Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Raven White
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00080B
00:13 Welcome back, you know on the last segment I was talking
00:16 about the maintenance stuff and what to do with exercise,
00:18 eating, and sleeping and all that stuff.
00:21 I want to say that one of the things, to that I realize,
00:24 is that I needed to find out what God says as far
00:29 as in my recovery.
00:30 I have a couple Bibles and a want you to grab what ever
00:33 one works for you.
00:34 I got one that's called the Recovery Bible, and all the
00:36 way through the Bible it actually talks about recovery.
00:39 It talks about anger, it talks about lying, it talks
00:41 about all the good stuff that we are stuck with.
00:43 It talks about all that and this one right here that
00:45 I just got gifted from a friend who is actually in the
00:49 café right now, it's a study Bible.
00:52 So this one has a chain reference throughout the Bible.
00:55 So if I want to look at faith, or fear, or something like
00:59 that, it will take me from one place to the next place
01:03 to the next place, where the Bible talks about that.
01:05 So I'll get a really good sense of what God wants to say
01:08 to me on that issue.
01:10 Some people stay away from that, but if my best thinking
01:14 got me into this mess, I'm going to need someone outside
01:18 of myself to get me out of it.
01:20 A lot of the 12 step groups talk about needing a higher
01:23 power, I found out my higher power is God, is Jesus
01:26 Christ, is the Holy Spirit and so the only way I'm going
01:28 to find out what He wants for my life is to actually
01:31 to get in the word.
01:33 What is really fun is the book that we are offering this
01:37 season is by Shelley Quinn, it's called,
01:39 'Pressing Into His Presence. '
01:41 It teaches you how to pray and she sets aside now and
01:45 hour every day which is prayer time with God.
01:48 That sounds like a lot, but most guys I know spend
01:52 three hours watching football so you have to
01:54 put it in perspective.
01:56 An hour a day gets you so grounded in your recovery that
02:01 you will be surprised at just how blessed you feel, how
02:04 healthy you feel and the other things come easier.
02:06 So grab a Bible, if you don't have one call here and get
02:10 one, go to a bookstore, or ask friend.
02:15 Get a good Bible that you like and teach yourself how to
02:20 pray and let the Holy Spirit teach you actually.
02:22 I'm going to introduce you to Raven, Raven I have to say
02:26 when I first met you at Wildwood I was blessed.
02:28 I'm even more blessed that you are on the program.
02:30 Thank you, thank you!
02:32 When we first met, I remember just being down the hall
02:35 and around the corner, and I heard someone just talking,
02:39 laughing and telling a story.
02:41 I thought who is that? Because you sounded so much
02:44 like me I think, just kind of loud and funny.
02:47 I realized that we had met before too.
02:51 It was in DC at the 10 Commandments with 3ABN and I was
02:58 walking with a friend and you saw me.
03:00 It was such a blessing, you started talking to me as if
03:04 the Lord told you to say something to me.
03:07 You offered me your book about your testimony,
03:10 which I actually used and gave to other young girls
03:13 that loved your book.
03:14 So yeah, we met then.
03:17 What was really fun is that I love when God does that,
03:20 just says you know what, you guys need to minister to
03:23 each other and I think the thing that got me at that
03:29 point was telling you that God is God.
03:32 He has a plan for our life and that kind of stuff.
03:35 But you have an incredible story and so I want you
03:38 to share where you came from.
03:40 Then if we can jump in on talking about how you maintain
03:45 that about health, because this whole program right now
03:48 is just about health.
03:50 But you came from pretty intense places.
03:54 Well I was born and raised in Washington, DC.
03:57 Ironically, I think for God's protection for me, I can't
04:02 remember much, I remember bits and pieces.
04:05 I know that I have 10 brothers in all, but I only
04:08 interacted with a few of them.
04:10 - why, where they different places?
04:13 Well I was the youngest, I was the baby so many
04:15 of my brothers were gone from the home because
04:18 they were much older.
04:19 The youngest one, which was closest to me at only five
04:21 years, I'm used to him being around.
04:23 I knew there was a gentleman coming here and there at
04:27 the time I did not know it was my father.
04:28 It is weird because one moment of my life I remember
04:32 being in a movie theater with him, with another woman,
04:36 and I was, can I call you mommy?
04:38 Just because I wanted to do that family thing,
04:42 and my brother started laughing, and my father said,
04:44 don't you dare say that, you only have one mother.
04:46 But to push forward in the future when I was having
04:50 issues with the learning, they said oh yeah your
04:53 child probably have been a problem because,
04:55 it's probably the divorce and I was thinking
04:57 what divorce, my mother doesn't have a man.
04:59 It's just me, my mother, and my brother.
05:02 I didn't even think sometimes about my older brothers
05:05 until one day I said, mommy, my brother is white.
05:08 She said no baby, he's the light skinned and I said,
05:11 no, no, no, he is white.
05:12 It sounds like, at that point, as a little girl you
05:14 were just starting to look up and say nothing
05:16 is making sense to me.
05:18 It seems like was trying to put the pieces together,
05:20 because in my brain nothing was coming together
05:23 in a chronological order, but my upbringing was
05:27 very disturbing, it was.
05:31 I was abused early and I was picked on constantly.
05:37 It seemed like I was just the underdog.
05:39 For the majority of my life, after being raped, and the
05:45 difficulty that I found the most is that no one seemed
05:49 to notice that something was wrong with me.
05:53 - wow, nobody was paying attention.
