Friday, November 14, 2008

Breakin Free!

I've spent the last 4 days in Nawlins being part of the re-taping of Beth Mo ores 'Breaking Free' Bible study.
As I've said before this book and study have had much significance for me personally as I was introduced to the teachings of Beth Moore and this study specifically, just a few short months after my daughter's death.
I have shared some of the details of this journey God led me through that brought me out of bondage, but not necessarily the timing of this re-taping and the friends I've been blessed to share it with. That in mind, here's the rest of the story.
The bare bones of my testimony are that I’ve occupied all manner of pit from birth on. It has taken nearly half a century and supernatural intervention that began

after the death of my youngest child just over 3 years ago before I finally started realizing the truth of my existence.

Through divine manipulation, God brought the radical teachings of Beth Moore into my life. This proved to be a catalyst that drove me deeper into the Word and a relationship with God the likes of which I had never fully known before.

Prior to my Lauren’s home going, I lived and believed myself to be a 'Pity Child of God'. After accepting Christ in my heart as a child of 10, I was passionate to spread the Word. Yet the pit relentlessly drew me back, making sure I knew what I was and where I came from. My upbringing caused me to view my Heavenly Father in a very brutal way.

Unwittingly I felt God was always looking to catch me messing up and just like I knew parents to be…would rightly come down on me with everything He had. Despite these lies I viewed as truths, I attempted to ‘be’ good enough to deserve the love of my Father. Of course with every failure, I knew I was moments from destruction and God yanking me outta here because I was such a poor example of Christianity. HIS children would never fall so far, so hard and as sinfully as I did.

My bias’s to the contrary, God never let me go, never stopped loving me and never gave up on me, never. I am overwhelmed with gratefulness and humbled beyond measure that He loves me like He does. Truly only a God like You!!

After my daughter’s sudden death, I was certain God had ripped her out of here because I had never lived up to what He had planned for my life.

Though I know now it was a lie straight from the pits of hell, I spent some long hard months struggling to make any kind of sense of it all….more often than not just believing I was not good enough to deserve any better. Now it seemed my children would suffer for my wickedness.

Within 8 weeks of Lauren’s death, I was asked to take custody of my 2 year old granddaughter, as her mother (my eldest daughter) was making dangerous life choices.

What was God thinking? How could I be of any possible use to this tiny, precious but shattered toddler? What a pair we made...the both of us…walking wounded. Lord what ARE You thinking?

He knew better of course….doesn’t He always?


Late one morning in the deserts of Arizona, a woman I met that very week mentioned the name Beth Moore , Breaking Free and gave a line or two of her testimony.


Nancy Vandewater, my angel in the desert

In those moments, through her passing comments God flooded my hurting heart with the most amazing sweetness of His true all encompassing love for me.

The hope that I clung to during the most trying days of my life proved more well founded than anything I could ever imagine. My faith…though oh so weak at times, was rewarded beyond anything I could’ve ever imagined!

Did God ever show up with so much fanfare, grace, love, peace and eventually…joy…real Joy!

Did I tell you about the JOY?

Yes, joy truly comes in the morning and most brilliantly after our deepest and darkest of nights!

Due to a series of horrific events that led to our little Grand baby being raised by us, it became very apparent my 2 ½ year old granddaughter had experienced some monumental trauma.

My husband and I found ourselves engulfed in a battle for this little girl’s life, spirit and very soul. This grand little girl was walking in a pit of fear and terror most adults will never know, and she was not even 3 years old.
Having personally reaped huge rewards for believing and praying Gods Word as a result of reading Breaking Free, the Lord led me to surround this toddler of mine with scripture specifically designed to address the devastation the enemy was bent on destroying her with.

I found CD’s of musical Scripture verses with topics on fear, bravery, sadness, anger, love, friendship. These were played everywhere we went day and night, throughout the house, in the car and in her bed; she slept while Gods Word played on.

