If you came over from Encouragement Today, welcome! I’m so glad you joined us today. My friend Shana and I sat down and I asked her some of the harder questions. Perhaps some of these are questions you’ve asked about healing when you’ve endured abuse.

S: Shana, thank you for taking the time to be with us today. You and I have been friends for a long time. It’s crazy how the years have passed so quickly, right? I’m thrilled that you are here.

Shana: I am excited you asked me. We have been friends a long time and I am honored to be here.

S: Sometimes when people say that they have been abused, we might not understand what they’ve been through. Today there are women who will visit this site who are still hurting from past abuse, and you do understand. What would you say to that woman?

Shana: I would say you are not alone. Trust is an issue with most everyone who has been or is in an abusive situation. My first step of healing was when I finally had someone to talk to. The best thing I did was accept Jesus into my life. Jesus gives us hope that anything is possible. Jesus loves you and if we allow Him He will take us by the hand and completely change our lives.

S: Is healing a process? And if so, what might that look like?

Shana: I absolutely believe that healing is a process. Even now God is still healing me. Whether our healing is physical or emotional it requires us to put our faith in action (Philemon 1:6).

S: You’ve helped a lot of children through the foster system and adoption. How did your story impact them?

Shana: The past I had helped me with all these kids, because after hearing how my childhood was they felt I understood their situation. I was able to share how God was with me and is with them through everything even when we don’t realize it. Though God gave me the ability to love all of the kids we kept, I want the kids to know no matter where they were or what situation they were in that God would always be there and love them.

S: Scriptures say that God can redeem our past. What did that look like in your life?

Shana: I felt I had no hope, that no one that loved me, and nothing to live for.

When I accepted Jesus He loved me and forgave me. As I began to talk with God and read His word the Holy Spirit began my healing right then. I read in Matthew 5:44 where Jesus said to love my enemies. I was like WHAT!

However, remember I had nothing to live for so why not try and listen to the Holy Spirit and do what He says. I began putting my faith into action. The action Jesus required of me was simple yet profound. FORGIVENESS!!!!!! It was amazing the grace and mercy God showed me by forgiving me of everything I had done wrong. When I really understood that I realized I had to choose to forgive others. My faith in God is what has carried me through everything in my life.

How did God redeem this? Redeem in Hebrew means ransom. In the english dictionary one of the meanings is “to set free”. When Jesus died on the cross for our sins. He paid a ransom for all of our sins once and for all. He also set us free from our past hurts and pain we have experienced.

In my life it seems my childhood, love, joy, peace, happiness, and a loving family was taken from me. Now I have an awesome and God fearing husband who loves me no matter what. I have a step-son and an adopted son who makes sure they talk to me every other day. I have peace and joy in my life I never dreamed was real much less attainable.
I also have forgiven my parents completely.
In fact, I have a good relationship with my mom and dad today. They live close. I know the things God did in my life and I know that God can also redeem others’ story.

S: Can you pray for the women who will visit today who just want to know that God sees them?

Shana: Heavenly Father, I first want to thank you for this chance to share with women all over the world about the grace, mercy and love you have for all of us. I pray right now today that whoever is reading this will feel the love of God. I ask that you touch people all over the world. God provide a way for hurting individuals to get out of their abusive situations.

God reveal to them your word with understanding that they can be redeemed and set free from past abuse and they can experience a brand new life filled with love, joy, and peace. Give them the strength to tell someone. Open their hearts so that they may be healed. Cause their faith to grow and give them a hunger for your word. God set us free from everything that hinders us from being everything you want us to be. May the Holy Spirit give us the ability to share, help, and love others.

In Jesus name, amen.

Tomorrow we’ll talk a bit more with Shana about how she was able to forgive, and what that looked like in her life.