This Is It

“I thought my life was over…”

This Is It

Cathy: I was raised in a house with a mother who was and is mentally ill. She was very abusive to me, physically and emotionally. At a young age, before I started school, my great uncle moved in with us and he molested me for as long as he stayed. I think it was only a few months. I received Christ into my life when I was 6. Because of the abuse and what my mother constantly told me about how worthless I was, how I caused her illness, the problems in my parents’ marriage, and her unhappiness with life in general I became convinced there was something terribly wrong with me deep inside that kept anyone, including God, from really loving me. I carried this conviction throughout my life and I let it ruin and end my marriage, also affecting my children. I never abused my children in any way, but I was often absent emotionally because I lived in deep depression from my preteen years.

I’m 72 years old now and I’ve been divorced for 27 years. I thought my life was over and I was waiting to die. I was estranged from my sister, my mother is in a nursing home with dementia, I’m divorced, my daughter lives 400 miles away with my 2 grandsons and doesn’t need me for anything, and I lost my son to cancer under extremely difficult circumstances. I have PTSD from the childhood abuse and before my son died, that all came back and hit me so hard I was having panic attacks again from dealing with my daughter-in-law. That was when my son became ill and was placed in hospice care.

A friend invited me to move to a small town where she lives and I moved as soon as my son passed. God brought me completely to the end of myself there. I had no more defenses, all the walls I had built emotionally to protect myself through the years failed and I was teetering on a mental breakdown. I hunted for 5 years in the small town where I lived for a church and couldn’t find what I felt like I needed. One day, as I was walking through my living room I was so frustrated that I threw my hands up in the air, looked to heaven and prayed, “God, there has to be a place in Wellington I can go to church to be a part of Your family, to serve You and to learn about You. Please show me where it is!! Later in the week I was talking to my cousin, who is a minister, about not being able to find a church and she told me about a couple she knew well who had just started pastoring a church where I lived and that I needed to go. I told her I had been twice and didn’t like it. She told me to go one more time, so I went the following Sunday.

I walked in the door to the same very small crowd of about 10 or 12 people. I told God I didn’t like this. We sang old hymns, sitting down slowly and I reminded God I didn’t like this either. Then a woman got up to preach. Her sermon that morning was on holiness. Not 5 words into her message I began to have the most incredible experience of my life to that point. It felt like someone was above me pouring a pitcher of warmth, comfort, joy, peace and healing that started at the top of my head and slowly went down my whole body until it reached the tips of my toes! I don’t know how much time passed. I just know that was the most comforting feeling I had ever experienced. When the feeling reached my toes, I heard His voice over my right shoulder! I knew no one else had heard Him but I knew it was God speaking out loud to me. He said 5 words. “Here, Cathy. This is it.” I had cried out “show me where to go “ just a few days before and He answered my question directly, with 5 words!!! The creator of the entire universe, the One who placed the galaxies in the sky, hanging them in nothing, called me by name!!! “Here, Cathy. This is it.” My life changed in that moment.

I’ve spent the next 12 or 15 months on an incredible journey of healing and restoration and it’s not completely over yet. I have experienced God in my house where He miraculously healed me from depression through a song I was singing! I felt Him touch my heart! And He has talked to me- and I’ve spoken to Him in return. It has been the most magnificent experience I’ve ever heard of! I’m writing a book about it. All glory goes to Him! I’ve worked through many memories of abuse where God took me back in my mind to experience that pain of rejection and confusion one more time but this time He scraped out the infection of hurt and rejection and closed it up, healing it for all time. He asked that I apologize to my mother, which I did and He has restored that relationship in a different way. I can’t begin to tell you all that has happened in the time since then but I’m a new person at 72 years old!!! I am healed and restored! I am made whole! He loves me, more than I can possibly understand! Now, I want to share my story only to highlight what God has done for me and what He wants so badly to do for others who are hurting and crippled like I was from abuse. I hope I have been able to convey to you how incredible my story is! I know God wants me to share it.

“All glory goes to Him!”

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Matthew likes to call the moment he decided to follow God his " Blue Couch" moment. When you craft your story, you can share your "Blue Couch" moment or other stories where you have seen God at work in your life.
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