Participants: Cheri Peters (Host), Lee & Amy Wellard
Series Code: CLR
Program Code: CLR00081A
00:10 Welcome to Celebrating Life In Recovery,
00:12 I'm Cheri your host.
00:13 Have you ever wondered if God actually has a plan for
00:15 your life? The Bible says He orders our steps.
00:18 He knows the beginning from the end and all that stuff.
00:21 I'm beginning to actually buy that, come and join us.
00:24 See what I mean!
00:52 Welcome back! We are going to talk today about how
00:56 incredible God is, and my favorite text
01:00 is Jeremiah 29:11, and onward.
01:02 In Jeremiah talks about God saying to us that He has
01:06 a plan for our life, a future and a hope.
01:08 It really matters to Him where we are and that we get
01:12 that, but it goes on to say that you will find Me when you
01:15 seek for Me with all your heart.
01:17 I thought that meant like desperate holding onto
01:21 something in this search, and somehow I have to get it
01:25 or understand it and now I'm beginning to realize all
01:28 my heart means that I fall in love with Him.
01:30 That I really realize who God is and my heart opens up
01:34 to Him, and the heart of God opens up to me.
01:36 It is not this desperate search and it's not that I know
01:38 exactly what the Bible says, even though that is cool.
01:42 It is the word of God, but it's not that I had to
01:44 memorize these things, or figure out all this,
01:45 it is were I all of a sudden see the face of God.
01:48 I can't help but saying to Him, I know that You are
01:52 for me and not against me, that I can rest in Your love,
01:56 and rest in Your heart and in that, as my heart breaks
01:59 open, as all that fear that I have walked around with
02:02 all my whole life, start to surrender that the God
02:07 and I realized that His whole goal in my life is for
02:11 me to get it and to heal.
02:13 And that is what His goal is for you.
02:14 I'm going to introduce you to some friends of mine that
02:17 I met at Wildwood.
02:18 Lee and Amy I just want to say thank you for
02:20 being here on the program.
02:21 Thank you! - when I say that about seeking after God's
02:24 heart, what do you hear Amy?
02:27 Amen, that just thrills me that's exactly what I'm
02:30 understanding now. It's been 17 years since I've
02:32 found Christ, and I found Him again, last year,
02:35 after the birth of our first child.
02:36 Through many traumatic experiences after the birth.
02:41 - go on with that because I think in a lot of times
02:44 people think that seeking after Him means behaviorally
02:46 I get it right, and I change my behavior and I strive to
02:50 be good enough, and God said who told you that?
02:53 Jesus has done it all, that's what He showed me.
02:56 He showed me that He is broken over us, and that is real
02:59 to me, He showed me that His pain has been caused by my
03:03 sin and that's what turned me around and caused me to
03:05 fall in love with Him again.
03:07 - how did that happen to your son?
03:08 Well it's a long story.
03:11 - well we love long stories here.
03:14 Well he was born last Christmas of 2008 and he is just
03:17 15 months old and it was a long labor 54 hours.
03:21 - 54 hours? Oh man!
03:24 I was wanting to do a home birth, all my life I wanted
03:26 to do a home birth if I ever had a child.
03:28 The Lord granted me that, He gave me a promise
03:31 actually, Cheri, in Isaiah 46:6.
03:34 It says I have born, I will carry, and I will deliver
03:38 you, just before the birth He showed me He was going
03:40 to deliver the baby.
03:41 It was okay not to go to the hospital but to
03:43 have a home birth and try to do it without
03:45 medication by His grace.
03:47 So we went ahead and my midwife agreed we could go ahead.
03:50 Anyway 54 hours later he was born and I basically went
03:55 into shock, it was quite a traumatic - 54 hours,
03:59 I can't imagine, I had three hours, you can hit me.
04:04 Through it all I know Jesus knew what He was doing.
04:07 He knows what I needed to go through to really experience
04:10 Him again, and during that 54 hours I went through a very
04:14 dark valley where I felt like someone was lying to me.
04:16 Why is it taking so long?