05:54 It was difficult, I know my family, my mom,
05:57 dad was raised, I guess on his own, he left the house at 16.
06:02 He met a group of men who taught him that he should have
06:05 many wives, and so when he married my mom he already
06:09 had other wives and that was the difficulty.
06:12 My mom was raised with the mindset that a man ever wants
06:16 you he'll leave you for a light skinned woman because
06:19 you are just too dark.
06:20 So my father left her for a light skinned woman and it
06:23 made such a difficulty.
06:25 So now she is a single woman taking care of, at the time
06:29 then I knew of, a few of my brothers because the others
06:32 were gone because they were from other women.
06:34 She couldn't be there to notice all that was going on.
06:37 So my brothers and I was going through various different
06:41 things in life, and myself, men would come around and I
06:45 did know how to handle that.
06:47 She never personally brought men into the home,
06:49 but I was a kid that had difficulties growing up with
06:54 my environment, I was still an outgoing kid.
06:57 I wanted anyone and everyone to feel loved,
06:59 it's a problem, it's a problem.
07:02 It's a problem because you attract people that are
07:04 abusive, and they will take advantage of a child like
07:07 that, especially one that is needy.
07:09 One that doesn't have a father to fill that void up.
07:12 The damage is really intense really early.
07:15 As I was growing up my brothers, they were very
07:19 protective but in the environment we lived in,
07:22 there was many murders, people wouldn't fight.
07:25 - they seem to have the highest murder
07:26 rate in the nation.
07:27 People wouldn't fight, they killed and I couldn't handle
07:31 at a young age, I could not handle finding out one of
07:35 my brothers was going to die because of me.
07:37 I wasn't worth it, where did they get the idea?
07:40 I don't know, I just wasn't worth that, so they didn't
07:43 know, my mom did know, no one knew.
07:45 Because your fear was that if I tell them I got raped,
07:47 they are going to go and kill somebody, or be killed.
07:50 They are going to want to protect me.
07:52 Also I could not read, what I learned now is that when
07:57 you are damaged at a certain age it is making everything
08:00 else difficult for you.
08:02 So for me, I could not read, if you told me to pronounce
08:04 out a certain word, difficult, even to this day.
08:08 It took up to the age of 20 for me to learn how to read.
08:12 The King James version was actually taught me.
08:15 When you said you learned to read through the King James,
08:18 because I love the poetic thing of the King James, but it
08:22 is harder for me to read that.
08:23 I learned to read at 23, so that was late, but King James
08:27 I would just say forget it, I would have to get something
08:29 simpler, and now I love the poetry of it.
08:32 But you learned from the King James.
08:34 You see what happened was when I was 14, this gentleman
08:36 raped me at 14, then by the time I was 17, a guy called
08:41 me up before and told me that he personally tried
08:43 to get me pregnant.
08:45 I was like man, this is horrible.
08:47 My mother tried to teach me Jesus, but it was like hey,
08:51 her and I didn't have the best relationship.
08:52 I did know how to relate to her because I assumed she
08:55 should have picked up something was wrong with me.
08:57 - she should have protected me!
08:59 She didn't know, so at the time I didn't know that.
09:01 It's hard, because it sounds like what you were feeling
09:04 is that I wasn't being protected by mom or anybody.
09:07 My mother and I, because we didn't communicate, there
09:10 are things I didn't understand even just about life.
09:13 Male and female interactions, how I was supposed to act
09:16 with men, or anything.
09:17 One day I was in my biology class, this is something
09:21 I didn't learn at home, when my teacher started to talk
09:24 about male and female interactions and how children
09:27 came about, I was thinking man, this is not possible because
09:31 at 14, I should have been pregnant.
09:34 But what you are saying is I should have been pregnant,
09:38 but I'm thinking, why wasn't I pregnant?
09:40 That's impossible, something happened and it made me
09:44 start to think about something must be greater than me.
09:48 If the human body does one thing, and my body did some
09:51 thing different, then there must be something greater than me.
09:56 That put me on a search, I started questioning my hands.
10:00 I start to question why the sky is hanging up there?
10:02 Where did rain come from?
10:04 You could tell me all the chemical and blah, blah, blah.
10:06 Yeah, but where did it come from?
10:08 I needed to know, so I went on search of all world
10:11 religions, difficulty was I couldn't read.
10:14 So that was my problem I had, I had this desire to try
10:19 and understand these words of different books and
10:21 religions, what is higher than me?
10:23 Where did I come from? How was I even created?
10:26 It has to be more than I know so far.
10:29 Something and I ran away from the Christian God because
10:32 my mother was a Christian,
10:34 and remember I didn't like her.
10:36 So I didn't want to know anything about her God.
10:37 So I studied Hindu, Buddhism, trying to talk to
10:42 other people and with their great comprehension
10:44 I could read but not much, if the words got too big,
10:47 it was too much for me.
10:49 I did settle back because there were some good people
10:53 who were Christians, and I settled back and said I will
10:56 try to learn about the Christian God.
10:59 I did a King James version, a living version and I am
11:02 studying back-and-forth trying to understand the words
11:05 and for some reason within one year my brain started
11:09 to attach to words.
11:11 I had an issue with my mom, I said I need to leave
11:15 the home, this is by 17 that I said I need to find
11:18 where is this God.
11:20 By 18 I said I need to leave home, I can't handle this.
11:24 Her and I did not have the best relationship and again
11:26 she does not know why.
11:27 I had a gentleman in my church, my mother forced us to
11:32 go to different churches, all kinds of churches.
