Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Nicole Parker
Series Code: IAA
Program Code: IAA000446A
00:29 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn
00:30 and we welcome you to Issues and Answers.
00:33 This is a program where we talk about issues
00:35 that are really pertinent to today's society
00:38 and then we provide a biblical answer.
00:40 And today we're going to be talking about
00:43 how hearts heal specifically from abuse.
00:47 So this is a program I think will bring,
00:50 you know, God, we can always count on God
00:52 to bring healing in His wings.
00:54 But today it's going to encourage you.
00:56 If you know anyone that has suffered from
00:59 sexual abuse or other abuse, you may want them to tune in,
01:03 but I encourage you to stay tuned in,
01:05 because we all need to know,
01:07 how to minister to those around us,
01:10 and there's so many people
01:12 who need to hear the good news
01:14 that God has a solution for this problem.
01:17 Let me introduce
01:18 our special guest Nicole Parker, who is...
01:22 She has a master's in biblical counseling,
01:24 and your husband Alan Parker is a professor
01:27 at Southern University.
01:29 We're just really thrilled that you're here, Nicole.
01:33 Tell me a little bit about how you became involved
01:38 in biblical counseling?
01:40 Well, you know,
01:41 I always found psychology fascinating.
01:44 My dad had studied some psychology in college
01:47 and I remember finding his psychology books
01:49 around the house and I would devour them
01:51 even as like a 10 or 12 year old.
01:53 I love to think about how minds worked.
01:56 But I was also going through a lot myself as a kid.
01:59 Now in some ways I had the perfect upbringing.
02:03 I had three wonderful sisters and our parents moved us out
02:07 into the country back when I was just a baby
02:10 so that we could be raised out in the woods
02:12 and the fields and the forests were just wonderful,
02:15 I loved it out there.
02:17 We worked in the garden which I didn't love as much,
02:19 of course, as a kid, but we had a great upbringing,
02:23 perfect in many ways but...
02:25 It almost sounds idyllic.
02:27 Yes, but my parents felt we were so protected
02:30 and so safe in the place where we were
02:32 that they never warned us about things like
02:34 safe and unsafe touch.
02:37 They didn't realize that we would even be in any danger,
02:40 we were just at church and with family
02:42 and hardly any time we were ever around strangers.
02:46 But they didn't know that there was a relative
02:48 who started sexually abusing me at a very early age.
02:52 And due to that and some of the other factors
02:55 going on in my life,
02:57 I went into severe anxiety and depression as a teenager
03:01 and I didn't know how to cope.
03:02 Were you able to tell your parents about this?
03:06 Or was this something that
03:07 you felt so much shame and guilt
03:09 that you kept it to yourself?
03:10 You know, as a child,
03:11 I didn't know how to process it.
03:14 I remember one time that my mother almost caught him
03:17 abusing me,
03:18 but I've been praying and praying I mean,
03:20 we went to church every week my whole childhood,
03:23 I knew that God was there and that Jesus loved me,
03:25 I sang all the songs
03:27 but when it came to applying the truth of the Bible
03:30 to this situation, I was absolutely clueless.
03:32 I remember wanting so much and praying, "Dear Jesus,
03:35 please help mommy come and see,"
03:38 but then when I heard her coming,
03:39 he was so terrified that as a small child
03:43 I didn't know how to process it.
03:44 I thought, he is not gonna get spanked
03:47 that must mean I'm the one who's going to get spanked
03:49 and all of a sudden I didn't want anyone to find out
03:51 because I thought I would be in trouble.
03:52 Oh, bless her, oh, Lord...
03:54 For a child, you know, it's so sad
03:57 that anything like this happens
03:58 and we know it's happening with great frequency
04:01 in our own society and around the world.
04:04 But how did this affect...
04:06 If you were a child
04:08 that doesn't know how to process this,
04:10 how did this affect your relationship
04:12 with the Lord?
04:13 I mean, how did it, did it damage your picture of God?
04:17 Were you wondering, "Oh, God,
04:19 why aren't you saving me from this?"
