Tag Archives: murder

Testimonial Thursday: Broken to Whole at the Cross

Today on the blog, Susie Hamilton shares her testimony with us. Thank you, Susie for your obedience to God and your bravery to share.

 

I grew up in a small country town. My father was the pastor of the church we attended. I was a PK, pastor’s kid. I was expected to be an example for the rest of the youth. But I had a secret. I had been sexually abused by some neighborhood boys and threatened not to tell or worse would happen, so I kept my mouth shut and put on my mask and pretended to be the perfect daughter. This opened doors for strongholds of shame, loss of self-worth, fear, bitterness, anger, and lack of trust to take root in my life. During my teen years these strongholds were fed by many things such as being the last kid picked in games, the awkwardness of adolescense and more. I felt like an ugly duckling in a room full of swans.

I got saved and worked in different capacities as Youth director and camp counselor but never dealt with my secret hurts and wounds. One spring while home for a break between semesters of college my father was murdered by a neighbor who had taken my dad to court and lost. He had decided to take justice into his hands. With my dads death and the trial that followed I decided that God could not be a God of love to allow this to happen so I ran from God. Within a year I chose to enter the gay lifestyle. I felt celebrated and encouraged to be who I felt I was. There is pleasure in sin for a season but it is followed by the consequences of that choice.

I was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a hysterectomy to remove it. This resulted in my not being able to have children and hormonal changes along with a relationship breakup. I was devastated. I admitted myself to a Psych ward for help. I was diagnosed with severe depression and PTSD. I had also begun to drink heavily to drown my sorrows and dull the pain. After a few more relationship breakups I attempted suicide. I was tired of hurting and felt this was the best solution. But God had other plans. He had continued to pursue me. A friend that was not supposed to visit me that evening came by and called 911. I again spent time in a psych ward. After my release I felt it might be a good idea to give God another try so I went back to church and began to get help. I was doing very good for awhile, but I still had not dealt with those deep wounds. I still felt a loneliness in my soul. I again began to look to fill that longing in the wrong place, in the arms of another woman. I knew it was wrong even as I chose to do it but I had a big hole in my soul, one that only God could fill, but I didn’t know that at the time.

After a couple of years I realized what a huge mistake I had made and returned to God. This time was different. I began to ask and allow him to heal the wounds. I took each one to the cross and allowed Jesus’s blood to flow over them, while crying buckets of tears.

During this time I ended up having life saving heart surgery. I had a stent inserted in the main artery of my heart. God showed me that even though I had a physical heart problem, I also had a spiritual heart problem. My life had become clogged and filled with the damaged emotions and brokenness of my past. In order for my soul to grow in relationship with Father God, it needed to be cleaned out. It was a relationship with God that I had missed all those years.

Today, I am amazed at the change God has done in my life. He has truly completely changed me. I’m not perfect but I continue on my journey with God. I now know my true identity. I am a daughter of the Most High God.

 

Susie has written her memoir. You can purchase “Broken to Whole at the Cross” here: https://www.xulonpress.com/bookstore/bookdetail.php?PB_ISBN=9781498478823&HC_ISBN,

 

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Healing For Charleston

HEALING FOR CHARLESTON

By Carolyn Dale Newell

For God has not given us a spirit of fear,

But of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Tim. 1:7 (NKJV)

Americans are devastated by the news of the massacre at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston South Carolina. Wednesday evening, Dylann Roof entered the African American church, sitting with the people for an hour. Surely, they expressed love to him, but he pulled out a gun and began to shoot. Nine people were killed, and there were three survivors. This was an act of terrorism from the enemy himself, Satan.

Our focus doesn’t need to be on the killer’s motives. It certainly doesn’t need to be on racism or gun control. The focus of the church, the bride of Christ, needs to be on healing. Healing for Charleston and beyond the city limits to the heart of every Christian. We must pray for comfort from the God of all comfort. We must seek the peace that surpasses all understanding.

God is still sovereign. This did not surprise Him. Christians in foreign countries have faced persecution, and now the church in the United States can no longer deny its presence.

Persecution is no stranger to the church. The early church, especially the apostles, faced persecution with boldness, and that is what we must do. Yes, the church in the book of Acts met behind locked doors, not because of fear, but because of wisdom. God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear. Satan takes care of that. God gives us a sound mind to make wise decisions.

The enemy, Satan, comes “to steal, and to kill, and to destroy” (John 10:10). Nine Christians were murdered during a time of Bible study and prayer. These martyrs are now in heaven receiving their crowns. Satan has destroyed the lives of their families and the 3 survivors who must live with the trauma of this tragedy, but we cannot allow Satan to steal love and peace from the church.

How many people will not share the gospel today because of fear? How many visitors will not receive love on Sunday morning because of suspicion? Even worse, will any strangers be turned away from a church because of Satan’s reign of fear?

If we fail to boldly proclaim the gospel, and if we fail to love, we are giving in to Satan’s terrorism. The church will cease to be what God called us to be.

As we move forward, we must pray for boldness. We need the courage of Paul who was not afraid to go to Jerusalem where chains awaited him. He was not afraid to go to Rome where he was beheaded. He wrote from a Roman prison, “In nothing I shall be ashamed, but with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death” (Phil. 1:20b).

Pray, church, now more than ever! Pray for healing in Emanuel AME Church. Pray for healing for the families. Pray for Christians everywhere that in spite of the horror of this event, we will love like never before. We will not be silenced by Satan. We will not allow him to sow seeds of discord.  Hatred is of Satan, but love is of God. Now, go share the love of Jesus today!

Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.