Saturday, November 22, 2008

SOMETHING OF MY STORY

Someone asked me elsewhere if I would share something of my story. So for them, here goes.
Do not suppose however, that knowing something of my experiences will enable anyone to then claim that my understanding of Scripture is experience driven. It is not. Though my experiences do give me an insight into some aspects of life, my life experiences did not reveal to me truth or healing. God’s Word and God’s actions in my life did and do.

I grew up Catholic, went to Catholic school for my early grades. My family taught that the man was the leader and a woman had to follow, obey/yield to her man if she expected to find happiness. And a husband was the way to happiness for a woman. I was abused and sexually molested from a young age, and raped several times from my teen years to a young adult. I witnessed how the men in my extended family treated their women. My mother divorced my father when I was very young, married another when I was in “middle school” age, and though he was the love of her life, he was very promiscuous. There were a couple women in my extended family who ruled the roost and I was not impressed with them. My uncle was such a good man, yet his wife and his daughter were abusive. It never occurred to me that there was another way to do life and marriage. Because of these teachings when my first husband said he was not ready to raise a child and required that I give up our child to adoption at birth, I thought I had to do as he requested. Until that time I did love him. After that I had to leave him as I could not bear to be around him for the inner pain it caused me to have to give up what has now turned out to be my only child. And in my early 20’s I seriously contemplated suicide.

That is when the Lord found me, drew me to him, lifted the burden of sin off my shoulders, convinced me that He loved me, revealed to me who Christ was and His great sacrifice, and touched my life in an inexplicable healing manner. Slowly, God began to show me in Scripture that He loved women as much as He did men, that He was able to use a woman as well as He could use a man.

God revealed to me what true equality in spite of differences was about, and is still revealing this to me. At first I did not want to accept that this could be true, because the traditional view of a woman needing to be a certain kind of womanly before men would accept her was ingrained so deeply in my psyche. I fought with God that that could not be what Scripture was saying, that men would simply not accept a woman who was not what I learned from Catholicism and traditionalism. But slowly I began to believe as the Lord took me through the Scriptures.

I had bought some Greek and Hebrew books and researched words on my own. I read voraciously every study resource I could find. I thought I had discovered a secret that God hadn’t revealed to anyone else at first. And then I began to run across other Christians who had “discovered” the same about traditionalism and the Scriptures. Paul Jewett was a big help. Joy Dawson, an incredibly anointed woman who preached and taught in YWAM also helped. Even Kathryn Kuhlman was a help and a woman who had her own Christian university, Marianne Sitton. After them, I began to find Christians who believed in Biblical equality and mutuality all over the place. And I continued researching as I do yet today. Very early as a Christian I went to a Lutheran Bible Institute, took a couple years of courses, including how to correctly inductively study the Scriptures. I’ve been studying, researching, and teaching ever since for about 36-37 years.

6 comments:

Lin said...

God Bless you, sister! You are an encouragement to many.

believer333 said...

Thank you for your kind words Lin.

It's interesting the way life works sometimes. We suffer. Through God's help we find healing. The healing gives us insight and compassion for others. And then people say we are a blessing, because we spread hope.

Curious, eh! :^)

Don said...

God uses the broken and rejected to build his Kingdom, by healing them so they can be his agent to heal others.

Molly Aley said...

((((hugs))))

I'm delighted to know you and feel honored to get to have this glimpse into your personal journey.

believer333 said...

Thank you Molly. Your kind words are very appreciated.

huggles back! :)

Lin said...

"God uses the broken and rejected to build his Kingdom, by healing them so they can be his agent to heal others."

Don this so true. I often think about how easy it is to forget that Jesus Christ knows exactly what those who suffer are going through because HE became 100% human while 100% God.