04:22 And this is what I find in counseling with people
04:24 who have been abused.
04:26 Abuse strikes at the very heart of our picture of who God is.
04:30 That's why it's so damaging, that's why it's so important
04:33 that we process and find biblical healing
04:36 because if I can't believe that God is love
04:38 which is what abuse tells me.
04:40 If God were loving, He would have stopped this.
04:42 If God were loving,
04:43 He wouldn't have allowed this to happen.
04:47 So when I can't believe that God is love,
04:49 I can't love Him back.
04:50 Only by love is love awakened.
04:52 If I can't see God as a God of love,
04:55 then I'm going to try to find something
04:56 or someone who will replace what God is not for me.
05:00 All right, so this happened as a young child.
05:02 At what point were you able to tell your parents
05:06 what was going on?
05:08 Well, he died when I was 10 and the trauma for me
05:11 had been so severe
05:13 that I forgot what had happened even.
05:17 I moved on with my life,
05:19 but I had some triggering events with a neighbor
05:22 who started trying to assault me
05:24 when I was 15.
05:26 And at that point
05:28 I was still trying to follow God,
05:29 I wanted to be a good Christian,
05:31 I wanted to follow God with all of my heart.
05:34 But this neighbor grabbed me
05:36 and tried to drag me into his house, kissed me
05:38 and said, "I want to show you something,"
05:40 and I had to hang on to his doorframe
05:41 and fight him off.
05:42 I did escape but then when I escaped
05:45 I was so angry as I was walking back home,
05:48 and I remember praying,
05:50 "God, I don't know what kind of God you are,
05:53 but I know I'm through with the stupid trust God thing,
05:56 because you never take care of me at all,
05:58 I have to take care of myself."
06:01 And I mean, I remember it like yesterday, crystal clear,
06:04 I know exactly what I said in that prayer.
06:06 I told Him, "I'm not going to do anything stupid.
06:08 I'm not gonna go out and drink
06:09 and do drugs and destroy my life.
06:12 I'm gonna keep going to church but I'm through trusting You,
06:15 and I'm gonna take care of myself."
06:17 You see, now, I won't go into it
06:18 but I had a point in my life
06:20 where I had been taught erroneously
06:23 to have faith in faith and not faith in God,
06:27 if you will, you know what I'm saying?
06:29 If only you can just muster up enough faith,
06:32 God had to do what you had faith to believe.
06:34 And when it didn't turn out
06:37 as, as I had anticipated with a healing for my mother,
06:42 and this was from a mental type situation.
06:45 I was so angry at God
06:48 because I had been taught wrongly.
06:50 I was so angry that I shook my fist in his face
06:53 and said, "You don't keep your word,
06:55 I'm out of here."
06:57 So I actually walked away
06:58 from the church for a couple of years,
06:59 away from God for a couple of years.
07:01 And praise the Lord, He chased me down
07:03 but, but you've got this anger that is,
07:06 I mean just a deep wound.
07:09 You've been hurt your feeling.
07:13 I mean, there's all these emotions of guilt,
07:15 abandonment, rejection
07:17 that everything starts kind of pulling in together here,
07:20 and you decided probably because of the environment
07:24 in which you were brought up
07:25 that you were going to keep on living a decent lifestyle.
07:31 But you just didn't really trust the Lord,
07:33 and if you can't trust God that is the relationship...
07:36 I mean, that's the foundation for faith is trust.
07:38 That's right.
07:40 I thought that I could go on
07:41 being a good Christian girl without trusting God.
07:43 Just throw out the whole trust God thing
07:45 because clearly He doesn't take care of me,
07:47 so I would still do all the right things
07:49 but I didn't realize you have to worship God,
07:52 if you do not worship God,
07:54 you will worship some replacement for Him.
07:57 I thought I was angry at God, but praise God He knew better.
08:00 He knew I was angry at the false picture of Him
08:03 that I had.
08:04 And so He had to restore in me a true picture of who He was.
08:08 How did He do this though?
08:09 I mean, how when you are so...
08:11 I mean, at what point did you tell your parents?