04:18 They're telling me I'm doing great, but I can't be,
04:20 why isn't he here yet, why isn't the baby here?
04:22 So that took me to a near-death feeling, I felt like
04:25 I'm going to die or the baby is going to die.
04:27 This fear came over me, this tremendous fear.
04:29 You were just talking about in your introduction, the Lord
04:32 took your fear away when seeking Him.
04:35 He took me places with love, and I have lost that love
04:39 in my soul for Jesus Christ and I didn't even know that
04:43 at the time of the birth.
04:44 So the Lord had to take me through three months of some
04:48 anxiety and depression, some terrible psychological
04:52 symptoms after the birth, for three months.
04:54 I finally collapsed on my bedroom floor one day, after
04:58 coming home from church on Sabbath.
04:59 My husband said Honey let me pray with you.
05:01 I said Honey this is between me and Jesus.
05:04 - this is not for anybody else, this is a private,
05:08 intimate thing that Jesus and I need to work through.
05:12 I didn't plan to tell you any of this.
05:14 To me I'm so glad that you are, because it is interesting
05:20 that God's goal is to go after our heart.
05:23 Sometimes we get so carried away with our behavioral
05:26 things, Ministry and do the right thing, and we don't
05:29 even realize our heart is just totally closed up again
05:31 and God says I'm not going to lose you, I love you.
05:34 Right, and I didn't realize that it happened to me,
05:36 Cheri I have been in the church for 17 years and
05:38 I thought everything was doing okay, I was doing better
05:41 I used to have food disorder and the Lord delivered me from
05:45 that so I felt like I must be okay now.
05:47 But the Lord is always seeking the depths of our heart, that
05:50 citadel of the throne of the heart, so after
05:53 the 3 months I cried out, I said, Lord I have to have You.
05:57 I wrestled, I laid on the floor and said I'm not getting
06:00 up until I have you Jesus.
06:02 You know what happened? I didn't hear a voice,
06:05 but I knew what He was telling me.
06:08 He said Amy I love you, but you have lost your love for
06:11 Me, and it broke me.
06:14 God sits there and says, I love you and you know that
06:19 everything else means nothing to Him.
06:21 - right, but I saw what I had done, I saw that the closing my
06:26 heart, had broken His heart.
06:28 Right then He converted my soul again.
06:30 And now when I speak of Him I become like this.
06:35 - Amen, I just have to say, - I fell in love with Him.
06:37 I know what you mean, exactly in the fact that we always
06:41 think that our journey with God, it cracks me up,
06:45 our journey with God is a behavioral journey.
06:48 Somehow soon as I get it that I have to be right and
06:52 to do right and think right and all that is good.
06:54 God wants us free from all our junk, but He says,
06:57 I want your heart, I want you to love Me.
07:00 - that is what He is seeking.
07:01 So now, we're going to get to you later!
07:05 because Amy, I want to know because you talked about
07:09 prior to the eating disorder and all that stuff,
07:12 I want you to lead us from where you came from.
07:17 It is really interesting that I know a little bit about
07:21 you, and I know that you came from an upper-middle-class
07:27 family, talk about that and jump into how
07:31 God lead you through the years.
07:32 Okay well, I was raised in the UK, and my father is a
07:36 medical Doctor and we always had everything we needed
07:39 financially and materially.
07:41 I have three siblings and we went to a Catholic school,
07:43 a Catholic education and there was always division in my
07:46 home, my father is Catholic but my mother was not.
07:49 So there was always questions about religion.
07:51 Always felt my mother was probably right,
07:53 she opposed to a lot of the teachings that my
07:56 father wanted us to believe.
07:57 And I went to a university for literature and philosophy.
08:02 I was really seeking the Lord but didn't know I was
08:05 seeking, at the same time I was becoming more and more
08:07 empty and filling my life with parties, with alcohol,
08:10 with cigarettes, with boyfriends at all the things you
08:13 do when you're desperately looking for Jesus, right?
08:15 Trying to feel that hole that nothing can fill but Him.
08:18 At the same time I developed a food disorder from the
08:20 time I was about 14 years old.
