Some time ago we asked all of you within The Growth Network family to send us your personal stories of growth, renewal and change. What follows is one of the stories we received. We pray that as you read this you will look beyond the hurt and pain and be impressed by God's work to heal and restore our hearts.
My first memory comes from our family dining room table. it’s of my third birthday, and I was being celebrated. My next memory is starkly contrasted with the care-free joy of my first memory. It comes from a laundry room floor where I first remember my sexual abuse beginning. From that day forward I felt incredibly broken.
Some childhood memories are filled with laughter and love, but even that was darkened by a shadow of abuse. I prayed God would make things better, but by the time I was 11, things got worse, much worse. I lost my first child, one of my four abusers attempted to sell me to a fifth individual, and although things worsened, thankfully, the physical and sexual torture ended by age 16.
In the aftermath, I hated my life – my family, myself, and my God. Grace pursued, me, though. Love exceeded my hatred and brought me back home, but still, I felt so broken. I tried to patch that brokenness with anything but submission to God: cutting, drinking, smoking, empty sex, masturbation, partying, even religious busyness.
God filled that void, though. He broke through all of my futile attempts to self-medicate. I can’t articulate how, but He healed me, completely – brokenness, pain, anxiety, depression – all gone. He didn’t make me better, like I’d pleaded for years. He made me new. My attitude, love, worship, even tears – all made new. I’ve been freed to free others, and I'll ever lift Him until He sets them all free!
Today, Dee is a loving wife and committed mother of 4. With extensive counseling experience, she is currently just about one month away from becoming a full-fledged Doctor of Psychology. You can read her blog here, or subscribe to her video blog here.
Please send us your story of growth via facebook or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Be sure to send us a photo and keep it under 250 words. We're looking forward to hearing how God has worked in your life.