Baby girl would wake early and sit with her Maw Maw in the dark morning hours. We shared quiet time, prayed, and read devotions loaded with even more scripture. Both of us just immersed ourselves in our Father and His Word!

One evening after reading bedtime stories, saying prayers and playing more scripture set to music, I fell asleep beside my granddaughter. Shortly thereafter this precocious waif began shaking me and calling out that I wake up.
“Maw Maw, wake up, it’s important! Wake up Maw Maw, I’ve got to tell you something….it’s important Maw Maw!” she was so excited.

Once I lifted my head, she grabbed me and began spouting how the monsters were gone, they could not hurt her anymore, God had not given her a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

"Maw Maw, the monsters are gone and can’t hurt me! Maw Maw the monsters can’t hurt me! God did not give me a spirit of fear!”

With the biggest smiles on our faces we hugged, we danced, we laughed, we celebrated and when we finally settled down, we prayed and praised as that little girl drifted off into a most peaceful sleep.

There’s more.

That Sunday, after picking up my granddaughter from her Sunday school class, she and I began looking and discussing the artwork she’d created that day in class. In her pile of lesson sheets and memory verses was a large, bright and beautifully colored painting.

“What is this?” I asked , “ What can you tell me about it?”

“Well, there’s the monsters-right there in that box and they can’t hurt me anymore. And over here’s the cross of Jesus”

“And this? That’s me, and I’m blowing all these bubbles, because I’m so happy”

The monsters are in the large green box, that big green blob next to the Orange 'cross of Jesus' and then there is all the blue bubbles...precious!

I was stunned and ecstatic. Simple profound truths so beautifully made known to this child were embraced, believed and owned by her with total abandon.

Just so you know, the child had never seen the diagrams in my Breaking Free Book and yet that Sunday, she unmistakably illustrated the freedom she was now experiencing by covering God’s truths over the enemy’s lies.

Hallelujah! Praise Jesus!

At 3 ½ years of age, my granddaughter broke free!
With You Lord ALL things are possible!

Her life has never been the same!

Almost a year later, my granddaughter asked Jesus to be her Savior and was baptized soon after.

Our little grand girl is 5 years old now. Recently she was in to see her doctor and I had a conference with her teacher as well.
The same doctor, who reluctantly pronounced unavoidable severe psychological damage, could do nothing but praise the amazing condition of this child’s mental and emotional health and overall well being. She was not the same child the Doc knew.

Her teacher -unaware of the child's history, was startled at the news. In both instances these professionals had nothing but high praise for what a normal, loving, caring, well adjusted little girl we had. Both teacher and Doctor kept trying to credit my husband and I with our granddaughter’s incredible state of mind, body and soul. We want no part in that.

We boldly give God all the credit, all the glory and all praise for the miracle in our grandchild’s life.

Were it not for Him, His Word, Grace and Love all hope would be gone and our baby grand would be just another statistic.

This little girl and her Maw Maw are walking testaments of what Gods Love and saving grace can do for any life if we are courageous enough to do the hard thing and face our giants.

Back in May, Lifeway made 300 tickets available for purchase to attend the re-taping of Breaking Free. I was blessed to be able to purchase tickets. I have been even more blessed to be sharing this adventure with 2 very sweet friends of mine,

Jenny Hope Williams and Nancy Vandewater, my desert angel.


I feel like I have come full circle in my journey to break free.

For all of this and oh so much moore, I am so grateful in Georgia.

25 comments:

Angela Ramsey said...

Thanks for sharing. I love Beth Moore.Glad you are having a good time!

Profbaugh said...

Oh my goodness!! What a testimony. Tears are streaming down my face as I type this. What a blessing you are my Siesta. And isn't our God so absolutely stinkin' good???

We are FREE because of Him. And I don't know about you, but I never want to be back in bondage again. The price He paid is too high for me to succumb to the evil one's trick. So yes, I'm Living Free in Him!!