08:22 I was a compulsive eater.
08:24 For a lot of people, we even get letters about people
08:29 with food disorders and eating disorders,
08:31 so will you talk about what that did for you?
08:34 Was there even a time at that age that you knew this
08:37 was not okay, that I'm overdoing this?
08:40 Oh yeah, I realize there were something missing,
08:43 something wrong with me and I would talk to my parents
08:46 about it, but they just felt maybe you do better later.
08:49 You'll have bad habits and that kind of thing.
08:52 I was seeking answers but there was no spiritual help
08:55 for me, I went to see a psychologist, it didn't work.
08:57 I even went to hypnotherapy, and I thought oh this
09:00 is the answer, this is great and this going to work.
09:02 It didn't, it didn't last of course.
09:04 While I was in that condition I would often go to weight
09:08 watchers and try different Slim fast 1000 calories,
09:12 and all those things.
09:13 My weight was always fluctuating.
09:14 - what did the food do for you? Because it does something.
09:17 Like a drug or anything?
09:19 Well physiologically it boosts your serotonin levels makes
09:23 you feel temporarily better, like a drug.
09:25 - it's like drug, I don't feel empty because you are
09:28 literally are full, and my serotonin are built up so I
09:32 feel somehow peaceful, that anxiety is less.
09:37 Right, you are sedated, exactly.
09:40 I wish people would understand that about eating
09:42 disorders, that we don't do anything unless it works
09:45 in some way, and so it worked for you for a long time.
09:48 Your weight was going up and down, your self-esteem
09:51 even at that early age.
09:52 I realized it was a temporary fix, because I still felt
09:55 bad underneath, because I felt guilty as well because
09:58 gluttony is a sin, and we call it eating disorder,
10:02 but it is a sin and by God's grace He wants to remove it
10:05 from us and give us peace and freedom.
10:07 I like when you say gluttony, people with eating
10:10 disorders are like what, what did you call it?
10:13 Because eating was ruining my health.
10:15 So know that somebody that even to see our addictions
10:22 as sin is really tough, because we really don't see that.
10:26 We are in denial about all that.
10:27 So you're saying your weight went way up? - right!
10:32 I went up to 220 pounds, I'm 5 foot eight but that is
10:36 still too much for someone of my height.
10:38 So yeah, by the time I was 22 I was that large and I went
10:43 traveling around the world trying to find answers.
10:46 - any answer. - anything, I thought it would be better
10:49 over there and I realized when I got over there that I'm
10:51 still there, still me, I have to live with me.
10:55 So I thought this is a real problem and
10:57 I can't escape me.
10:59 What is the real issue here?
11:00 Even though I had been raised with so-called education,
11:03 I never understood about the spiritual realities that
11:05 were so, so missing.
11:07 You know in England it is about 95% professed atheist,
11:11 is that right? - very secular. - very high!
11:13 So anyway should I continue? - yeah!
11:18 So in Australia and here I am with my sister traveling
11:21 around backpacking, looking into Shirley McLain's
11:23 teachings about the New Age movement.
11:26 - dancing with wolves. - dancing in the light.
11:30 All these books so she became my guru.
11:32 - what is really interesting even about that,
11:35 I love the fact that you brought that up because it is
11:37 very seductive, and if you are feeling like I don't know
11:40 who I am, or where I fit in and all of a sudden you fit
11:44 in not only here with the spirits of generations.
11:47 There is a lot of past life things and it is so much
11:54 greater than you, if you are not feeling you is enough,
11:57 all that is seductive. - right!
11:59 You sort of find an identity in it, right.
12:02 I was looking at all her materials thinking this is the
12:05 way to find peace, like I would witnessed everybody
12:08 about this piece I found through her books.
12:10 I would go to different meetings about palm reading and
12:13 shock waves, meditating through shock waves, levitation,
12:17 and I thank the Lord that He protected me from these deep
12:20 experiences and really getting involved with spiritualism
12:22 which is what it is really.