11:35 She stopped off at a Seventh- day Adventist church when
11:38 I was 14, and I was thinking you are all apostates.
11:42 My hatred for Adventist was horrible, horrible.
11:47 - wait, I am Adventist, but that was like your mom's
11:51 issue and it was still with all that stuff.
11:53 Right, right in the thing again is a misunderstanding
11:56 so because my mom liked it, I didn't like it.
11:58 Nothing else, but I still was on a search.
12:02 So I started to search out God from the Bible.
12:06 I could understand, I started understanding and I was
12:09 praising the Lord that He was showing me Him.
12:13 In the word of God I began to read more.
12:16 So the gentleman at church said Raven, why don't you go
12:20 to this particular college?
12:22 I was thinking, sure as long as it gets me
12:25 out of the house.
12:27 But you know, I know there was a period of time where you
12:31 acted out, is that not happening yet?
12:33 I'm more acting out not in anger, that did not hit until
12:38 college, I acted out more with being with many gentleman.
12:43 I needed to be with men, I had to have at least five minimum,
12:47 just in case I can handle silence, I couldn't handle it
12:51 at all, I had a TV in every room.
12:53 It was the thing to have and it was always on.
12:56 What I have to say too, is a lot of people, and I don't
12:59 know if you see that even now in the Ministry that you
13:01 do, but a lot of people without fathers will search for
13:04 that male connection.
13:07 We are never going to find it in intimate relationships
13:11 because we need a father, but we don't know that.
13:14 Yes, and because of the court situation between my mom
13:18 and my dad, he would have to come back into the picture
13:20 at times, which would anger me sometimes and then other
13:24 times it was, I just wanted to be daddies little girl.
13:26 I just want to be daddies little girl, but because he
13:29 didn't know how to connect like that with me, I would go off
13:31 and be with whoever I could, whether it was real or fake
13:36 they could tell me I don't like you and I don't remember
13:38 your name, it didn't matter.
13:40 At least I could lie to myself for the moment so I wouldn't
13:43 be alone, I hated to be alone.
13:47 For me the transition in high school, which was being with
13:52 many men, then by 17 getting this epiphany, there is
13:57 a God, ironically I was with one guy, I tried, I tried
14:02 my hardest to be with one guy.
14:03 He went off to the Marines, he said Raven, I'll get you out
14:08 of the projects and I will take care of you and
14:11 I will marry you.
14:12 That was the only relationship, a one-year relationship
14:14 and he asked me to marry him.
14:16 Now I'm getting into knowing God, and I am on the phone
14:19 with him and I said, I need to get to know God.
14:22 I said that with confidence and then I had a strict depth
14:28 of fear, because people always said I was so stupid.
14:31 Raven you are just dumb, you can't say anything,
14:33 you don't speak properly, and what do I say to make up
14:37 for me for saying something stupid.
14:40 He said I'm not ready for God.
14:41 I was like you know what dude, I would be a slave
14:46 unto men, because I didn't want to be alone, but for some
14:49 reason this time, it was like you have to go.
14:52 I know you didn't just say, and mind you at this time
14:56 I didn't even understand the depths of what I was doing.
14:58 You know God just gave you this boldness, I'm sorry this
15:01 isn't my direction, I may not understand it yet,
15:04 but this is my direction.
15:06 Exactly, after that of course I started to pick Christian
15:09 men, who at least said they were Christians but we were
15:12 doing the same thing.
15:13 Try to understand, I'm having sex, I'm not trying to stop
15:16 going to movies, he understood Christianity and I didn't.
15:20 I was sitting there thinking, you're just saying you
15:23 don't believe in God, that was how my mindset was.
15:25 I didn't understand an 18-year-old boy saying I don't
15:27 want to stop having sex, my mind says you don't believe
15:30 in God that I just started to believe in.
15:33 Oh no, you have to go and that pretty much became my
15:37 interacting with men, to try to hold onto men and find
15:41 God, because my prayer after that became Jesus if You are
15:45 a real God, can you get me a man?
15:47 - can you settle this for me? Somebody that's real
15:51 that is going to take care of me.
15:53 - give me a good man that I can get lost in, I don't
15:55 want to be at verbatim words, I don't want to be myself,
15:58 I want to be what ever He wants me to be.
16:00 Just find me a good Christian man that I can get lost in.
16:02 That was my prayer from 17 on to 20.
16:06 - because you know for a lot of people that we don't
16:08 realize we don't know who our self is.
16:09 I don't know what it means to be myself.
16:11 So don't ask me to do that.
16:13 I've vowed that I wouldn't have children, I refuse to
16:17 have any children in this kind of family, in this kind of
16:20 neighborhood, and I refuse to have anything more of me.
16:24 - talk about the projects, because when you said getting
16:27 out of the projects, what was that like?
16:30 A lot people don't understand that.
16:31 Well the projects is pretty much a city area of darkness.
16:35 It just seemed dark, everybody's pregnant, they have
16:38 drive-by shootings, there's always someone outside, there
16:41 are always people were just there smoking and loud
16:45 and just noisy, that was my impression at the time.
16:50 It was dismal, and everything was pitiful and you are
16:54 never going to make it beyond this.
16:56 If you can get out of this, great, but if you can't,
16:59 let's just deal with it.
17:01 Just at 16 someone walked up to me on the street and
17:03 said, so you're not pregnant yet?
17:06 You don't have any children, because they said happy
17:07 Mother's Day to me, and I said I'm not a mother.
