible college graduate. No one knew, not even my best friend, the pain I’d lived with since I was 3 years old. Everyone at church thought I was a happy person, no one knew the depth of the depression I struggled with every single day. My family saw a few of the cracks but had no idea how deep those cracks really went. Very few at my college knew I was so profoundly lost, hurt, & depressed.

I was sexually abused from age 3 to age 19. I spent years distant from God & not even KNOWING it. I even had myself fooled that I was “on track” with the Lord, when in reality I had built a HUGE wall between me and God because God is a MAN.

When I was 21, (in 1999) I began doing foster care for drug affected babies. It was a blessing & I loved each baby but I look back & see I was doing this in my own power, so I always felt alone even with 5 to 6 kids at a time. December 17, 2004 one of our sweet babies, at the tender age of 14 months, was brutally murdered by his birth father & 10 months later, God called another one of our babies home. These experiences only thickened the wall I’d built between me & God.

Last year, God brought a wonderful pastor & his wife to my church & He used them to rock my world & help me see my way was not working, I needed GOD. May 26, 2012 I gave my life to the Lord & was baptized June 17 – Father’s Day. I chose Father’s Day because I now knew GOD IS MY FATHER. Since then, satan has thrown all he can at me & it has been so easy to fall back into old patterns, old ways of thinking. I didn’t want to feel empty, lost or alone anymore. I wanted to recapture the relationship with God I’d found just months ago & bring it into a place where I trust Him fully & I needed HEALING & my life’s story to be redeemed.

I connected with each & every speaker in some way. God literally broke me each time someone spoke. He told me “I want to redeem you; I want to Heal you; all you have to do is LET me.”  The pain & hurt of the past can be turned into a glorious redemption & used to transform someone else’s life..through WOF, I found God’s healing power & I know He is not done yet.

I don’t know how He is going to use my pain & my story, but I do know now that not only will He use it but I want Him to use it & I cannot wait to see where He takes me in this redemption. Thank you WOF for the encouragement & letting God guide each session. He truly is a powerful, transforming God who will continue to heal.

Comments

  1. 1 year ago
    Robbie says

    Thank you for sharing such a personal part of your life. Because I could relate to 99% of your story I was blessed to know that there truely is healing for us when we turn totally to our Heavenly Father. Lord help me to find that place in YOU. Blessings on you, keep believing.

  2. 1 year ago
    Kristi says

    Thank you for having the courage to share your story! It is such an inspiration to hear you speak of redemption and transformation. Your pain is not going to be wasted!! I encourage you to hold tight to the truths you have learned about your heavenly Father.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. None of us really realize what someone else has gone through. And I sure didn’t know there were so many out there that have gone through what you have. At WOF this year I heard their stories and was moved — to tears. I have much to be thankful for — I may not have had a dad at home much but at least I wasn’t abused like you were – God bless you and may you continue to be strong in the Lord and continue to grow and help others.

  4. Thank you for sharing, this is how I have felt for years.

  5. 1 year ago
    Kelley says

    Amazing story of God’s amazing grace and love, if we’ll only get out of His way

  6. 1 year ago
    Lisa Marie says

    God will use you in great ways! I went to a WOF faith event last year in anaheim and it was a wonderful day. I was suppose to go with friends and they weren’t able to make it. I thought i could never go somewhere alone that is too uncomfortable for me i am use to having alot of people around me as i come from a huge hispanic catholic family. My grandmother didnt understand be “converting” she called it, to me I am coming closer to GOD and having a relationship with him, that’s all. Anyway, i decided to talk to GOD and told HIM i wouldnt be alone because he were going to be on a father and daughter date. :) I woke up took my time getting ready and while having breakfast got a sudden urge to leave like i was going to be late. So i grabbed my purse and left to the event. I got there and had not yet bought my tickets, i was going to treat my one of my friends and didnt want to purchase til i knew for sure if she was going to come. When i got to the event i asked the parking attendent where i could purchase my tickets and he said “online they are not selling them in the box office but there may be a tent my the entrance.” I didnt know what i was going to do but i knew i was going to see if they had tickets by the entrance for sale. As i thanked him two young women were passing by and one said “excuse me did you say you needed a ticket ? I have 4 extra as my friends didnt show up, you can have one. ” Wow! I was blessed and thanked her. As i drove in to park, I thanked the LORD for paying :) It was a beautiful day for me and my first time going to a christian event, i used the money i didnt spend to purchase books and a purse. After the event was over and i was leaving home I got a call to meet friends at Dodger Stadium for the Harvest Event too! I got to see hundreds of people give their lives to the LORD! It was an amazing date and one i will never forget! I will always support WOF caus eit is where I had my first Father Daughter date! :)

    • 1 year ago
      Leticia says

      That is too wonderful! That sounds like my date with him yesterday and got to go w/ a friend! We got there And we both got a free bible. God is good all.the time!

