Testimony Given at “Sweet Evening of Praise” August 1, 2010
This year I began with a heart felt prayer to God, “God I give You full access to my heart. Nothing is off limits to You. The things I've kept hidden in closets and attics and under rugs in my life. I'm giving You permission to begin and continue the process of cleaning, healing and restoring. I ask You God from here and now for irreversible change. I ask You to transform me into the person You created me to be… I give You permission to take me on what ever path You in Your sovereignty want to take me down… I want to experience my greatest adventure in life walking with You… Heal my “fractured faith.” Restore my faith. May this be my year of breakthrough, my year of triumph, my year of overcoming… I want to recover more ground that the enemy had stolen from me. Draw me closer to You…”
I'd like to share with you how God brought healing into my life through both the True Identity Seminar and the True Identity Retreat. First through the True Identity Seminar.
About a year after accepting Christ as my Savior, my father entered the hospital and 10 days later he died from leukemia. I was 10 years old. I had prayed believing God would heal my dad. Instead I felt abandoned by God and my faith was shattered.
In 7 th grade my mom married a man who sexually abused me for 3 years until she divorced him. Shame permeated my being – I believed I was defective as a human being – I believed I am unlovable – I need to hide. My mom would say, “If your friends really knew you, they wouldn't like you.” I was stuck in a pattern of abandonment and rejection. Wearing a mask became an everyday ritual. On the outside, I'd put on the smile, but inside I was dying of loneliness, shame, and self-hatred. I was angry at God. I felt like He didn't love me. I saw God the Father as a mean tyrant and Jesus had to go to the cross to pacify God the Father's anger.
I realize now that at the age of 10 I believed the lies of the enemy and I began to choose attitudes and a life style of an orphan. For 46 years I believed I was fatherless. I heard a definition of miracle as “a shift in perception.” On January 30 th , at the True Identity Seminar, God worked a miracle in me during the video, “The Father's Love Letter.” It starts off with, “He's the Father you've been looking for all your life.” Those words grabbed my heart and tears began to flow. And when God the Father said, “I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love” I saw for the first time in my life God the Father's love expressed for me at Calvary. In the video there is a picture of a dad walking hand-in-hand with his child. On January 30 th I saw my Heavenly Daddy. I saw His heart for me – His love for me. I was able to reach up and take His hand and we are now walking through life together. I am no longer an orphan.
“Your Grace has found me just as I am
Empty handed but alive in Your hands
Forever I am changed by Your love
In the presence of Your majesty.”
God created me for the supreme purpose of having a love relationship with Him and now I am able to experience that walking with Him hand-in-hand.
“I've seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered
Broken hearts become brand new
That's what faith can do.”
I was anticipating God using the True Identity Retreat to bring more healing in my life because of what He had done through the Seminar earlier this year.
God orchestrated everything at the retreat to let me know His fingerprints were all over my life and I was at the right place at the right time for Him to continue what He had begun. He wanted to do a major healing in my heart.
As I arrive at Strong Rock camp for the retreat, I receive a white rose and a note from Lori. In the note she quotes Psalm 18:24, “I'm excited to see God cast a fresh and new anointing on your life as you open the book of your heart to His eyes.”
The table God placed me at is named “beautiful” a word God had been telling me that I have had a hard time believing. My table leader, Linda Michelle, has a ministry for incest survivors and on Saturday she shares her testimony, which included her sexual abuse story.
Friday night Lori shares her testimony, which struck my heart, and I began to weep. She explained why she walked through some things in her life as a result of the sexual abuse she suffered as a child. I related so much to what she was saying: a sense of belonging; hope that someone might really want and love her; was taught sex was love; desperately seeking attention and kindness – evidence that she was worth something; seeking to be loved and not alone; craving to be treated as something precious – instead she was treated as worthless and discarded like a piece of trash; she accepted the responsibility and assumed she was unlovable. This all correlated with what happened with me in my therapy session earlier that morning. I grieved, sobbing deeply. My tears were “water, representing the Spirit, is at work to break through areas of hindrance and bondage in my life.”
God had strategically chiseled all the cracks in my dam when Sunday, April 25th arrived. I knew the video, “The Father's Love Letter,” was going to be shown. I had first seen it at the seminar. It still moved me and touched my heart especially watching the little children. I started picturing me as a little girl.
We had a reflection exercise where we were to write in the mirror a true reflection of who we are - as God sees us. As I am writing, the song by Aaron Keyes, “Not Guilty Anymore” is playing. All of a sudden my dam bursts when I hear the phrase, “you're not filthy anymore.” I sobbed uncontrollably as people prayed for me and Linda Michelle held me.
The seminar ended with a prophetic dance by Carla to the song, “Royalty,” where God is saying you are a queen, you are royalty. The song tells how God's heart broke and His tears flowed out like a river because I stopped believing. The song goes on to say this is your coronation day and we are being crowned because you were made to be a queen. After Carla finished we each get to walk down the red carpet where Jennifer was waiting to place our crown upon our head. It was our coronation day. I left the True Identity retreat washed and made clean by God's healing tears – His tears which flowed out like a river – washing away pain from my childhood.
God wanted me to look in His mirror and see the beauty that He sees – to see the heart that He sees. God wanted to make it real clear to me to write on my mirror, “I am NOT filthy.” He wants to get that truth deep within my heart. He wants me free. “If the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” John 8:36 (NLT)
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