08:13 Was that a beginning?
08:15 Or how did this horrible scab
08:21 that's over your wound right now,
08:23 how did this thing get released?
08:26 And it was festering,
08:27 how did this wound that get healed?
08:31 You know, God is so good.
08:33 He knew I wasn't ready to talk to anyone about it.
08:36 So I didn't tell anyone.
08:38 But after the attack by the neighbor,
08:41 I began having severe panic attacks.
08:43 I already was dealing with nightmares,
08:45 with depression.
08:47 I would wake up from a terrible nightmare.
08:50 It was always similar,
08:52 you know, kinds of things where I couldn't get away.
08:54 And I would be like, I'm trying to run,
08:56 I'm trying to scream but nothing would ever happen,
08:59 similar to the circumstances of how I had actually been abused.
09:02 I could never tell anybody, I could never get away.
09:06 And praise God, those nightmares went away
09:08 after I dealt with everything.
09:09 But at the time, it was an oppressive life.
09:12 I had no idea that God actually delivered people
09:14 from things like this because I just...
09:16 It had never occurred to me.
09:18 And which is strange you would think,
09:20 I was reading the Bible every day as a child
09:23 and at least at that point
09:25 when I was abused by the neighbor.
09:26 But when I began trusting myself
09:28 instead of God, I was basically saying
09:30 because God is not who He is supposed to be,
09:34 I will be that.
09:35 And you see that's always the cycle at the heart of sin,
09:38 unbelief about the character of God
09:40 about who He says He is in His word
09:42 will inevitably lead to pride of some kind,
09:45 me trying to be what I think God ought to be.
09:47 That was the cycle with Lucifer.
09:49 It's a cycle with every sin from there on.
09:52 If I cannot believe that God is who He says He is in His word,
09:55 I will believe that He is who I feel He is
09:58 or who my circumstances seemed to say He is
10:00 and I will respond accordingly.
10:02 I cannot worship Him
10:03 because He doesn't seem like the one
10:06 who's worthy of worship.
10:07 And instead I will worship someone
10:09 or something else,
10:10 and whatever that thing is that I choose to worship
10:13 instead of God, it's always self disguised.
10:15 So for me, it wasn't even disguised,
10:17 I worship myself.
10:18 I believed that I could take care of myself.
10:21 So I began being very vigilant.
10:23 Everywhere I went, and everything I did,
10:25 I would make sure nobody could attack me.
10:28 I slept wearing jeans every night.
10:31 I was so terrified,
10:33 somebody would come through my window at night
10:35 and kidnap me and rape me.
10:37 I lived in continual fear,
10:40 and I began having panic attacks
10:42 anytime a man would walk behind me.
10:45 It was becoming more and more oppressive,
10:47 but at the same time I didn't dare tell anybody
10:50 because the more dramatic my symptoms were,
10:54 the more I was afraid if people found out
10:56 they would think I was crazy and maybe I was crazy.
10:59 So it's interesting to me, and maybe because this happened
11:02 when you were so very young.
11:04 Your parents, you were still developing a personality,
11:06 so they really didn't see this huge change in you.
11:10 No, and I was very good at covering it up.
11:12 I had friends at school, I had lots of fun.
11:14 I studied hard, got A's, read my Bible every day,
11:19 I seemed like I had things together.
11:21 No one knew that deep inside I was struggling.
11:25 My younger sister was the only one
11:27 who had some idea
11:29 because her bedroom was right above mine
11:31 and at night sometimes she could hear me crying
11:33 my heart out as I was lying there in bed.
11:37 You know, this is something
11:38 that when you are in an abusive...
11:43 If you've been in an abusive cycle, it is, boy,
11:46 I'm resonating with what you're saying
11:48 because it is so easy
11:50 and I've been there myself in that,
11:53 okay, I've got to take care of myself.
11:55 You become fiercely independent rather than depending on God,
12:00 you become fiercely independent and this protective,
12:03 you know, cocoon that you're trying to put around yourself.
