Presented by TRM Inc.

The testimony of Shelly, touched in our meetings at Hope Christian Fellowship, Greensboro NC.

I was once a very broken individual. Having come from a background of childhood sexual abuse, I had brought some very deep scars into my marriage to a man who was just as broken and scarred as I was.

After several years, looking for my marriage to fix everything that was wrong with me, I found myself to be a mess! I was a physical and emotional wreck.

I had been diagnosed with a chronic illness that left me constantly exhausted and in pain. Even on the days I felt emotionally normal, I found myself physically unable to do the things I wanted to do.

I had been battling this illness for several months, when one day I had taken all I believed I could take. I was standing in my bedroom with a handful of prescription medication, trying to decide how many of the pills to take to end my life.

For some reason, I did not take the pills that day, but I did decide that I needed help. I spent three weeks in a mental health facility trying to put my life back together.

When I returned home, better equipped to handle the "stress" in my life, I still had a long road ahead of me. I was daily battling depression, even though I had medication to control it.

I sought Christian counseling, hoping to be totally "cured" of this terrible depression. Yet, I felt that if I could not be free from horrible memories of abuse as a child, I could not be free from depression in which I was bound. I just wanted to die! I didn't want to kill myself, but I prayed for God to take me to Heaven.

When I thought I had reached the most hopeless point in my life, I found God had better plans for me. A very excited friend invited me to a meeting at a local church. She kept saying, "You've just GOT to go; the Lord is really moving!" Out of curiosity, I decided to go with her.

I could feel the strong presence of the Lord. During the teaching, I watched many people spontaneously burst into laughter. I was unsure of what to think of this manifestation; I had never seen anything like it. I was drawn by the fact that these people were FAR from being depressed.

Listening and watching, I suddenly felt the urge to laugh. The thought came to me, "This is so silly. You are just laughing because others around you are laughing." Yet, I laughed anyway-- and laughed--and laughed some more.

I didn't really know what was happening inside of me. I just knew that this joy that I was experiencing was wonderful change.

As a few days passed, I began to realize that God was doing something BIG in me. I wasn't depressed at all! Physically, I was better; I wasn't nearly as tired as before. Previous pains I had suffered were diminishing.

As I continued attending the meetings, the laughter became stronger. Though many nights I was "plastered" to the floor, laughing uncontrollably, I still had not grasped the full extent of what God was doing in me. Yet, I knew I was feeling better all the time.

I knew I never wanted to be out of His increasing and wonderful presence! Prompted by the Spirit, I prayed,"Lord, I don't know what it is You want to do with me, but whatever it is, I want You to do it."

As I prayed the last word, I physically felt a "weight" lift off of my shoulders. He was lifting all the burdens accumulated since childhood. He filled the space with His peace.

I cannot explain the overwhelming peace that has remained. It passes all understanding. My heart was so full of peace, so free from burdens, that I began to cry. Yet, I had no tears of sadness--only tears of joy!

Having been a Christian since I was 6 years old, I was very aware of the price Jesus paid on Calvary. This, however, was a new and personal revelation of His love for me. He loved me so much that He ministered to my very own personal need.

I was scheduled to see my counselor a few days later. Her office was in her home. While we waited for her babysitter, she noticed a big difference in me. Having a big smile on her face, she asked, "So, what has happened to you?"

Very excited, I told her about the weight lifting off of me and the flooding of peace within. She began to cry, for she, as my counselor, knew the depth of hurt under which I had been buried. She also knew the power of God to heal that hurt.

Rejoicing together over what God had done, we ended the session with the understanding that only IF I needed her would I give her a call.

Stunned by the fact that I didn't have to return for another session, I realized my counselor agreed I didn't need her services anymore. HEY, THAT MEANT THAT I WAS HEALED!!!!!

I began to praise God all over again. I laughed, I cried, I sang, and I shouted! I was free! I shared the good news with my husband, and he was very happy though a little skeptical. He, too, had been to the services and was receiving some healing.

As I began to watch the Lord healing him, I saw him becoming a new man...the man God had created him to be. Those traits I had loved about him when we met were reappearing, along with new ones I admired.

Once again, I experienced the Lord's love in a personal way. Through the healing in me and in my husband, He was also healing a very broken marriage.

Today, my marriage is stronger and more wonderful than ever! My husband and I are ministering together as worship leaders. Each time I lift my voice in worship, I am reminded of the reasons for which to worship the Lord. No song could express the love and gratitude I have in my heart to the Lord for what He has done for me. He had given me life, and life MORE ABUNDANTLY.

The joy of the Lord is truly my strength!

Shelley M, Hope Christian Fellowship, Greensboro, NC

Copyright TRM Inc.  1997

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