17:10 He was like, how old are you? I said 16.
17:13 He said you're getting old - I'm getting old?
17:17 I haven't even finished high school yet,
17:19 but that was a common thing.
17:21 Even today you have day cares in our high schools because
17:24 it is just a common thing.
17:26 You know when you said that, the last time I went to an
17:30 area, when I went to the projects it was too do Ministry
17:32 At a high school with day care.
17:34 Everybody had children, some were 16 and had three kids
17:39 already and still trying to finish their high school.
17:41 So when you say, that I am trying to figure out life
17:45 and this is where my reality is.
17:48 I don't think we have an idea of what that means,
17:52 and what God has to reach into and just say,
17:54 baby girl, that wasn't it.
17:58 Oh, the next thing I had a problem with, is being gay.
18:01 It was like, I was so confused because I had all these
18:04 brothers, so I'm walking around thinking I'm a guy,
18:07 although I am attracted to men.
18:09 I am still being called a guy.
18:14 Let me just say to you, I have to say when I work with
18:18 people that are dealing with sexual identity issues,
18:21 is that that we have been raped, molested,
18:25 and you have all that craziness, so for you to explore
18:29 well maybe I don't even belong here, is an escape
18:33 we do not understand fully.
18:35 You have this reality that is so skewed, you are walking
18:39 around now being told that you are gay.
18:43 You don't have any babies, - I virtually was told I was
18:47 gay, aren't you gay, don't you have a man yet?
18:50 That made me search, if I don't have a guy something is
18:52 wrong with me, but it also made me think, maybe I am gay.
18:56 So I started to interact with women on that level,
18:59 but the closer I got to God, it seemed wrong.
19:04 I didn't understand it, so I said you know what?
19:07 I'm going to let go, I don't like the feeling of it.
19:09 I tried to smoke numeral times, because I saw my brother
19:12 smoking, so I tried to smoke.
19:14 I hate immediate pain, I despise immediate pain.
19:18 - so it is going to cause me to cough like crazy.
19:21 - that's what I did the first time, an immediate pain.
19:24 It has to go, I tried to drink many of times.
19:27 My dad gave me something to drink, my older brothers gave
19:30 you something to drink, threw up every single time.
19:32 Immediately and for hours, don't like immediate pain.
19:37 Then of course when it came to the feeling,
19:39 again going back to the homosexuality, the feeling
19:42 I got was uncomfortable.
19:44 Now before it made me feel dominant, I can be better
19:48 than, I could take care of you better than your man.
19:51 The closer I got to God it was uncomfortable and I hated
19:54 that feeling, along with other feelings I already had.
19:57 I'm worthless, I'm pointless, so many times I tried to
20:01 kill myself, well I won't mention that part.
20:04 So many times that try to kill myself, so many times
20:08 you look at TV and it gives you great ideas and so
20:12 hey, I tried every idea.
20:14 I walk down the middle of the road, I would take pills,
20:16 I would do the cutting, I did whatever it took and
20:19 I would just try it.
20:21 When I hear your story my heart breaks because I think
20:25 that God is not afraid of all the stuff that our pain
20:28 leads us to, a lot of people are making judgments
20:31 about your walk, but God is saying, don't blow that
20:37 candle out, don't distinguish that flame, because she
20:40 will get it, she will get it, and she will be okay.
20:43 We don't even know, we don't know how wounded we are.
20:47 I wish our wounds would show on the outside.
20:49 That might be frightening to walk into the mall but if it
20:53 did, I wish our wounds would show on the outside, because
20:55 when I see a lot of people acting out in all different
20:58 ways, I know that underneath all that their heart is
21:01 closed up and they don't know who they are.
21:04 They do not know how much they are loved, so it sounds
21:07 like you jumped in, in every single place just saying do
21:10 I fit here, do I fit here, do I fit here?
21:13 For me the closer I got to God, you would think I would
21:19 want to stop trying to commit suicide.
21:21 Oh no, I went to a different level.
21:23 I started claiming Scriptures for me to have to die.
21:27 - oh no, ouch!
21:29 You know it is better to die than to gain so I would pray
21:33 come on God, - let's do it!
21:35 It's better to die, so see I've been good today,
21:37 I've been good today, so when I go to sleep tonight,
21:39 take me out, just do it.
21:41 It was horrible, it was horrible because I would pray
21:44 prayers like this is the night, this is the night for
21:46 me to die, you're wasting a lot of time.
21:49 I don't want to live, I would beg, I'm not loved,
21:53 no matter what anyone says to me.
21:56 Raven you're so talented, it didn't matter.
21:58 Raven you're so beautiful, - I want to be loved.
22:00 I didn't get it, so for me it was a difficult journey,
22:05 from 17, it got worse after 17 because all the truth
22:10 I was learning was having a war with what I was always
22:14 used to, and it was a difficulty.
22:17 I can relate to that because when I first started looking
22:19 at the Scriptures, everywhere it said love it confused me
22:24 because I didn't have that, I don't have that.
22:27 So it sounds like you are feeling that same thing.
22:30 For me also, if someone said, oh Raven, Jesus loves you.
22:35 Now mind you, I'm beginning to believe in Jesus, but that
22:38 would stir a rage in me because then my brain would say,
22:42 where was Jesus when this man was touching me?
22:44 Where was Jesus, where was Jesus?
22:46 It would just enraged me and I would have such anger
22:50 with God, but I didn't stop believing in God because
22:53 my mind was already set.
22:54 There is a God and now I'm going to argue with You.