12:07 But people like that often put forth that false face,
12:13 I mean, you know, we're good at verbal camouflage,
12:16 you're good at making everyone around
12:17 you think everything is perfect when it isn't,
12:20 and so you even were able to fool your parents.
12:23 So at what age, what was it for you,
12:28 I mean, what was...
12:30 What knocked the scab off?
12:33 You know, I went away to a school
12:36 called Ouachita Hills Academy.
12:38 There was a small Christian school
12:40 where I lived.
12:41 It was about three and half hours
12:42 from my parents.
12:44 And when I came there to go to school as I was registering,
12:48 the principal asked me "When was the last time
12:49 you read the book, the Desire of Ages?"
12:52 And I said, "Well, I don't think
12:53 I've ever read the Desire of Ages."
12:57 And that was my assignment.
12:59 I started life and teachings of Christ class.
13:03 And as I started reading that book,
13:05 I remember the very first chapter
13:07 I read was called "Emmanuel, God with us".
13:11 And in that chapter, I read about a Jesus
13:13 I had never known.
13:15 And as I finished reading that first chapter,
13:17 I remember I came to the end
13:20 where it talked about throughout eternity
13:22 we will praise God for His unspeakable gift to us,
13:25 Emmanuel, God with us.
13:27 Amen. And the tears came to my eyes.
13:30 And I thought I've never known a God like this.
13:34 If that's actually what He's like,
13:37 I might be able to trust Him with my life.
13:40 That was the beginning of a turning point for me.
13:44 All right, so the book, the Desire of Ages
13:46 and that was authored by Ellen G. White.
13:51 And I've heard so many people who have said that
13:53 that book really brought them to a point of decision.
13:58 It's the story of Jesus' life.
14:00 It's like a harmony of the four gospels
14:02 put together in a story form.
14:03 And the great thing about it is that it's based on Scripture
14:06 but it also gives a lot of context
14:08 that you wouldn't know just reading the Bible,
14:10 things about the Jewish culture,
14:12 what Jesus was dealing with.
14:14 So as I read that book throughout that year in my life
14:18 and teachings of Christ class,
14:20 I came to understand what Jesus was like.
14:22 And over the next few months,
14:23 after that I decided I could trust Him with my life.
14:27 And I began surrendering to Him.
14:28 However, you know, the Lord is so gracious with us,
14:31 it never occurred to me still that God could deal
14:34 with my severe anxiety and depression.
14:39 But obviously He did.
14:40 He did, He did, but it took time.
14:43 I still hadn't even become emotionally healthy enough
14:46 to remember what had happened to me as a child.
14:48 And God is so good.
14:50 Sometimes people worry, "Well, what if I was abused?
14:52 I can't remember for sure.
14:53 Or do I need to remember...
14:55 should I rake through my mind
14:57 and see if the reason why I'm anxious is
14:58 because I was abused somewhere along the way?"
15:01 I would say, you know,
15:02 you can't blame your sin problems
15:05 on someone else's sins against you.
15:07 There may be trigger sins against us
15:09 that caused our sins of response.
15:12 And if so, the Lord will help us remember them
15:14 when we're ready to remember them.
15:15 At what point did you remember?
15:17 It was right after I turned 18.
15:22 It dawned on me as I realized that he had abused someone else
15:26 in my family,
15:28 and I was asked, "Has he ever abused you?"
15:30 And I said, "I can't remember anything."
15:32 But then one night as I was lying in bed
15:34 trying to go to sleep,
15:35 I thought, "Did anything ever happen to me?"
15:38 And all of a sudden, everything started coming back to me.
15:40 You see, I had become emotionally healthy enough
15:42 at that point.
15:44 That you could take it. That I could take it.
15:46 And I think, the Lord sometimes put sort of,
15:48 it's like a pressure cooker valve.
15:50 If there's a release when it's too much for a person
15:53 to process emotionally, the pressure valve blows.
15:56 In order to preserve their sanity,
15:59 the Lord allows them not to remember that.
16:01 But we still need to come back.
16:03 We still need to come back and deal with things sometimes
16:06 in order to realize the ways that we're sinning.
