Part of our 2019 series of leadership testimonies
My life is a song of triumph, but it has not been easy. At times, I have made decisions without God, away from God, out of His will, and contrary to His Word; those decisions brought death into my life. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved me, even when I was dead in sins, hath quickened me together with Christ, (by grace I am saved); And hath raised me up together, and made me sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus!” Ephesians 2:4-10 (KJV)
Healing Hearts Ministries International was central in helping me to identify my brokenness and offered me a biblical approach to discovering wholeness in Christ. Of this I am certain: Hope and healing are found in Jesus Christ through the Word of God. Jesus loves me and His love allows me to show others how very much they are loved as well. For “this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” 1 John 3:16 (NIV)
I had not availed myself of the abundant life Jesus died to give me. “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy; I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 (KJV) A prisoner of pride, self-preservation, and anger, much of my experience beyond salvation was simply informational head knowledge. I had been wearing a mask of perfection for years. My ugly unhealed places only fostered anger and bitterness which exhibited themselves in control and reliance on self. On the outside I appeared to have it all together, but on the days I could not pull off the façade, I checked out (stayed home)―fatigued from works, keeping up appearances, and relying only on myself.
Somewhere along the way, I learned how not to appear broken. My mom was a strong proponent of "holding it all together" after her own experience of being abandoned by her father in childhood and later rejected by him in adulthood. My Grandma taught this false sense of “self-strength” to my Mom, Mom taught me, and sadly, I passed down this approach to my son.
The truths I encountered in the Healing Hearts Bible studies transformed my thinking and brought wholeness in Christ to my life. I now understand that “the Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all!” Psalm 34:18-19 (KJV). Moreover, my son now also shares this biblical truth and will be the generation that breaks the chains of this deceptive way of living, for it is in our weakness that God makes us strong. “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10 (Geneva Study Bible)
I remember the day Father God delivered me from unrighteous anger. It was Saturday, October 2, 2010. I read a quote by Dr. Martin Luther King’s dad, which said, “I have no room in my heart for bitterness, hatred, and unforgiveness. I am Christian, and Jesus Christ lives in my heart and fills it. He leaves no room for anything else.”
My earthly father had disappointed me. It seemed to me that his alcohol was more important than anything else in his life, including me. He embarrassed our family over and over again. I dishonored him and rejected him. One fateful day, my dad died from a tragic accident where he bled to death in our driveway. Consumed with guilt, I went about hiding in self-preservation. Years later, this Bible study helped me to identify where pride and anger took root in my heart and how a host of bad decisions took place thereafter.
As I acknowledged my need for Him, God showed me that He would not allow me to remain bitter and broken. He took “my stuff” just as I was, and He gave me more of Himself. What an amazing exchange! I encountered God like I never have before in my life. Job said, “I had heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eyes seeth thee!” Job 42:5 (KJV)
God replaced hate, anger, control, bitterness, fatigue, lies, hurt, and manipulation with His gifts of love, calm, trust, forgiveness, rest, truth, healing, and faith. He then opened the door for me to serve as His instrument to help others find hope and healing in Him. As a Healing Hearts Certified Counselor, I am privileged to witness the Power of God to transform, renew, and set free. I have seen women come to salvation in Christ, re-dedicate their lives to Christ in confession and repentance from sin, be baptized, have revelations of truth from God’s Word, and experience newness of life in Christ that has simply taken my breath away. What an awesome God we serve!
|Not in my own strength, but confidently in His,|
Deborah Seats, State Coordinator (Virginia)
Praise the Lord for stories like Deborah’s! God is so gracious to not only heal us from our brokenness, but to then send us out to reach others. The Gospel is such an amazing, powerful, and beautiful gift.
Please pray with us for the 25 trainees currently working towards becoming Healing Hearts Certified Counselors, that through Healing Hearts, the Lord might fully equip and send them out to reach the brokenhearted in their churches and communities.
Thank you, dear friend, for serving with us in this ministry through your prayers and financial support as we transform lives with the truth of God’s Word!
– Sue Liljenberg, President/International Director