22:57 - so what's funny is when you say, not funny but
23:00 strange, is when you say you read the Scripture, every
23:03 place where it gave you in your mind permission to take
23:06 yourself out, it really wasn't even what the Scripture
23:08 said because Scripture said, to live as Christ lives.
23:11 But having to get there, how to get to that point where
23:15 you gave up suicidal stuff?
23:17 Where you allowed God to heal you in that way?
23:19 I kept praying, that is one thing I will admit,
23:22 God kept pushing me, there is a Scripture in the Bible
23:25 that does say, I always been the person who knows it's
23:28 been there, exactly where, I would say where is it?
23:31 But it says I give you all I cry, Abba Father and
23:37 I believe He kept giving me this desire to pray to Him.
23:41 Whether it was give me a man, or want to die, I kept
23:44 praying to Him. - He was always there.
23:48 He was always there, so I kept begging, please tonight
23:50 can you let me die?
23:52 Please, I don't want to turn around
23:55 and hate You tomorrow.
23:56 The only thing I heard verbatim words, if you will live
24:01 for Me, if you don't like it I'll let you die.
24:06 - that is a huge surrender, isn't that a huge surrender?
24:11 It takes your breath away.
24:13 Okay, I'll try to live just for You without anything
24:16 about myself, I will try to live just for you.
24:19 Then my prayer stopped being, give me a man.
24:21 Now it was, help me love You, because I don't know what
24:24 that means, help me stop being angry with You.
24:27 Help me to understand my past.
24:29 Help me so You and I, now the whole purpose is God.
24:32 So now you have to forgive Him.
24:34 I was very angry with God, I thought it was all His fault.
24:36 Everything was His fault, because I always believed why
24:40 didn't You destroy everyone, the devil and everyone?
24:43 Why in my going through this, and that was a battle.
24:46 The more I read, I love the Old Testament, the more
24:52 I read the more I started to understand God is not trying
24:55 to lose anyone, not anyone.
24:58 He is trying to protect, when I was angry with Him about
25:01 when I got raped, how is it that You let this
25:04 guy do this to me?
25:06 He said, how is it that you don't want him to live?
25:09 I created him, he had a bad circumstance too.
25:12 I'm trying to create opportunities for you both to
25:16 know Me, but because of bad circumstances,
25:18 neither of you know Me.
25:20 That begin to help me understand God's placement.
25:22 What He is trying to do in my life.
25:24 What He is trying to orchestrate in having churches and
25:27 having Bible studies, and having His word.
25:29 It started to make sense.
25:31 He wants everybody in recovery, everyone to choose Him.
25:37 It is a difficulty because my mind set is, you're hurting me
25:40 I want you gone.
25:41 He is saying, live for Me, because if you live for Me
25:44 you will start realize that the person who is hurting you
25:46 needs help too, and that was hard for me.
25:49 As you get that though, did He take you to a place where
25:55 you actually can say, I forgive you?
25:58 Eventually - that's a hard place to go to.
26:02 Last year, it took last year because I would still,
26:08 I'm going on the age of 34 now, but I would still walk
26:12 out of church, walk out of the church angry, cursing,
26:15 literally verbatim curse words at him.
26:18 Someone did a program about their father and I was
26:21 sitting back there thinking, how could you not
26:23 have my father there?
26:24 How could you not, whoa all this stuff
26:27 you're bringing back up again.
26:28 There were times I said Lord what are you going to
26:30 get me some money? chirp, chirp, chirp.
26:32 When my going get a husband? Chirp, chirp, chirp.
26:34 I hate You just let me die today, I'm tired of You.
26:37 And I would just curse, curse, curse.
26:39 And then I hear, how is it that you can live like your
26:43 earthly father's daughter and get all these penalties,
26:46 but when you live like your Heavenly Father's daughter,
26:49 you don't get any and you want to question Me?
26:57 Because we do, I realized at times I may know the word
27:01 of God, but I choose to live my old ways.
27:03 I get comfortable when I feel God is leading me to do
27:07 better things with my life, I go back to my old ways.
27:10 I start to create worlds in my head,
27:12 I live in two worlds.
27:14 Wow, this is the first time I'm talking about this.
27:16 I live in two worlds, and when I get uncomfortable with
27:20 life, I go into the other world.
27:22 When I'm bored with life, I go into the other world.
27:25 When I'm stressed, I go into the other world.
27:27 In the other world I am the queen, I'm perfect,
27:30 nothing is wrong with me.
27:32 The problem is, only recently my world has started
27:35 changing on me, and now it is starting to abuse me.
27:37 Now I am begging God to get me out of here.
27:40 Get me out of here, I can't get out of my own head.
27:42 If I'm not in a paying attention talking to you, my brain
27:46 will go off into another place,
27:48 it's like God stop me, stop me.
27:50 I love you saying that Raven, the fact that a lot of us
27:54 in our recovery, because of the junk we have learned to
27:59 disassociate, or to go into that other place.
28:01 The other place is safe for a long time.
28:03 I think what God says to us is that if you trust that
28:07 other place too long, it turns on you eventually.
28:10 Then it robs you of living in the present, living in
28:14 your own life, and what you are saying to Him now,
28:15 is do not let me escape there anymore.
28:18 It is not working anymore, like any drug, any addiction,
28:21 anything that is dysfunctional it stops feeding that
28:26 need, God says the need is going to be fed when you
28:30 figure out who you are in Christ.
28:31 When you figure are who you are in recovery.