16:08 Sometimes we need to understand the sins
16:10 that caused our sins of response.
16:12 So I remembered what had happened to me.
16:13 And over the next few months I remembered much more
16:15 in each different event all the different times
16:18 that I was abused, in different ways I was abused.
16:21 And as I remembered all of those things,
16:24 an anger toward God came up again,
16:27 toward who I thought God was, but then I realized "No, no.
16:32 This is not who He was.
16:34 Whatever He's gonna get me through this,
16:35 it's gonna be this God that I know.
16:37 This God that I have met through reading,
16:40 through studying the Bible, through prayer, He is love."
16:44 And knowing that,
16:46 that central fact turned everything around for me.
16:51 And it allowed you, you know, as you said,
16:53 anytime you go through abuse, it is something that will...
16:58 Especially when you're young and going through abuse,
17:01 it changes how you see God.
17:04 It changes your image of God.
17:06 And so often, I mean, the most difficult question in the world
17:10 to be asked by anyone is when someone says,
17:15 "Why did God allow this?" Right.
17:17 It's a difficult thing to explain
17:19 but sin is playing out its course, if you will.
17:23 That's right. And for him too.
17:26 And often God does intervene
17:28 and He protects us from many things.
17:29 But if He is not intervening,
17:33 I mean, it won't be until the sin problem is done
17:36 away with completely that this will be gone.
17:38 I don't know how else to say that,
17:40 but it doesn't mean
17:41 that God doesn't love you and that...
17:44 Do you know Christian Berdahl? Yes, I know.
17:46 Christian Berdahl said that he was so angry at God
17:51 because he was sexually abused as a child
17:53 and he was shaking his fist at the Lord.
17:54 And finally, one day,
17:57 he said that the Lord spoke to him,
18:00 just the still small voice, not an audible voice.
18:04 But he said, you know, there are rules of engagement,
18:07 and your mother didn't follow the rules of engagement.
18:09 His mother kept him in a situation
18:11 where he is being abused by his mother's boyfriends
18:15 if I remember correctly.
18:16 So, it was something that if,
18:19 I guess God was trying to get in touch with her,
18:21 certainly the person who abused you
18:23 being a relative is a very difficult situation.
18:27 But he certainly wasn't following God's rules
18:29 and bad things do happen to good people.
18:32 That's right. I had to understand.
18:35 And I came to an understanding
18:36 that was very liberating for me.
18:37 I had to understand the difference
18:39 between the purpose of God and the will of God.
18:43 God's will is often broken. Yes.
18:46 But His purpose can never be stopped.
18:47 That's good.
18:49 The great purpose of God in the whole battle
18:52 between Him and Satan is to reveal His love
18:56 to the universe,
18:57 to show the universe love is the best way
18:59 to run the universe.
19:01 If He could have done that by making sure
19:04 that everybody in the universe kept His law,
19:06 just nobody's allowed to break it,
19:09 they would have never been loved
19:10 because love has to be voluntary.
19:13 And God knew if He's gonna rule in universe for eternity,
19:17 He has to let there be freedom.
19:19 Someday, somewhere throughout all of that eternity
19:22 if He lets all these beings choose
19:24 whether to love Him voluntarily or not,
19:26 somebody's gonna choose not to.
19:28 And so he had a plan.
19:29 And when Lucifer started moving down that path,
19:32 God pled with him, "Don't do this."
19:34 His spirit always pleads with us.
19:36 Yes. "Don't do this."
19:37 But Lucifer's first sin was unbelief,
19:39 doubt about the character of God.
19:41 "Maybe, He's not really loving.
19:43 What if He's trying to keep back good gifts?
19:46 I'd like to have power."
19:48 And the moment that unbelief creeps in
19:50 that we believe God maybe isn't loving,
19:52 then pride comes in at the same time.
19:54 It's like a balance. You can't stop it.
19:56 If unbelief creeps in, pride will creep in too.
20:00 And Lucifer was immediately in judgment over God.
20:03 "If I were God, if I were ruling the universe,
20:05 I could do it better than this."