12:24 So while I was studying those things,
12:27 to bring you to the point where my Jesus really picked
12:31 me up, and He delivered me.
12:32 I went to some meetings that were advertised as being
12:35 New Age meetings, it said come and hear about the new world
12:39 movement, the New World order.
12:40 What happens after death?
12:42 I thought oh great, this is could be so amazing.
12:45 We were laid-back people and I was wearing my tie-dyed
12:47 outfits and hippie style, this is Australia so it is very
12:51 hot and everybody is just hanging out.
12:54 I actually lost a job which made me open to go into
12:59 anything else, into some new adventures and things.
13:02 I went to these meetings, and do you know what really
13:05 hooked me? They had free vegetarian food!
13:08 I thought wow this is great.
13:10 - a lot of hippies are health nuts.
13:12 Right, I was to accept I still drank and smoked.
13:17 - did you smoke weed or any of that stuff? - I did!
13:18 - because I was going to say they are health nuts,
13:22 and they are smoking weed and drinking all that stuff and
13:25 saying you know what, I really want to eat healthy.
13:28 Right, right, that was me deep down but I'd have the
13:31 apple pie and couldn't quit the ice coffee and so forth.
13:36 So I went to these meetings and the food was fantastic,
13:39 but before the meal you know what?
13:41 There was an evangelistic series - no way how funny.
13:44 Right in the bush in Australia, a little Bush town
13:47 with the Aboriginals people, native Austrian people,
13:49 right around the area.
13:51 A minister from the south of Australia had been impressed
13:55 to hold an evangelistic series right there for one week
13:57 during his vacation time.
13:59 I was just passing through with my sister, we used to
14:02 hitch rides on the big trucks that went through Australia.
14:05 We had just hitched to that town and saw the advertisement.
14:08 So we go along, and that night the Minister lifted up Jesus.
14:14 - just saying this is who God is, this is who Jesus is.
14:17 Right, and here I was totally broken.
14:20 All these things I had been searching for all this emotional
14:24 void in my life, this is what I needed.
14:26 - Don't you wish, even on this program I wish that
14:30 somehow people could get to that point, because that
14:34 really is the answer.
14:36 Every 12 step group says that you have to understand and
14:39 recognize there is a God, but we resist that so much.
14:43 We want to recognize everything else.
14:44 God says, everything else is going to leave you as empty,
14:48 if not more empty than you were before.
14:51 - right the void is even greater, and I think Jesus knew
14:54 that I'm so hardheaded that He had to take me to the
14:57 bottom to make me realize this is what you really need
14:59 and are really seeking.
15:01 - it's amazing, so in those meetings did your sister
15:04 know that you changed, that something radically just
15:08 happened? - yes she did.
15:10 That first night of the meeting I realized I need Jesus
15:14 and I realized He loved me and that love started to heal me.
15:18 Talk about healing, I started to weep, and weep, and weep.
15:22 I quietly committed myself to Jesus that first night.
15:26 I was too shy and quiet to make a public commitment.
15:30 I was the only one there, myself and my sister,
15:33 who were not already Christians.
15:35 So we knew it was just for us, my sister also
15:38 committed herself to Jesus.
15:41 So what did look like from that point on, I want to even
15:45 know when you walked out the door, because when I first
15:48 became saved I looked around and everybody was acting
15:51 like it was just a normal thing.
15:53 I am like wanting to Yahoo, can we stand on the table?
15:57 I wanted to grab somebody.
15:59 And at point I even said to God, I can't wait until I get
16:02 to heaven, I want to have lunch with Mary Magdalena and
16:05 the demoniac, and say we're here, how cool is that?
16:09 You do want to celebrate, so as you guys were walking out
16:13 what did you say to each other, do you remember?
16:16 I do, you know, this was 17 years ago.
16:18 My sister said, you know this is true, she said to me.
16:21 Amy, because she studied history at the University and
16:23 she knew, he was talking about Daniel chapter 2,
16:26 and she knew all these kingdoms had risen and fallen just
16:29 as he described from the
16:30 All the time she was telling me this is true intellectually.