  7. 1 year ago
    Doreen Paylor says

    I almost feel like I just read my past, except my son sexually abused my girls. Basically on my own, no family support.Years of being drug addicted and suicidal.I lost everything after supporting other trauma victims through a community program, one voice does not make a difference. I lost myself and it retraumatized my daughter. I went back to church but the Physical and Mental disabilities just kept taking over. 90 Minutes in Heaven was what I wanted. I should have died, but didn’t. I felt that God was telling me that I am all my daughter has. We moved to another state for a new start. I sometimes wonder why so much pain all the time. I couldn’t get medical for the 5 surgeries I need, my daughter having severe migranes from the brain surgery. My daughter lost the only friend she ever had because I thought the woman I moved with was a Christian. Yet our faith is all we have.I haved learned to Thank God everyday for our blessings.

  8. please keep me in your prayers I deal depression and it is so hard. I want to be free from it like you. thank you for sharing

    • 1 year ago
      Andrea says

      You’ve been on my heart since I first read your reply to my story. I will be praying for you as you seek freedom from depression. I know it is not an easy thing; I still struggle with it some days yet I know God is using even my depression for His glory. Don’t give up. I know it can feel like a long road but when you finally taste freedom,it will be worth it because you will see GOD at work in you and it is a glorious feeling.

  9. 1 year ago
    Holly says

    Andrea, The Lord is going to continue to work through you in powerful ways, so you need only continue to follow His lead. As you walk, yoked with his light burden, He will reveal. The blood of Christ is like water to Satan’s wicked witch of the west and as you ask the Holy Spirit to pour it on you, away the evil will run. Continue to embrace fellowship and lean on Him first in times of need. With His power, grace & wisdom you will continue to be a strong support for our brothers and sisters who lean on you. May God Bless you with so much love, mercy and compassion that it pours out of your eyes, ears and heart.

  10. 1 year ago
    Linda Novakovich says

    What a wonderful testimony. God will use you mightely. Do you have any idea how many women have suffered many of the same things you have? They are waiting to hear how God can heal someone with their pain and scars just as you have been healed!! Praise God that He brought you through!

  11. 1 year ago
    Michelle L. says

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am also going through a journey/season of rediscovering my joy and purpose in God’s kiingdom. Since this journey began eearlier this year I have seen God move and speak to me through various ministers, speakers, and life observations. Thank you for encouraging me to stay the course and to let God complete the good work He has started in me.

  12. 1 year ago
    Janice billing says

    Andrea,
    Thank you for sharing. your testimony is so important to the others of us who were sexually abused. I to was brought up in the church , suffer from depression and Satan doing everything he can do to keep from praising our Heavenly Father! I was in a dark whole when I went to WOF this year. . It renewed me and gave me hope and reminded me that I wasn’t alone! My husband had just revealed to me that we were in monumental debt and I felt so betrayed because he had hid this from me! Just wamted to say that to never give up because as you mentioned our God can transform us and our circumstances! Sending you thoughts and prayers!

  13. 1 year ago
    Nichole says

    Thank you for your brave words. I too have walked your same path. I was 4. Older family member. After 30 years, finally sought therapy and counseling and getting this post today was just more evidence of where God is leading me. God does and will redeem us. He weeps for us. Beth Moore has a cd series related to sexual abuse. I forget the name of it because it has been so long since I listened to it, but basically she says through the abuse, satan tries to ruin us as children to prevent us from being the adults God has planned for us to become. I have recently begun to share my story with others. Like Beth Moore, I don’t get into the dirty details, but I share enough to show people where God has brought me from and through. I was angry at God for decades without realizing it as well. But through much reading and seeking, I came to realize we live in a broken world full of broken people and as the story of Joseph attests to…what they meant for evil, God will use for good. Thanks be to God. Blessings and prayers as you continue with your healing journey. Nichole

  14. 1 year ago
    Marilyn says

    Thank you for sharing. I was also sexually abused from at least five until sixteen. It takes God to heal the many hurts. WOF has also been a blessing to me. I am glad that it helped you as well. May God continue to heal and bless you.

  15. 1 year ago
    Maxine F. says

    Thank you so much. I have gone through the same experience and everyday I rely on God to keep me focus. Having a relationship with God is vital as a drink of pure water.

  16. To my Sister,

    I am writing you today because I feel you may be in need of some encouraging words. I would like to start off by telling you that you are beautiful. No matter what anyone says, or what you’ve done, you have a beautiful, untarnished soul. You are perfect at your core!

    I want you to understand that you don’t need to change a thing; you are exactly who you need to be and you are who you were created to be. The problem for most of us is that we haven’t tapped in to who we really are. We think that we are defined by the way we think or act, or by what we have done. This is far from the truth my love. What we do or how we act when we are out of alignment is not an accurate representation of our true, authentic being. It is not a reflection of who we are at our core. It is just our response to the situations and circumstances that we have placed ourselves in. Most likely we have acted by default, rather than consciously choosing to do or not to do a particular thing. These things don’t define who you are, they only define what you’ve done.

    Every choice you make in life will have an outcome. If you don’t like your outcome, you always have the freedom to choose something else that will bring you the outcome you desire to have. There is no right or wrong choices in life. What makes them right or wrong is the judgment we or others place on that particular thing. If you’ve made choices that do not honor who you are at your core, you can always choose to do something else that does. Again, your choices or actions do not define who you are at your core being.

