Day 24 of 30 Days of Breakthrough

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Today’s story comes from a woman I love dearly. Our friendship is not one that would have happened without Jesus. Truth be told, we once were nearly enemies. But God has knit our hearts together and sown a love between us that is rare and treasured. There are very few women I will turn to and trust with my deepest struggles, or with whom I can be my truest self – warts and all. She is one of them. So much does her wisdom shine, so deep does her compassion run, so pure is her love and friendship, that from the depths of her own mess she has grown into a woman who radiates God’s love and healing for others.
If you’ve ever had an impossible situation – or have one now – this is a story that will challenge your impossibility! If you’ve lived with pain that won’t relent, with memories that refuse to release you from their torment, her testimony will drive you in desperation to the one place where she found peace: in Jesus.
As He met her in her deepest pain, so He longs to meet you. And as He transformed her, and her life, so He desires to do the same for you. He is the life and the resurrection. And, when we turn to Him, He always brings life out of the dead places, the places where we’ve lost hope. He is our Living Hope, and I pray today that you will discover Him afresh in her story!
My name is LCP. I’m a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter and a teacher, and this is my resurrection story…
I was born and raised in a very violent, abusive, and alcoholic family. I learned at a very early age to fear and despise my father and everything he stood for. I grew up very angry, bitter, unloved and unwanted, and my father made sure I knew it early on, reassuring me with every opportunity he had.
I was also raised Catholic, so I knew about God and Jesus Christ. I saw so many pictures and images of Him, so of course I was familiar with Who He was, but He was very distant and unreachable.
I remember, sometimes after very cruel beatings, crying out to God and asking Him to take me. After all, no one wanted me anyway. But nothing changed for me. Life went on, and little did I know that I would follow in my mother’s footsteps: I got pregnant, and because of that got married, and found myself living with an alcoholic man that would turn violent and abusive just like my father!
I remember in my early years of marriage asking myself, “How in the world did I marry what I hated the most?” I didn’t know I was dysfunctional, codependent and in need of a Savior. See, Satan comes to kill, steal, and destroy, and he almost got me. But God’s mercy said No. I also remember often times thinking, “There’s got to be a better way,” but again, I didn’t know anything better.
While I was dating my husband, he confided in me that when he was in high school he had this crush or platonic love for this girl, but it never came to be anything. Either she was dating someone or he was with someone as well, but that was where it ended. One night he got drunk, and I made the foolish choice to fight with him. He got physically violent and I got beaten pretty badly, but what came after the physical beating was worse than any of his punches. He went on to tell me that he didn’t love me, that he had never loved me, and that he was still in love with this girl from high school. He told me that, in order for him to make love to me, he had to think of her.
Well, needless to say, I was destroyed, broken beyond repair. My world fell apart, and my two little babies were all I had to cling to. With my heart shattered in a million pieces, I kept asking myself, “How am I going to go on feeling this way?” I wasn’t a drinker, so I couldn’t run to alcohol. I didn’t do drugs, so I couldn’t run to that either. My family and friends were thousands of miles away, and even if they were near, this was too horrible to share with anyone.
Meanwhile, there was an older woman that God had placed in my path, and she had been inviting me to her church. I felt somewhat obligated to go because at that time i had no car, and she would take me everywhere I needed to go. So, to be polite, I accepted her invitation. On one of the nights I went with her, they were having a tent service. I don’t remember a word that was preached, but I do remember ending up on my knees at the altar. Keep in mind that not a single soul knew what I was dealing with. So I found myself there, with my head low, crying uncontrollably. I wasn’t praying, because I didn’t know how. All I could do was sob for a few minutes, and then all of a sudden in my mind’s eye, I saw Jesus sitting in front of me. And I saw myself at his feet, broken. He put his hand on my shoulder and said this to me, “It doesn’t matter if he doesn’t love you. I love you.”
I felt power run from the top of my head to the bottom of my feet, and I was touched and filled by love. Love that I had never felt before, nor have I ever experienced again (this was the first and only time that I heard His voice). And I was never the same after that encounter. I didn’t know what had happened for sure, but I knew that my heartache was gone. Something inside of me was different, and I knew that I was going to make it.
That night, I was resurrected by love, and like Lazarus, I needed the help of the church to have all the bandages removed and to be fully healed. I had to grow in relationships with the people God put me in community with, and I had to become vulnerable and committed to processes that would bring healing from my past. In all of this, Jesus taught me about and brought me into forgiveness and grace. But the most important thing He taught me was about His love: that He loves the unlovable (me). He helped me to accept His grace and to believe that, by His will and His pleasure I exist – that I don’t have to perform, or attempt to impress Him. He loves me! It’s that pure and that simple.
These days I am free, and I am still growing in love! I know who I am: I am what He says I am. I am secure in Christ, and looking forward to meeting the One that captivated my heart that day at the altar… The Lover of my soul.
Great and mighty things He has done since then, and yes, 30+ years later I am still married to the same person. But, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he, too is a transformed man. And together, we are growing in the love of Christ.
Nothing is beyond God. No matter what you are going through, what you have done or what you have said, Jesus Christ is still saving, restoring, redeeming and RESURRECTING the dead.
“The thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10
{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}

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