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His Glory, Not Mine! – Testimony

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In 1997 I was leading a support group for women who had been sexually abused as children and also publishing the Angels by Grace Magazine. I wrote this article for that magazine for the April 1997 issue.

The healing the Lord has accomplished since this writing is staggering! It is amazing how the Lord will use our pain. There is hope for healing! Trust Him. He will bring you through. 

When I read the testimonies that are given from women and men that have endured the hurt, betrayal, and loss as children, I cry. I feel that pain so very deep inside and wonder how any of us have survived such atrocities. I thank God for the healing that He has done, and is doing  within me and so many others.

There are a couple of testimonies that have been offered for Angels by Grace that have mentioned my name. I feel so humbled that the Lord has used me to offer up His hope before others. If I had been asked about the love of God just a few short years ago I would have either snarled out some caustic answer or turned and walked away. Not knowing that Christ was working within my life I would have clenched my teeth in absolute anger at the very thought that God loved me! How dare anyone tell me what I thought were lies! God could not have loved me. He could not have died for my salvation. For you see I thought it was God who not only told my Dad to abuse, but sat beside me and laughed while it was happening! How very wrong I was. I have asked Christ for His forgiveness so many times for my ignorance of who He is and He has forgiven me every time I cry out to forgive me again.

Therapy brought me through the times when suicide was thought to be my only alternative to stop the torment of memories and the sense that nothing could stop the pain of those memories. Much to my surprise I have learned that it was not God who was sitting beside me laughing back then, but the devil himself! I have learned that God was crying the same tormented tears of hurt and pain, betrayal and loss of innocence that I cried about then, and sometimes cry about now.

These past few years Christ has shown me that He is the One who sits in the Angel Group Support Group and says the words of encouragement to those hurting souls. I know that it is Christ that these women see who offers hope and healing, who’s understanding is given because if it were really me, the human called Sue, I would probably be asking as many questions as the others in the group.

I don’t always have the answers to difficult questions, like those that we struggle with on occasion about why did He allow it to happen? Why didn’t He stop it? I, like so many others, do not have the answers. I have to believe what Christ tells us in the Bible, that He is love, that He does not sit and laugh at our pain, that He is faithful to complete the good work He started in us. And like so many others, I still hurt, I still cry, and I still run to Christ like a child running to daddy. ( A daddy that did not hurt me.)

Reading the testimonies of these healing people has humbled me before the Lord. I am amazed constantly that He would not only take my pain and use it to help others, but that He has chosen me to work through. I’m the one who could not mouth His name because of anger directed at Him. Yet, when I sit within a room praising Him, acting like I’ve got it all together, these women thank me for what they see before them, the healing that they see that has been done within me.

Please know that I am grateful to the Lord who has done the work. I am grateful that people look at me and find encouragement. But what you are seeing is Christ within me. You are seeing Christ at work through someone who continues to sin. And I thank Him every day that He is the One who heals, restores, and is the life within me.  He is the One who shows us that abuse is wrong, that we need others to encourage, that groups are a must for those of us who need a shoulder to cry on, someone who can share our deep pain and laugh with us when we jump for joy over some accomplishment or area of healing that we have found victory over.

He is the Power that lights the way and we are the lamp stands that He will use. Healing cannot be done alone. We need Christ, we need others to encourage. Even if you are still within the walls of pain you also can help others. A kind smile, a simple pat on the shoulder goes a very long way when someone feels cold inside.

Let Christ use you as His lamp stand. For it is His light that brings us through those dark and scary places. It is He that sits amongst us and tells us, “Healing is a process. Don’t give up. Hang in there. Been there-done that.” Christ is faithful to bring you through the pain. Trust Him for He is the One who is faithful and true. He’ll prove it was not He who hurt you. That it is His will for you to be all that He created you to be; loving, happy, and whole.