Can't wait to see that picture your granddaughter drew. Just thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

Take good care my dear friend. You are such an encouragement to me.

Much love,
~Cheryl

Mary said...

Tammy -- girl that's some amazing stuff! SO very powerful! What a blessing and a joy it was to meet you and hug your neck. You have the spirit of joy all over you!

Breaking Free! Crossing over that border!

Annie said...

Oh. My. Goodness. What an amazing story. Do you mind if I send my blog readership over here? This is ... amazing. I'm speechless. Wow. What a testimony.

anotherlostsheep said...

Isn't it amazing - God never gives up. He keeps on finding ways to bring us back to him, even when we've been told lies about who He is. Your testimony is so full of God's love! Thank you.

Jill_in_AL said...

Praying it has been a wonderful week. Can't wait to meet up with Jenny when she gets home and hear all about it!!!! Safe journey home to you all. Jill

Georgia Jan said...

Tammy: Praise GOD from Whom ALL ALL ALL ALL Blessings FLOW AND FLOW AND FLOW!

My chains are gone - I've been set free - My God, My Saviour Has Ransomed me...

What a testimony - thank you so much for sharing!

AND HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!

Your Jubilee Plus 1 Siesta,

Love ya lots,
Georgia Jan

darla said...

God sent Beth Moore and Breaking Free to me about 10 years ago and I have never been the same...i did blog about it a while back..HE does send Angels...and that Jenny HOpe is definitely one of those people..

twinkle said...

Radical testimony!
I just want to holler praises!
You women are mighty warriors in God's Army...and that precious little child, too.
Amazing.
And, happy birthday!

Indian Lake Papa said...

A God given and ordained testimony - God Bless! Serve him each moment of the day - He loves that grand baby!

GratefulinGA said...

Angela, I just got back last night and yes we had an incredible time.

Cheryl, I'm with you, I pray for God to illuminate those areas where I may begin sliding, diving or falling back into bondage. Likewise my prayer is that I never forget all that He has brought me out of and how He has my sin engraved on His hands, knowing all this keeps me broken and in awe that He loves me so. thank you friend! oh, here's a tissue.

Mary What a pleasure to finally spend time with you, crossing borders, making coffee runs and sharing card board testimonies. I'll be sure to send you updates from my smell journal.
Big squishy hug to you Siesta!

Annie, what a blessing you are! Thank you so much for your generosity in spreading the good news of real freedom through Christ.

Anotherlostsheep, Thanks for stopping by. I am constantly amazed at the ways God shows His great love for me.

Jill, thank you for the prayers, we sure felt them. Jenny will have much to share with you. Give her a hug from me when ya'll get together.

Jan, Amen dear Siesta! May you and yours have a joyous time celebrating your birth. Sending you much love and squishy hugs on this your day.

Darla, yes God surrounds us with many angels in our lives and Jenny is certainly one of them.

Deborah, thanks for the shout out and birthday greeting, when are we going to meet up at the Blue Willow?

Indian Lake Papa, thank you for stopping by and your encouragement. That is surely my desire that in everything and every ways God alone is glorified. That baby grand is certainly doin her part!

Michelle said...

I came through Annie's blog. Nice to meet you.

I've never read Beth Moore's Breaking Free, but have certainly experienced the teaching. I don't know where I'd be without God's amazing grace and supernatural power to restore.

Amazing story for one so young. Thank you for sharing it.

connorcolesmom said...

JUST BEAUTIFUL!!
God is AMAZING, FAITHFUL, and TRUE!!
What a great testimony that you and your grand daughter have for Him!
Praise the Lord for you sweet Tammy!
Love you
Kim

Sheryl said...

What a wonderful testimony to the love and power of our Lord.

Sheryl

P.S. I live in Marietta. Maybe we could have lunch sometime.

Melinda said...

