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When I was 3 yrs old our family moved to a little farm in the country, we lived there for 10 yrs.  My Dad was a truck driver, with a drinking and rage problem.  He was gone much of the time.

I had 3 older brothers and 1 sister who was 5 years older than me.  My Dad was physically, mentally sexually, and spiritually abusive; he would abuse us and then tell us we were going to hell.

When he wasn't home my sister and brothers would take out their anger on me as often as possible. Many times my oldest brother Chris protected me from the others.

I had an escape though, I would spend much time alone out exploring in the country-with my dogs - climbing trees, riding my bike.  I would take long walks down the country road and talk to God-- although I didn't know Jesus at the time.

At the age of 14, as many teens with troubled backgrounds do, I began to think of suicide constantly.

My oldest brother Chris had gone off to serve in the Navy and had accepted Christ in Basic Training.  He came home very excited about Christ and shared the gospel message with me.

I found the true answer to ending my life by accepting Christ's payment; no more guilt or shame- his death was so I could live and really live.

I received Christ on December 14, 1979- 22 years ago. My brother bought me a Thompson Chain Study Bible because he saw my hunger for the word.  He also would take me out to pass out Chic Tracts and encouraged me to share the gospel with everyone I could.

He also explained the wheel with 4 spokes that kept the Christian
going forward; the Word, Fellowship, Prayer and Witnessing.
He told me that if I was sure to keep diligent in these areas I would always go forward. 

I wish I could say everything was perfect after that but we live in a real world.

I married a man I thought to be a good man.  I met him in High School and we attended the same church. He was even a preachers kid.

It turned out that he led a double life.  At Church he taught the bible, and played music, he was very charismatic and popular-very funny making everyone laugh. 

At home he was always drunk and physically and mentally abused me. He was addicted to Porno even before internet porno-he spent much time at adult book stores and strip clubs.

I was very sad and angry and everyone thought I was the "bad" guy because I didn't speak about what I was going thru.  We went to counseling, yet Tom never gave up drinking, drugs, and porno and ended up cheating on me with other women and men too.

I divorced him after 5 years of torment- I tried to kill myself I felt so worthless.  I was afraid of hell so I never followed thru.

Then I started walking thru the worst time in my life. I tried living on my own strength without God.  I was so ignorant I thought I had to find myself- and that would make me a better person even a
better Christian. 

The Lord was right beside me thru every horrible pain and was ready to lead me to an abundant life but I couldn't see it.

For six years I walked in a worldly fashion away from the Lord, and I am so ashamed of that time in my life more than any other.

When I met the man I am now married to, he was the cutest guy at work and I knew when I saw him I was in love.  Well, I got pregnant, and he moved in.  I got pregnant again, and then we got married. 

God still had His hand on my life even though it had been a road of sin. I would not want anyone to travel this road which included a beating and emotional abuse. 

The Lord is bringing that man to the foot of the cross.

Many years ago when I was 12, because of the constant pain I learned to ease it with alcohol. I would hide it or even try to say it was ok- just social.  After having my children (I didn't want them to experience what I had) so I quit smoking, and drinking.

Drinking has been the biggest struggle for me.  And those who have been sexually raped, physically beat, and emotionally beat down in their lives can understand that dulling the pain is a normal response but not healthy.

The Lord gives us a way to face it. It isn't over night and its a day by day process of learning to trust HIS Love, by giving each pain and hurt over to him.  Crying in His arms confessing the hatred and anger- forgiving the abuser and accepting Christ's forgiveness.

It isn't over for me.  I know I have much more work to do dealing with buried memories that surface.  It takes time and work but that is true of anything worth having in life.

My Savior is right by my side and He will walk me thru and make me complete and whole In Jesus Name

My favorite Verse:

2 Corinthians 12:9
But He said to me, My grace (My favor and loving-kindness and mercy) is enough for you [sufficient against any danger and enables you to bear the trouble manfully]; for My strength and power are made perfect (fulfilled and completed) and show themselves most effective in [your] weakness. Therefore, I will all the more gladly glory in my weaknesses and infirmities, that the strength and power of Christ (the Messiah) may rest (yes, may pitch a tent over and dwell) upon me!

I didn't need to build my self esteem - I needed to grab this truth!!!!
This is the testimony of a dear friend of mine. The Lord has brought her from  being in the grip of pain and torment, to being a beautiful vessel of God.  She has a rich anointing and is used of the Lord in ways she doesn't even realize.

She has asked me not use her name so as to protect the privacy of her family, which is understandable.

I pray her story will encourage all of you to see the love and grace of our LORD and how He wants to help each one of us to walk in the peace and joy that comes only from Him. . again He creates Beauty from Ashes ..  
I love you, Carol
By "Not Alone"