Now I cry tears of gratitude and love for the healing that He has done for me and for the healing that I know He will do for you.

~~~~~

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.

 

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Angels by Grace

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1994 I was facilitating a new ministry the Lord put on my heart. “The Angel Group” was a support group for women who had been sexually abused as children. It was the only Christian based support group within several counties and we had women traveling several miles to attend. The need was, and still is great.

One morning the Lord woke me up out of a sound sleep and told me, “Get up! You’re going to publish a magazine.” I had no idea how to do that but as always the Lord is faithful to walk us through whatever He calls us to do. Standing at the kitchen table with Christ beside me we put together a small outreach publication for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. All submissions were by survivors. The publication started out with only 25 mailings and by the end of four and a half years it had crossed into several states and the hands of many, from hurting survivors to professionals, pastors and everyone in between. Any time we follow the calling of the Lord and do things His way we will be successful. Over the past several months, you my readers, have read several of those submissions.

Here is a letter to the Angel Ministry, now Elah Ministries, Inc., as an example of how reaching out can bring hope, healing, and deliverance to those who are hurting. I see our blogs, yours and mine, as an outreach ministry and regardless of whether you have comments at the end of your article or not, you are touching someone.

~~~~~~

April 1998

Dear Angels of Angels by Grace and Angel Group:

I am a fellow “Angel” if you should call it that. Though I must confess it’s been years since I’ve felt like one. I write to you to praise, mainly because I’ve lived in this town for over ten years and your Angels by Grace magazine is the first outreach of support I’ve encountered in that time without seeking it out.

I wanted to let you know, that both witness and compassionate brothers and sisters in this healing journey that yes, you are reaching out indeed. Your magazine managed to reach its way into a secured building and guarded cell block in Douglas County jail, where myself and a handful of women have been blessed with the assurance that there are still people who care.

The other reason I wanted to send praise is on a more personal note. And actually, maybe it’s not so much praise for your work as it is a deep gratitude. I have been here a month and await my court date next week, concerning charges resulting from an addiction that I have.

The addiction in turn, results from years of traveling over, under, and around issues from eight years of sexual abuse as a child. The psychological and mental aspects of healing are nothing new to me. I’ve been through more forms of counseling than I care to disclose.

What is new to me though, is recognizing that no amount of medicine or counseling will help heal these buried hurts if I neglect to make my relationship with Jesus Christ a “constant” in that journey. I have been a born again Christian for seven years now, but oddly enough, that revelation has just occurred to me.

Receiving your magazine today made that possible by awakening a desire in me. A desire to examine my heart and surrender it to the Lord. I have realized that literally, it is too exhausting for me to carry the burdens any longer. I am now ready and willing to let God take them for me.

An added bonus, if you can call it that, is that I have taken the first step in overcoming my addiction and getting my life back on track. There is, most assuredly, a long road ahead for me. And it seems deeply overwhelming at times. I had thought, “there’s so much to do to begin really healing, make amends, forgive others, forgive myself, that I don’t know where to start.”

I do know now. I’ll start on my knees. If that doesn’t work, then I’ll try flat on my face and stomach. I’m learning to pray again and it’s wonderful. I am scared out of my wits when I think about what lies ahead. What I’ll find that I’ve been hiding away. I fear that maybe it will be to much to handle, but in my heart I know that’s just that scared little girl talking, who didn’t know Jesus.

The best part of all of this is that I’m a grown woman now, who knows and believes in Him. Satan, with all his manipulative demons, has no power here! Not in my days now.

I wanted to say to each of you that the lesson of the week for me has been to learn to take the promises of God as just that, Promises. Promises from One who would never forsake or break them. In 1Peter 5:10,11 it says, “The God of all grace, Who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself perfect, establish, strengthen and restore you. To Him be the power for ever and ever.” That’s a promise!

Thank you again for sending your love, even unbeknownst, to each of us here. You are in our prayers, and I ask that if you will, would you please remember to say a word for us? There is a magnitude of hurt and bitterness here the devil himself would back away from. I know that none of it can be cleansed without the power of God. Please pray for that power. Sending much love and thanks, and may God bless and keep you.  Alice.

~~~~~~

http://www.elahministries.com   http://www.facebook.com/elahministries

http://www.suespen2paper.com   http://www.cybersupportgroup.org

elah501c@bellsouth.net

Blessings to you.