The following is the journey of my friend Grace. Please take time to read her story. She has asked that her story be heard as it is one of….just read it and find out!!!
I was born on August 8, 1948. My twin sister was born ten minutes later. My mother was delighted to have given birth to twins, but was very upset when she saw my sister. She asked the doctor why one baby was strong and healthy, and the second baby was weak and frail. The doctor explained simply that “the baby on top had eaten all the food and left none for her twin sister.” My mother accepted this information, and slowly developed a silent resentment toward me. When I became five or six years old, I began to notice I was not treated the same as my sister. My childhood was not especially a happy one. I was made to feel guilty and responsible. I could never figure out why Mother seemed to always disapprove of me. During this time I developed the habit of day dreaming. I would escape my unhappiness and pretend I had a wonderful life somewhere else.
My mother accepted Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior when we were two years old. Our home changed, for now we went to church, we learned to pray and love Jesus. We felt that we grew up with Him in our home. Unfortunately, my mother’s attitude toward me did not change, needless to say my habit of day dreaming continued. When I was still young, I attended a summer Vacation Bible School. A missionary from South America told us the story of how Jesus had died on the cross for our sins. How, if we asked Him into our hearts, He would forgive us, and make us His very own! The missionary asked us to get down on our knees and pray. I remember feeling a great desire to belong to Jesus. I asked Jesus to forgive me of my sins, and make me His own. I immediately felt this joy fill my heart, and I knew He had answered my prayer, from that time on I lived knowing I was His girl. I began to read my Bible every night, and talking to Him was as easy as breathing! He has never left my side, and I have never left His. Yet, my habit of day dreaming continued.
When it came time to fall in love and get married, I asked the Lord for a husband! I thought I had found the right guy, but he turned out to be wrong. I realized God knew what was best for His girl! I promised the Lord I would not date anyone, unless He would provide him for me! Sure enough, God provided a wonderful husband and we are now married forty two years! Yet, my habit of day dreaming continued.
Now, that I was grown up and married I realized I had a problem. I did not like to face confrontations or problems with people. I avoided all unpleasantness with a smile even though my insides would churn. I was always well dressed, attractive, and smiling! I would go to my comfortable, now well established habit of day dreaming, but now it had changed. It had become a dark and dirty thing! When reading my Bible, Second Corinthians 10:5 would haunt me! This scripture would follow me around! The Word of God says: “…casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” I began to realize my comfortable habit since childhood had become dangerous and sinful. It began to take control of me! I could no longer control when I would start or end. This fantasy life took a life of it’s own! I began to get frightened and even more when I realized the Lord was speaking. The Word of God was saying, “bring every thought to the obedience of Christ! Stop, what you are doing! I began having trouble concentrating on prayer and reading my Bible. Yet, I could not give it up!
On November of 1973, I received my first “wake up” call. Early in the morning, once a month an exterminator would come to each apartment in our building to spray. My sleeping two year old daughter was in her crib, and I was recovering from just having had a miscarriage. We had so much wanted to have a second baby. Well, the man dressed as an exterminator was no exterminator! He was a violent, crazed rapist who threatened to kill us both. I had a moment to flee the apartment, but could not take my baby. I instead chose to face him. The next half hour or so where a nightmare I have never forgotten. When he was ready to leave, I felt him lift a heavy can and try to smash it against my head. I prayed and committed my life to God and pleaded for my baby’s safety. I felt him slowly lower the can and and walk out of the apartment without touching my child. But, not before threatening to come and kill me, if I told anyone what he had done. Well, after coming home from the hospital that night, I asked the Lord, “how am I going to live with the memory of what has happened?” His answer came back quickly, ‘You must forgive him, pray for him, and as you pray for him, in return you will receive emotional healing. This was a hard thing to do, but I prayed “Lord, I cannot do this in my strength. I want to obey you Lord, but You will need to help me. Well, not only did I pray for this man, but I prayed for him for fifteen years until the Lord told me to stop. Now, I pray for anyone in his family or bloodline that they may receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. When I asked the Lord, “How was I going to live with this ugly memory?” Again, His response was quick. His answer was found in Second Corinthians 12:9 “…and He said to me My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness…” The memory of that experience was softened by the touch and grace of God. There is no bitterness, or anger, as I forgave the healing came! I have had countless opportunities through out many years, to share the mercy and love of God with sexually abused or rape survivors. Yet, I continued in my fantasy life.
The second “wake up” call came when I was in my early forties. The Lord began to speak to me of my “will” and living a completely surrendered life to Him. He had all of me, except for that dirty little secret which now controlled me. I now began to sense a demonic presence bothering me and strange things happening at night. I could not tell anyone not even my husband. I realized my disobedience to the Lord had opened a dark door in my life. I began to pray as hard as I could, “Lord, forgive me, help me, I can’t fight this thing on my own! It has become bigger than me! Help, please help me!”
Dear friend, I want you to understand one thing up to this point; I regularly attended church, read the Bible, prayed, was a Sunday school teacher, served in the Women’s Ministry, and we were considered a very popular couple in the church. No one suspected the turmoil I was living under, who would believe me? I was always the pretty, smiling lady, but secret sins act like a cancer which eats you up! Do you have secret sins?