20:07 So Lucifer went against the will of God
20:10 but he could not stop the purpose of God
20:12 because God will reveal to the whole universe,
20:14 love is the best way to run this universe.
20:18 So Lucifer's decision to go against the will of God
20:21 has actually accomplished more of the purpose of God.
20:23 You cannot stop God from revealing
20:25 that love is the best way.
20:27 And so now the sin problem,
20:29 even though God said to Lucifer, to Eve,
20:32 to every person since then,
20:33 "Don't do it, don't do it, don't do it."
20:34 And I know He did that to my relative too.
20:36 Still when we do it, when we go ahead
20:40 and go against His will, God says, "All right.
20:42 Now, not just in spite of this sin,
20:44 this breaking of my law but because of this sin,
20:47 the universe is gonna understand
20:48 that the law of love is the best way to rule."
20:52 And once I understood that, once that really dawned on me
20:55 that God didn't want this to happen to me.
20:58 He didn't mean it to happen to me.
20:59 He didn't plan it. He tried to stop it.
21:01 His spirit appealed to my relative saying,
21:03 "Don't do this.
21:05 Don't do this."
21:06 He made his choices and God said, "All right.
21:08 Now not just in spite of this sin but actually
21:10 because of this sin,
21:12 if Nicole will surrender to me in faith instead of unbelief,"
21:16 if my response will be faith,
21:19 then God will use this thing that wasn't His will
21:22 to accomplish His greater purpose.
21:24 I'm glad.
21:25 I'm grateful for what happened to me.
21:27 I wouldn't ever wanna go through it again.
21:29 I wouldn't wanna anyone else to go through it.
21:30 But I'm glad it happened to me because it has helped me
21:33 become a deeper and richer and broader person.
21:36 I understand why suffering is allowed in this world.
21:40 And I'm able to protect my children much more wisely,
21:43 but even so even if something were to happen to my children,
21:46 I know how to help them understand
21:47 how the healing power of God's Word
21:49 will set them free.
21:50 And I've been able to share that with hundreds of people.
21:52 As I share with them, this is how God has healed me,
21:56 it's almost like, I used to be lost
21:58 in this maze of darkness and evil.
22:02 And God came to me there
22:03 where I was by revealing Himself,
22:06 led me out of that maze, and then He sends me back
22:08 and says, "Get this one."
22:10 You know, when you think about Romans 8:28 that says,
22:13 "All things work together for good for those
22:15 who love the Lord and are called
22:17 according to His purpose."
22:18 And when something...
22:20 When you're going through abuse,
22:21 it's so difficult to say,
22:23 "How are you going to work this for my good?"
22:27 But Romans 8:29 that should have
22:28 never been separated,
22:30 it should have been a single sentence.
22:31 He says, "For those God foreknew,
22:34 He predestined to be conformed to the image of Jesus."
22:38 So what are you saying is, no matter what happens
22:41 in your life, no matter how bad it is,
22:44 trust me, God can work that thing
22:48 to your good by making you a little more Christ-like.
22:52 He will teach you how to be more loving.
22:54 He will teach you how to be more understanding,
22:57 and that's what's happened here.
22:59 You know, when you said you were glad for the abuse,
23:00 I'm thinking "Oops!
23:02 Wow! That's...
23:03 That is radical statement to say
23:05 you are grateful for the abuse."
23:07 It was a long journey to come at that.
23:08 But, and, you know, I want to put qualifiers on it.
23:10 You're glad for the way God responded to your abuse,
23:14 I'm wanting to qualify that.
23:15 But I say what you're saying because we can only comfort,
23:19 you know, Paul wrote in the 1 Corinthians,
23:22 "He's the God of all comfort."
23:24 And we comfort others with the same comfort
23:28 we've received from Him.
23:29 So God is using you in a mighty way.
23:31 You went through a healing process yourself.
23:37 You became educated so that you can then turn around
23:41 and use biblical counseling, not just what we would
23:45 call Christian counseling
23:46 because Christian counseling sometimes can throw God out.
23:50 You can take Him or leave Him in other words.