16:33 I'm thinking this is true in my heart I know Jesus.
16:36 It was like the light came on, suddenly, everything, I could
16:41 see good and evil, I could see light and darkness.
16:44 Before everything was vague and gray, no absolutes,
16:47 no moral clarity. - you are God! - right!
16:51 That's what I thought, but I couldn't believe that
16:54 was nonsense I knew deep down.
16:56 As we walked away and walked past a bar and that night
16:59 we had actually arranged to meet with some young men
17:02 in a bar, right next to where the evangelist series was
17:06 being held. - I think God is funny in that way.
17:08 Isn't that amazing? We walked past the bar and both
17:10 looked at each other and said, no that's last time.
17:13 We haven't had a drink since then, praise God.
17:15 He did, He really delivered me and I am so thankful.
17:19 Amen, what is amazing is that with that delivery,
17:23 and what people think a lot of times is that with that
17:27 delivery, with that under standing that you will never
17:30 have another thing, but that is not the case.
17:32 With your pregnancy and going through that, we tend to
17:35 walk away from God or close back up, and
17:39 God is so faithful in saying I can't let you close back up
17:42 because you asked Me to save you from that place.
17:47 So I will save you from that place over and over and over
17:50 again if I have to, that is amazing.
17:53 So I would like to jump in and find out, you guys didn't
17:59 know each other during this time hey. - no!
18:01 So your background is so similar to that?
18:04 Actually we were born at the same place in England,
18:07 in the same county, about the same time.
18:10 - not knowing each other? - no!
18:12 I grew up in England for 10 years then I went to
18:16 Australia and about the same time Amy was being
18:20 converted, I was also being converted.
18:22 At another evangelistic series in the same part of
18:27 Australia, near West Australia.
18:31 Was there a point where you guys talk about that
18:33 and just laughed? Oh yes. - oh yeah.
18:36 It was amazing because she was baptized in my church.
18:40 A little country church in West Australia just a few
18:44 months after I left to go to Queensland.
18:46 - that is so crazy, so I'm going to finish up with yours
18:50 and then we will break and come back and found out Lee
18:54 how you guys met and that kind of thing.
18:56 From the time you got it, I may not know all the
19:00 particulars, but I know I felt the heart of God.
19:04 I'm standing up and walking out with your sister, what
19:08 did your life do, and what did your parents even say?
19:11 Because it sounds like your parents were okay with what
19:14 you where doing before then?
19:15 Um Hum, yet they were okay, but I think when we changed
19:19 they really didn't see the depths of sin that I had
19:22 gotten into, so they didn't see the contrast as greatly
19:26 because I was on the other side of the world.
19:28 They were in England and I was in Australia and they did
19:29 not know what I was up to.
19:30 When mom and dad calls, how are you doing? Oh I'm fine.
19:34 I found Jesus, well they were a little bit shocked,
19:37 but when we came home things were hard for quite a long
19:40 time because we was living in a different world
19:41 altogether and we were still living with her family when
19:44 we came back, but obviously our hearts and minds for
19:47 somewhere else altogether and was very hard for them.
19:50 What did your change look like? Because you were exploring and
19:55 looking for truth at all that stuff and now I got a sense
19:59 of who God is, what did you were change look like?
20:02 You mean how did I change physically?
20:04 Well how did you, because you stop drinking that was one.
20:08 Did you then open up the word and start to try to figure
20:11 out who God was, who you were outside.
20:14 Oh absolutely, every day learning to pray, this was
20:17 a totally new thing for me.
20:19 Praying in public I was so nervous the first time
20:21 that I burst out laughing, it was embarrassing,
20:24 it was terrible.
20:25 I gradually got used to it and the people with me
20:27 were so kind, mentoring me, teaching me.
20:29 We are in this segment, this season, we are talking
20:35 about developing that prayer life.
20:37 There is a book that we are giving out called,
20:38 'Pressing Into His Presence'.
20:40 For a lot of people that is like okay should I just
20:44 start now, it is an odd thing to know that an omnipresent
20:50 God, a God that is with you, you can't see Him, you can't
20:55 feel Him, you get a sense of Him sometimes, but now
20:58 you're going to speak directly to Him.