During this time, I began to experience abnormal pain and bleeding in my body. I went to a GYN doctor who examined me for a long time. He finally looked at me and said, “I believe you have cancer in your uterus. You owe it to yourself to get the best help you can get.” After leaving the doctor’s office, I remember looking up to the sky and praying, “Lord, I have known you all my life, and I know you can heal me.” I suddenly had a feeling God was going to do something which was going to surprise me! A few days later, my husband Bob, and I went to a GYN oncologist. After a very long examination with different instruments, the doctor confirmed the cancer diagnosis given by the first doctor. He said, “I have seen the cancer cells in your cervix, but I need to perform a procedure in order to determine what kind of cancer you have, and how I’m going to treat it.” I was immediately scheduled to go for surgery.
Time to pray! Time to fast! Time to seek the Lord, with desperation! I began to pray, “Lord, even if you don’t choose to heal me, please deliver me, please set me free of this demonic stronghold in my life! I want to feel your power in my life!” When I was praying, I suddenly began to see a moving picture in my mind. I stood very still, and I began to see myself in the past. It was like a video of myself during different stages in my life. The pictures showed how I had always thought of myself as better than any one else. After all, I never went out to bars, never had affairs (never mind, my fantasy life was a sewer), never drank or smoked, etc. When a so called “worldly girl” came into the church, I would turn up my nose at her! The video continued and I heard the word self-righteous, prideful, arrogant, sin, sin, sin!!! I could do nothing, but cry and feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit deep in my heart. I had no strength, no will to deny what the Lord was saying to me. My heart told me the video was all true. I had been that person, and I sincerely humbled myself on the floor before the Lord and begged for forgiveness. I had loved the Lord with all my heart, but had never suspected such sin hiding inside of me! I cried and cried and begged for forgiveness how ashamed I felt. I threw myself on the mercy of God. I looked down next to my knees where I had laid my Bible. It had fallen opened to Second Chronicles 33: 12, 13 and I read, “Now when he was in affliction, he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the god of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty, heard his supplication…” In my heart, I knew God was speaking to me through His Word. He had heard me! I continued to cry, ask forgiveness, and agreed with Him that everything He said, and showed me was absolutely true! I had been a very self-righeous, prideful women, always pretending to be what I was not! My eyes fell on the open Bible again, and this time it was on Second Chronicles 34: 27, “Because your heart was tender and you humbled yourself before God when you heard His words against this place and against its inhabitants, and you humbled yourself before Me, and you tore your clothes and wept before Me, I also have heard you,” says the Lord.” I began to weep and I heard the still small voice of my God speak to me, “Because you have humbled yourself before Me, I am going to heal you.” I then felt a warmth come and cover my lower abdomen, and it remained for several minutes. I knew in my heart that I had been healed. Several days later I went to have the procedure done by the GYN oncologist. When he came out of the surgery room he told me, “I looked and looked as far as I could go, but there is no trace of cancer in you.” After this day, the Lord gave me Isaiah 48:10, 11 “Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace, of afflliction, for My own sake, for My own sake, I will do it; for how should My name be profaned? and I will not give My glory to another.” I give glory and honor to the Lord, God of heaven and earth for He is worthy! Praise His name!
Now, it gets even better! I continued to pray and fast. “Lord, I need deliverance! I need to be free of this thing that has gotten a hold of me! This sick fantasy life which started out in my childhood as an innocent comfort, but turned into something dark, dirty and demonic! I wanted to face life with its challenges, and with God’s help I could be an overcomer! Again. I heard the still small voice of God, “Grace…say ” I rebuke you Satan, get out of here, I command you to leave and never come back!” I said those words, and when I did, I felt a sudden clearing in my mind, a weight lifted off my heard. It felt as though I had been wearing a hat that was too tight It was quickly taken off my head.
Now, you may not understand this next part, but it happened just as I’m writing it down today. I was on my knees, with my hands upraised, thanking the Lord, when all of a sudden, I felt a warm thick liquid poured over my head. It ran slowly down my head, to my shoulders, my knees, all the way down to my feet. When it reached my feet, it was poured on my head again. Three times I felt this wonderful healing oil come over me. I describe it like a warm oil, because I don’t know how else to describe it! My life was changed forever. I have never had a problem with my thought life ever again. This experience I share with you friend, did not only touch my emotions and body, but my inner man as well. I began to fill my mind with the Word of God, and to apply it daily to my life. I have learned that God loves me too much, to allow disobedience and sin, to destroy my life, after all I am His girl!
Isaiah 61: 1-3 states, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed Me to preach good tidings to the poor; He sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn in Zion, to give beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness, that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”
Dear friend, the Lord has fulfilled this scripture in my life. I was a captive to something which took control of my mind and the Lord set me free, my “brokenhearted” childhood was healed by His love for me, the ugliness of the rape has become “beauty for ashes,” now I share with women of rape/sexual abuse, that Jesus Christ enables us to forgive and receive healing. In Christ Jesus you don’t have to remain a victim. I have a deep joy in my heart that the world cannot take away, because the Lord has promised to make me a “tree of righteousness” that I may give witness to others of His great love, grace and mercy. All of this is possible through the Cross of Jesus Christ.
I have shared this story with you, because I want you to know that God knows and understands the deep hidden secrets of your life. He continues to love you as you are. Don’t fight your secrect demons alone. Jesus Christ can help you, save you, just as He has done for me. If you do not know Him today, open your heart to Him. He is ready to step into your life today!
God bess you.