28:33 When you can stay present and laugh out loud in
28:36 your own skin, and that is so scary.
28:39 It is perfectly scary.
28:41 Even like you said, I look at you and think man you are
28:45 funny and beautiful and talented, and you are like,
28:48 none of that matters because I don't buy it.
28:50 God says that's what I have to teach you.
28:53 I have got to teach you that for whatever reason your
28:57 whole life you have believed all these lies,
28:58 or were shown all these lies.
29:00 Right now, I praise the Lord.
29:03 It is to the point that I walked into this year saying,
29:07 Jesus me and You, me and You.
29:09 And not only me and You, but I want to connect back to my
29:12 family, because I have distanced myself.
29:14 As much is the word of God speaks to me personally about
29:17 making connections and loving everyone.
29:19 Bringing people closer to Christ, my family was not what
29:24 I was trying to work with.
29:25 - isn't that funny? - it is.
29:26 I made my friends my family, so when they betray me,
29:30 I feel like death, I feel like I need to harm them.
29:34 But now, ever since I say you know what?
29:37 since November of last year, I'm going to start making
29:40 my family my friends, and my friends my family.
29:42 I'm going to make my family everything, and me and God
29:46 everything, and that started to change a lot.
29:49 Because there is that, when God says I want to bring
29:52 healing into your life, that healing into my life is
29:55 restoration of what ever the devil has tried to rob me
29:58 of, and that is my family.
29:59 For a lot of us we think, how can You fix that?
30:02 He's like because remember I'm God. I can do that.
30:06 I want to jump back into your past a little bit.
30:10 I know that at one point in your life you started to
30:14 gain weight and do that stuff and that is a huge part of
30:18 how God is healing you.
30:20 So talked a little bit about that, how did that get
30:24 started, and how extreme did that get, and what are you
30:26 doing with that issue?
30:29 Because that's all part of the hiding and protecting
30:30 yourself. - that's true!
30:32 Always felt like a mini Oprah, up down and up and down.
30:37 I would gain weight and lose weight, gain weight and
30:40 lose weight, but I went to grad school and I got to 220
30:46 pounds and I don't know how.
30:49 I would do the same exercises and I would eat the same
30:54 way, why this time I'm a vegetarian.
30:56 Still I would just gain, and gain and gain to a point
31:01 that now when I get up you hear cracking in my knees.
31:04 I lost all of fluid in my knees.
31:06 What I found out was that my whole habit, I was a
31:11 vegetarian that didn't eat any vegetables and didn't
31:14 eat any fruit, - that is funny, - never.
31:18 That is funny though, I'm a vegetarian but I stayed away
31:22 from vegetables. - yeah pretty much!
31:25 No fruits, no vegetables, loved sodas, loved juices.
31:28 Ate cereal, ate veggie meat and that's pretty much it.
31:32 So you just stayed away from meat? - yeah!
31:35 But you ate a bunch of junk food?
31:36 - and cheese and everything.
31:38 Taco Bell was my friend. That pretty much was my diet.
31:44 That caused a lot of health concerns.
31:47 Now I had health concerns before but they seem
31:49 to get worse after that.
31:51 To me I have to say health concerns, as I have gained
31:57 weight and lost weight is that I had these insecurities
32:01 or grew up with these insecurities about who I am and
32:03 all that stuff, and now with the weight you look in the
32:07 mirror and think look at yourself.
32:08 I mean there's all that that starts waking up too.
32:11 My skin was breaking out and I'm fat, you look
32:16 at yourself and you look ugly, you're confused as who
32:20 you are, and you are ugly.
32:22 The more, I just kept gaining and went up to a size 24.
32:25 It was horrible, but that is what I was use to,
32:28 I got use to it.
32:30 The Holy Spirit was like, hon, I love you. - yeah!
32:33 Ironically me and my friends would study health things
32:36 all the time, but I never applied to myself.
32:39 I can teach you something about health and would never
32:42 do it myself, that was pretty much my lifestyle.
32:45 Follow what I teach you but never do what I do.
32:49 So what I love about your own recovery, about who God
32:52 is in your life, is that in your own recover, what
32:56 finally got you to the place where you said, I'm actually
33:00 coming to a place where I am staying present.
33:03 I'm dealing with my health, because you talked about at
33:05 the beginning of the program when I told you about that
33:08 discipline thing, I'm not good with that whole discipline
33:12 thing, but God says, I'm like a father going to come in
33:16 and discipline you a bit because I love you.
33:19 What was that like for you?
33:20 For me it was difficult, in 2006 my brother went into
33:30 a coma, he's type 1 diabetic.
33:32 My world was, like if he dies, I'm too young to have
33:37 a brother die.
33:39 I told God, you know, this is not working.
33:43 One day I heard God say, I can't save you Raven.
33:47 I was thinking about death, because I was thinking
33:51 my brother was going to die, and He was like,
33:52 I can't save you.
33:54 I was thinking Lord please save my brother, please help
33:57 him live because I don't think my brother had a close
34:01 walk with God, please save him if anything.
34:03 But I can't save you.
34:06 I said why? Because you won't let me.
34:08 I was like, how is that? He said, your God is not Me.
34:12 Your God is food, your God is television, your God is
34:15 everything but Me, you're doing all the right things,
34:18 but you won't let Me really work with you.
34:21 The reality is I'm out of control, I have no control.
34:26 I eat all day, I drink all day, I work and that's it.
34:31 I lived in an imaginary world of Raven is always right.