    We all, at our core, represent love. You were created in God’s image and God is love, therefore you are love. You must open your heart to receive God’s unconditional love and be one with it. Visualize yourself opening your soul, letting love in, becoming one with this love, and then becoming a channel for love to flow through you to others. This is sometimes difficult to do, especially when we do not love ourselves or feel as though we do not deserve the love of God, others, or even ourselves.

    I want you to practice loving yourself until you’ve mastered the art. Loving yourself is the best investment you can make in yourself. When you do not love and honor yourself, you cannot give love or accept the love of others. You cannot give to others what you do not have. ACKNOWLEDGE (face your realities), ACCEPT (accept it for what it is without judging yourself or blaming others), and FORGIVE yourself and others for anything that you/they have done to make you feel as though you are not worthy of love. Then choose to do, say, and think the things that will remind you that you are love and you are worthy of it.

    You attract to you what you already are. If you believe that you are not worthy, you will attract people and situations that will validate how you already feel about yourself. The opposite is also true, that if you truly love and honor yourself, you will attract people, situations, and things that will also love and honor you.

    Helpful Tips:

    Steps to love yourself: ·
    Let love fill your mind, body & soul (previous steps). ·
    Meditate and repeat the following affirmations many times throughout your day:

    God is Love
    All that God is, I am
    I am worthy of love
    My core has no flaws
    I love myself unconditionally
    I love myself without judgment
    I love myself without ultimatums
    I don’t have to earn the love from God or myself
    I love myself despite my faults
    I am Love

    In addition to repeating and meditating (thinking about over and over in your mind) on these affirmations, make sure you do something nice for yourself everyday (i.e. relax, paint your toes, treat yourself with gentleness and care).

    Assignment – To see yourself and those around you for who you/they really are. Don’t judge by your/their actions, see yourself and others with your spiritual eyes. We are all a work-in-progress!

    Until next time, be loved!

    http://www.loveinspirerespect.com/blog.html

  17. 1 year ago
    Lisa Kelly says

    OMG what an awesome story! thanks you for sharing it! The ministry that God has given my husband and I deals with people in recovery and their story are so much like the one today “Continuing to Heal”….of the hurt and the shame that no one knew about; they are ashamed; they live in the past and they use their past to allow the pain to cause them to use drugs and abuse themselves….But there is deliverence and God loves them even the more…I will be sharing this story in our church service and I pray that it will heal someone and help them to move Forward into this new year Free and discovering their Heavenly Father Loves them too! Thanks again for sharing your story!

    • 1 year ago
      Andrea says

      Lisa, I pray that in you sharing my story at your church service, that God used it to begin a healing in those who are desperate to know the redemptive power of Christ. I am honestly blown away at how God is using my painful past to bring encouragement to women I have never met. I was a little apprehensive to share my story but now I see God is using it and I am so grateful He is bringing beauty from ashes.
      Andrea S.

  18. 1 year ago
    Brenda says

    Your story is my story in many ways. I also thought of God as a man in many ways. I finally realized that he is so much more. I finally forgave my stepfather and the crazy thoughts began to go away. That has been such a blessing. My relationship with God has improved so much. He is truly my Healer and Great I Am. Thank you for sharing.

  19. 1 year ago
    Joy says

    Andrea, thank you so much for sharing your story. I can relate to many aspects of it also. I lived most my life in pain but it wasn’t until I had a complete breakdown a few years ago and ended up at a healing ministry called Ellel that I found relief. I’m so grateful for God’s patience with me and His loving hand on me – even when I couldn’t see it. For those of you still in it… don’t give up… keep prayerfully seeking… despite how it may seem He hasn’t given up on you!

  20. 1 year ago
    aramide says

    Thank God for the boldness to share such a powerful and faith-building story.but one thing i know that God is not a man ,as He has said He will use your story to transformed life so shall He do. All you need is faith and steadfastness in His word because Faithful is He who had promise who will also do it (1Thess 5:24). Joy of the Lord is your strength

  21. 1 year ago
    Sandy says

    Thank you for the job you do with the drug babies: I too use too take care of those precious babies when my husband was working in Washington state 10 years ago. God uses us in special ways and only picks the most compasionate of his children[us] too take care of his precious little ones. welcome too your heavenly Fathers arms; cross your arms up over your shoulders sqqueeze hard that is a special hug from your fellow christian sister;

  22. 1 year ago
    Karen says

    Thank you so much for sharing. What courage and strength you have shown us all. Stay strong.

  23. Grace and peace unto you! Your testimony was a true blessing to my soul! As you grow in your relationship with God, do not forget your story as He can use it to drawn and teach others!

    God bless you!

  24. In all things my sister God is still God and his mercy endureth forever, he loves you more than you can ever imagine. when he says in the book of Revelation Chapter 21 vs 5 (Behold i make all things new…) it simply means he can open a new door for you irregardless of the pain and the scars in your heart. God loves you just the way you are continue trusting him…

  25. 1 year ago
    sandra says

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m feeling very distant from God right now and was encouraged by your story :) I’m going to read the Bible after I post this :)