Girlfriend,

Yet again, I'm bowled over by what God's done in your life and in the life of your precious grand girl.

How thrilled I am to know what a meaningful time you had in N.O. Isn't God SOMEthing??!!

Love you,
Melinda

L.L. Barkat said...

Just... listening... in... awe.

Denise said...

What an amazing testimony! I hope that you frame that beautiful drawing! It is a speaks so much truth in those colorful marks! Oh, that God would speak to a child in such a way! AWESOME! Blessings to you! Denise

ocean mommy said...

Praise Jesus. What a God we have! I can only imagine what He's got planned for this beautiful little thing....

Hugs
steph.

Bridgette said...

Thank you for sharing that awesome testimony! God is so good and so faithful! You and your grandaughter share something rare and special indeed! Breaking Free is what finally helped me break the chains of fear, doubt and unbelief. It is dear to me. I am so glad that you were able to go! I read you post several months ago, when you gave a part of your testimony and were talking about going. Isn't great how God puts these things together for us? You know we're thinking, Cool, I get to go. But then God shows us, that it was planned from the beginning, and it completes the circle of a story that began long ago! I love the way God does that!
Have a great week!

Lois said...

Oh, Tammy, the tears were flowing as I just finished reading your story. Over and over, I am amazed at God's blessings through so much pain. How absolutely beautiful to watch your grand girl break free at such a tender age, and what awesome plans He must have for her life! What a blessing for her to have grandparents like you who are loving her, investing your lives into hers, and pouring God's Word into her little life! I am so thankful to have connected with you - just wish it could have happened in person last week!

GratefulinGA said...

Sorry it's taken me so long to get back ya'll, been dealin with a fierce cold ( I love me some Pre - School students!)...that said

Michelle, Thanks for stopping by. One thing that has really been brought home for me is it's NEVER too young to replace our truths with God's truths to live in freedom.

Kim, Sending you a hig hug and praising Jesus right along with you!

Sheryl, Marietta? So close, I'd love to meet sometime. Send me an email and so we can make a date!

Melinda you bless me so!
Back from your trip with your sweetie? God is really up to a bunch of somethings eh? I'll be emailing so we can both catch up!

L.L., always a pleasure...and so you know, i AM working on Thanksgiving :)

Denise, yes her picture is in it's frame, a precious reminder of the way God has worked in her life.

Steph, Amen!
Knowing God has had a plan for us all along has gotten us through so very much.

Bridgette Good hearing from you again. He does put it all together so beautifully and well beyond anything we would ever imagine.

Lois, So good to have met you. To think we came so close to having met BEFORE Nawlins! oh well, ALL in Gods time girl!

Emmy said...

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21

I am grateful for you sweet Tammy... thank you for sharing that beautiful testimony! Wow!

Emmy : )

April in real life said...

Tammy I just got through reading your last two blogs... and I praise the Lord for your testimony and all that He has done in you & your families lives!!! He is so good, so faithful and such a persistent pursuer ... He will never leave us or forsake us and if we will let Him in He will heal our wounds and make all things new ... to His glory - Amen! Thank you so much for sharing... I am so touched, and encouraged... Blessings!

Sharon said...

Hi Tammy -- I'm just now making my way through your blog and catching up on your posts and OH MY...what a beautiful testimony you and your grand-daughter have! GOD IS SO GOOD! I am so incredibly moved by the way God spoke to your grand-baby and set her free! That is amazing and just makes me want to shout out HALLELUJAH!!!! THANK YOU, JESUS!!!

Your testimony is truly remarkable! God Bless You for sharing it!

I need to go blow my nose now. I've been crying the whole time. ;)

Much Love to You!
Your Sister in Christ,
Sharon

Rachel Rowell said...

Thank you for sharing your story. I just recently wrote a post on my blog about the struggle with fear we are dealing with currently with my almost four year old daughter. Even though our stories are much different, you have given me lots of good ideas on how to handle it.