23:52 But biblical counseling is what you are focused on.
23:57 Biblical counseling is so different
23:59 than traditional counseling,
24:02 and that's what's drawn me to it.
24:03 You know, the Lord just completely led me
24:06 in so many ways to understand.
24:08 You see, Christian counseling,
24:09 there's a wide spectrum of things
24:11 that are called Christian counseling,
24:13 but often they're very similar to secular counseling.
24:16 Secular counseling says the answers to life's problems
24:20 come from secular sources
24:23 and much of Christian counseling
24:24 does the same thing.
24:26 It has a humanistic presupposition that says,
24:28 "I just need to sit here and listen to you and say,
24:29 "How did that make you feel?
24:30 Well, that's really sad.
24:32 What answer do you think
24:33 you can find within yourself to this?"
24:35 It's a very dangerous philosophy to think
24:38 that I have the answers within myself.
24:40 Biblical counseling is founded on
24:42 an entirely different presupposition.
24:44 I cannot find the answers within myself, I'm a sinner.
24:47 And I'm deeply affected by other sins against me.
24:50 The answers come from the Word of God.
24:53 And as the Word of God works deep within us,
24:55 He transforms us into His image so that we learn to love,
25:00 not just in spite of the sins against us
25:01 but actually because of them,
25:03 we understand the battle between good and evil
25:06 like we never could have
25:07 if we hadn't been caught in the midst of it.
25:09 And God's plan is always that He will take bad things.
25:14 God never ordained for me to be abused,
25:16 never ordained for anyone to be abused,
25:18 never ordained for those poor children
25:19 to be starving in Africa.
25:21 But He will use even bad things to draw us close to Him,
25:26 to teach us that love is the best way
25:27 to run the universe.
25:29 And that He cares about each one of us personally.
25:32 Without the gospel,
25:34 I don't think there would be any true forgiveness.
25:36 I don't think that something that's really in our hearts.
25:38 No forgiveness, no healing. Yes.
25:40 It was when I came to understand
25:42 the power of the gospel
25:44 that I started really being able to break free.
25:47 As I had a wonderful experience in which the Lord
25:52 used the power of the Word of God
25:54 to break and incredibly
25:57 to break the chains of my abuse,
26:00 I began not being, not living in anxiety.
26:03 I began being able to walk free where before
26:05 I wouldn't even walk in a grocery store aisle,
26:07 a grocery store aisle...
26:09 I should say that over again. That's fine.
26:11 I wouldn't even walk in a grocery store aisle before
26:14 if there were a man in it
26:16 because I would have a panic attack.
26:18 But now I began singing Scripture songs.
26:20 I could walk anywhere. I could walk down the sidewalk.
26:23 I could have a man walk behind me.
26:25 And it was this time of pure communion with God.
26:28 As I would have to cry out to Him every time,
26:31 I began suffering from the temptation to unbelief
26:34 and pride that anxiety and depression
26:37 He would set me free.
26:38 Yes, amen.
26:39 This is, it is such an encouragement
26:43 to hear your story.
26:45 And the fact that, you know,
26:46 often when I'm talking with someone,
26:48 and you probably find this in counseling
26:49 and know we have such a short time.
26:51 But if someone cannot tell their story
26:54 without feeling a lot of pain,
26:56 I don't feel that they've really been healed.
26:58 I can tell you've been healed.
27:00 This is something that God has dealt with for you
27:03 and He's changed your life because of it.
27:06 You know, we're out of time today.
27:08 But, Nicole, we want you to come back
27:10 and talk a little more specifically on this topic
27:14 of sexual abuse and healing.
27:16 And so, will you come back and join us, right?
27:19 All right. All right.
27:20 Well, thank you so much for being here today.
27:22 And I want you to be sure and tune in
27:26 for our next program
27:27 because we will bring Nicole back,
27:29 and she's going to have much more to share with us.
27:32 Right now, our prayer for you is that the grace of our Lord
27:35 and Savior Jesus Christ, the love of the Father
27:38 and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit
27:40 will be with you today and always.
27:43 He is a trustworthy God.