20:59 So talk about how you learned, we tend to jump over that
21:03 not realizing for most people we have no idea
21:07 what you just said. - right, right!
21:09 I was raised Catholic prayers, our father,
21:12 the Hail Mary, and before we prayed for our meal we would
21:14 just say, thank you for our food, in Jesus name, Amen.
21:17 It was always the same prayer so the idea of a personal prayer
21:20 was totally foreign to me and I started with something
21:23 very, very simple, but something the Lord taught me right
21:27 early on, was to pray out loud.
21:29 So I always prayed out loud, and I always have done
21:31 it and it has helped me tremendously to be able
21:33 to focus my mind.
21:34 Because when He first found me I could
21:37 hardly concentrate for more than a couple of minutes.
21:39 I think my brain was shot from everything I had been
21:42 doing, and had a go through Daniel 2 about 4 times
21:44 before I grasped the concept of the succession of the
21:47 kingdoms and the Lord really rebuilt my brain.
21:50 With eating disorders, with drugs, with all that stuff,
21:54 I do think we jump into health, we jump into recovery,
21:58 and we think, I get it, and our brain is saying no, well.
22:05 So the restoration of the brain, He did that even
22:07 through your learning to pray? - right! - it's amazing.
22:11 So when you started to pray, like I had an addict friend
22:15 of mine in AA group, he was like okay, all right
22:20 I'll pray and he folded his hands.
22:24 He put his head down and said, God bestow on me.
22:27 I thought bestow, he doesn't even know what that
22:30 means, and so it is like for some of us when we jump
22:32 into prayers we will just say what may be we heard as
22:35 a child or in some church.
22:37 Maybe we saw it on an evangelistic series or whatever.
22:40 We are not, we don't know how to say it, am I allowed
22:44 to just say, God how cool are you?
22:47 Do you know what I mean? So when you first started to
22:50 speak to God, did you get a sense that I could speak
22:53 to Him as a friend? In this intimate way?
22:58 I can speak out loud and I can.
23:01 I think it took me time because of my Catholic background
23:05 God is over there and I'm here.
23:07 But to bring Him near, I knew He was right inside my
23:10 heart because He had broken me and yet I still had this
23:13 concept that probably He is far way.
23:15 So it took me a while to develop intimate prayers
23:18 with Him, I think.
23:19 Isn't that amazing - yes - it's amazing.
23:22 So you ended up coming into a relationship with God,
23:26 did you change your direction as far as in school?
23:30 Vocation or any of that stuff at that point?
23:33 Well to be honest I didn't really have any direction.
23:36 I like that, no I didn't have any.
23:38 I didn't, and I never, never was ambitious for anything,
23:41 I always played the violin in school and would have loved
23:43 to probably a professional musician but it never worked
23:46 out, it's highly competitive as you know.
23:49 But I have heard you play, you are fabulous.
23:51 Gifted. - For Jesus.
23:55 That was the only ambition I had was to play, I never
23:58 really wanted to do much else, I had to I find the answer
24:01 to my searching, I had to sort out my problems first.
24:04 The drive was in me for that.
24:06 So we are going to go ahead and take a break and we are
24:08 going to come back and find out who Lee is, how you
24:10 met, and the Ministry that God just walked you into.
24:13 I think it is amazing that our recovery is never just
24:17 about walking away from something, our recovery is never
24:20 about getting it and stopping this frantic search for
24:23 something to fill us up, our recovery is God wants
24:26 to stand is up and say, now let Me show you
24:28 what you are passionate about.
24:30 The Bible talks about I will give you
24:32 the desires of your heart.
24:33 What does that mean? I don't even know if I have desires.
24:36 Just like what Amy was saying, I don't even know if I had
24:39 direction and that is what I think is amazing about God
24:42 and fully stepping into recovery is because He says,
24:45 man I know exactly what is going to put a smile on your
24:48 face and wake that passion up.
24:50 So stay with us, we will be right back!