34:35 Because I feel like I'm always wrong, so I'm going to
34:39 self-destruct and unless You force me to change,
34:42 You might as well let me go.
34:44 That was at the end of 2006, and that is when the turning
34:48 point came, then it was take my brother David to Wildwood.
34:53 I was like, I'm not going to no Wildwood.
34:55 How did you know about Wildwood?
34:59 Did you hear about that?
35:00 I had some friends that went to Wildwood.
35:02 It's a health center and they will help him with his
35:05 diabetes. - yes, because medication wasn't working for
35:07 him, he is been like since he was 15.
35:10 So my thing was maybe natural remedies can help.
35:13 So I will take him there.
35:14 Well he said no, and I was like well 220 pounds maybe
35:18 I should go there, because I don't know how I can teach
35:21 someone about health, no one is paying attention to me.
35:23 That is beginning to hurt my pride,
35:25 you're not listening to me?
35:26 Of course now, after a while my anger has now built,
35:30 because now I'm not been abused anymore so my anger
35:34 is beginning to build.
35:35 I was like you won't listen to me, I will force you
35:37 to listen to me.
35:39 I was talking with addicts, and my feelings would get
35:41 hurt for about a minute, a minute and a half and then
35:44 I'm angry, so it is pretty horrible.
35:47 So I'm saying Lord, I can't change so You'll have to
35:50 force me and so He told me to apply to Wildwood.
35:54 I said I don't want to go to Wildwood.
35:56 So not to apply as to go in as a guest, but apply
35:59 as a student? - as a student. - oh my goodness.
36:02 Because we had no money, were coming from the projects.
36:05 We're working to make sure we pay the next bills.
36:09 What I love about that is as a student at Wildwood,
36:13 I know you are going to have classes on every one of the
36:17 subjects, you are great have somebody teach you and be
36:20 with you and show you how to apply it to yourself.
36:22 You will have people that say it is time to walk,
36:24 it's time to get outside, it's time to sleep.
36:27 I'm just thinking, when you said God you will have to do
36:30 it, God is like, all right, no problem.
36:33 I can do that. - I can do that.
36:35 So by December of 06 I woke up one morning and I felt
36:40 I was going to die, and I was so happy.
36:44 I felt for the first time, He's going to let me die.
36:48 I was so happy and then I woke up the next day and He
36:51 said you are going to die to self.
36:53 I was so mad. - that is not fair, that's not what you
36:58 meant and that's not what I meant.
37:00 I felt I'm going to do when Hezekiah didn't do, I'm going to
37:03 prepare my home, prepare my family, I was serious about it.
37:05 I was serious about that, I was going to prepare them
37:08 for my death and it upset me something serious when He said,
37:12 no, you're going to die to self.
37:13 I said, you got to be kidding me.
37:15 So is that when you went to Wildwood?
37:16 I went to Wildwood and the Lord truly help me die to
37:20 self, He help me to lose weight in six to eight months.
37:23 I dropped 60 pounds.
37:25 He taught me His eight laws of health, which you know
37:28 them, but to live them is an experience.
37:31 I got into the word more, I just became different person.
37:35 I really started to die to self.
37:37 What I like about that, is that you are also are passionate
37:41 to teach other people how to get to a place where
37:45 you can take care of yourself.
37:47 You can heal from those emotional things,
37:49 heal from those physical diseases.
37:51 So you stayed at Wildwood, even after your stay there,
37:56 to teach them?
37:57 I'm the seminars coordinator, I also teach health talks.
38:01 In my health talk classes, what I used to present a health
38:05 message with is my own personal testimony.
38:07 So now I'm teach other people how to do the same thing
38:10 and I do seminars, three a year just teaching them
38:13 God's way of life.
38:15 I have to say, when I heard you present in the seminar
38:19 because you have been there you know what it feels like
38:22 to be lost and be out of control.
38:24 When somebody give you all that back, you present all
38:27 that in the seminar.
38:28 So it is not just about what you eat, it is who you are,
38:31 how you stay present, who you are with your higher power,
38:34 with God, with all that stuff.
38:37 So it is not just one thing, everything matters.
38:40 We are going to open it up for questions, because
38:42 I want to just see what your friends have to say.
38:45 So I want to start Esther, with you, because I know that
38:49 you had a comment.
38:50 The Lord, I believe, has blessed Raven in a way that
38:55 I can't even explain because I met Raven at Wildwood.
38:59 I was visiting a friend and he wanted to show us around
39:03 Wildwood, and I met Raven.
39:05 Her testimony is not what I've seen.
39:09 The person that I met at Wildwood was someone that had a
39:14 true relationship with God and gave me the desire to be
39:19 like her, I wanted that experience.
39:22 I want to know Christ that way, because in myself I was
39:26 just looking for a walk with God.
39:30 But she was so welcoming, so loving while I was there,
39:34 it was like wow, the Lord is really working in her life.
39:38 I really, really wanted that relationship that she had.
39:42 Amen, I know that Raven has influenced you to the fact
39:46 that you are in Wildwood now taking the program.
39:49 I think that's incredible.
39:51 Angela, I know you had a question.
39:53 Yes Raven, you talked about dying to self and all that.
39:57 What touches me is that your willingness now to die to
40:01 self and surrender and make amends with your family.
40:07 My hurt is such that I want my family to be a way from
40:12 me because it hurts.
40:14 I am getting to that place where you are at, but see that
40:18 beautiful surrender in your face and in your eyes,
40:20 being willing to be obedient because God doesn't want
40:22 anyone to die like you said.
40:24 He wants them all to live, but my feeling is stay away
40:28 from them a lot longer because that hurts,
40:31 but I am getting to that place and I appreciate that
40:34 you are willing to go there.
40:36 That is profound sister, because it was in September
40:42 I said the same thing.
40:45 I was very honest with God, I cannot handle my mother
40:49 dying, but if she doesn't call I'm okay.
40:53 If I never talked to my family I'm okay because I have built
40:58 a world of friends that made me feel comfortable.
41:02 I didn't have a need, but I had an emptiness inside of me
41:06 that ached and I did know how to stop it from aching.
41:10 So I have to say, I love question that says I have to
41:15 say what is interesting is God just says that healing
41:20 is complete when all those pieces are back on the table.
41:25 We want to say, but I don't want is piece anymore,
41:28 and I don't want this piece anymore, and I don't want
41:30 this piece anymore, but God says when I bring it back
41:33 to you in health, it will be different.
41:36 So that is what you are saying, I have to have them
41:40 back my life. - I have to.
41:42 Not only that, the joy of life never, could never fill
41:47 it until I say God, give me love for my mom.
41:51 Like I began to really see that my mom is a hurting
41:56 person, why understand all of this, understand the word
42:00 of God, and can't apply it to my mother?
42:02 Why can I apply it to my brothers and why can't I apply
42:05 to the rest of my family?
42:07 When I made up my mind to say I can't love them.
42:10 I'm not a loving person, it is just not in me.
42:14 But you've already told me that I can do nothing
42:16 without You, so I need You to help me love her.
42:19 It opened my eyes to the hurt that she is dealing with,
42:22 to the things she knew nothing, she knew nothing of my
42:26 past, so I am blaming her for things she didn't even know
42:30 about and that has given me joy that I have never know.
42:33 When we talk about it, and I want to address this a little.
42:37 But when we talk about forgiveness, and God says that
42:40 even in the prayer that Jesus taught us to say, as I forgive
42:45 those of others, as I forgive the debts that were against
42:49 me, and I think I did not relate that for a long time to
42:53 my family and God said I want you to understand.
42:56 I want you to see the pain that they have been through.
42:58 I want you to see all that stuff and I remember not being
43:01 able to until I can see my mom as a three-year-old girl
43:03 that was abused herself.
43:05 And it broke my heart and I can say now to her,
43:08 as an adult woman, I forgive you, I forgive you.
43:12 If there is anything I can do to show you love,
43:15 I pray that God will pour that into me because
43:17 I want to show her that for her own healing.
43:20 So talk about how He did that with you because I love
43:23 the fact that God brings us full circle.
43:26 He says, you know what?
43:27 I'm going to bring you all the way around.
43:29 For me He said, Raven you argue with your mom that
43:32 you're different, like stop making me like you.
43:35 Why don't you stop trying to make her like you?
43:38 It's like so many times you keep wanting her to do
43:41 something you don't want to do, stop doing that.
43:44 She is an individual, and that took a lot for me.
43:47 - let her be that. - let her be who she is.
43:50 Let Me heal her the same way I healed you.
43:53 Are you praying for her?
43:55 You have not been praying for her.
43:57 Everything has been about me so He took me back to the
44:00 first thought if you will live for Me, if you don't
44:03 like it I'll let you die.
44:05 Again living for Me means are you praying for her,
44:07 are you seeking her well-being?
44:09 As I talked to her now our relationship is so much
44:13 different, our communication is different.
44:15 - now you love her. - I love her and speak Scriptures now,
44:18 so when she says things, it's like why is she doing
44:21 this again, Raven and Scripture will come to my mind.
44:24 I'll say that Scripture and it inspires her.
44:26 It's like oh my word, you are inspired?
44:29 I could have tackled this a long time ago.
44:31 Well you know the Bible talks about let them find favor
44:36 in my eyes, and I thought what does that mean?
44:40 Talk about what that means, because that is such an
44:43 incredible thing, I can't muster it up.
44:46 But God give them favor in my eyes.
44:49 I've learned this, if I pray before I talk to my mom,
44:53 my pain of anger, because I usually have a pain in my chest,
44:57 what ever she says it's going to cause me to say this.
45:01 It goes away when I'm praying, I pray from the beginning
45:05 of the conversation to the end.
45:06 That is my new thing now, and now she sees me different.
45:10 She respects me now because we used to argue, I hate you,
45:14 I hope you die and now the conversation is that I just
45:17 want to see you happy, want to see live.
45:20 Now that I respect her for who she is, she now speaks
45:26 to me differently and it is like wow.
45:27 That is so awesome, I want to go ahead and say thanks
45:31 for being on the program. I don't want to let you go now.
45:35 I know that you teach this in seminars and stuff.
45:39 So when we come back, we're going to take a break right
45:41 now, and I want to come back and I want you to put that
45:46 teacher hat on, and teach us something about recovery,
45:50 staying in recovery, healing emotionally, but not in your
45:54 testimony, but in a teaching role.
45:57 I want you to stay with us because the fact that God brings
46:00 us full circle, the fact that God says all that stuff I
46:04 am not afraid of, and I want you to stay with us and hear
46:08 the next step of this.
46:10 If God was here I would kiss Him right on the face.
46:14 I just would come I'm so proud of Him.
46:16 I'm proud that whatever He does and gives us courage to
46:19 stay in our recovery, stay on this journey is amazing.
46:22 So we will be right back, stay with us!