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NO WAY OF ESCAPE by Grace Andrews

I had heard many wonderful reports about

Faith Family and was anxious to go there! You see, I knew I had a spiritual block, but had no idea how to get rid of it. Let me start at the beginning. I grew up on a farm without running water or indoor plumbing. We all worked hard, raising calfs, pigs and chickens. We were pretty average, a lot like other rural families who struggled to make ends meet. We went to a Baptist church, and Mother was very active teaching teens. She was raised by parents who didn’t want her, and she never felt loved. I don’t remember my mom ever being happy. Daddy didn’t go past elementary school because he had to work to support his family. When I started to physically mature, my father sexually abused me, but I never told anyone until later in life. Mom and I got along okay, that is, if I did everything she wanted. Then, when I went away to college, I began thinking for myself. I met a guy and when we became serious, Mom started emotionally abusing me. She didn’t want me to marry someone who would stand up to her. I was literally caught in the middle, and all the tugging drove me to total despair. One weekend, I waited til my roommate was away and I took an overdose—praying the whole time that God wouldn’t be mad and keep me out of heaven. I was so scared, but at the same time, knew

I couldn’t go on like that. I was literally being torn apart! When my mother discovered her medications were missing, she called my school and made them find a way to get into my room. Rather than showing concern for me, Mom was just embarrassed because she didn’t know what to say to her friends. I ended up pushing all my feelings down and went on to finish school. But before graduating, I decided to marry “Bob.” However, that didn’t remove the depression, and there was always an underlying desire to take my life. Having children helped because I could never face someone else raising them. But when they grew up and left home, I was confronted with suicidal ideation once again. “Bob” was a very controlling person, but I never tried to stand up to him; I just felt helpless and got more depressed. I did try to get help, but nothing ever really made a lasting difference. I’ve always been a home body, but “Bob” loved to travel. He planned a trip overseas with some of our friends. While we were away, one of the men with us had a heart attack and died. I’ll never forget the trauma of that day! We sat by his bedside while the doctor tried to save him. Watching him slip from this life was a horrible thing to experience!


And then his wife and I handling all the details that ensued was equally devastating. “Bob” set up everything the wife and I had to do, and he flew back to the states. Had he remained with me, I think it wouldn’t have been so traumatic. But here I was in another country, and faced with trying to make all the arrangements with the US embassy, the cremation, etc. Once I got back home, I needed help to get over all the trauma. It was very hard to look to “Bob” for support, as he was always wrapped up in his own concerns. Again, I just had to bury my feelings and go on with life. After my dad died, I moved my mother to our town. I’m sure you can imagine the conflicts that ensued! So, once again, I was put in the middle of two strong, controlling individuals with seemingly NO way of escape! Following the passing of my mother, God helped me see that, due to the way she was raised, she really wasn’t able to be an emotional support to me. While my life was a little less stressful, I did miss her. I only wish I could’ve helped her more while she was alive. One of our adult children moved in with us, and “Bob” started treating me far worse than he ever had. Our daughter, “Katy” was controlling and difficult like her father, and I didn’t know how much more I could take. I tried to stand up to them, but my voice was rarely heard. One time, we were at the lake, and “Bob” came in the kitchen where I was working and began to make fun of me. I slapped him very lightly, not even knowing I was going to do that. He jumped me and threatened to kill me, but our son-in-law intervened. I left the lake and went back home and started packing my things to move out. I got settled into my new place, and life became so much better. I didn’t have TV or a computer, only my relationship with the Lord. “Bob” couldn’t believe I was serious, but I knew it was right for me, at least for a time.

He asked if I’d be willing to go with him to see a counselor, and things did get somewhat better. I moved back home, and life pretty much went back to being stressful! I just tried to focus on my grandchildren, and give them all the love and affirmation I could. My other daughter’s husband had an anger problem, and so I tried to spend as much time with their children as possible. He’s not a believer and seemed to resent me telling their kids about Jesus. When I was at their house, he’d make their youngest child cry. So I just visited when he was at work. We live in a fallen world, and I never expected life to be all “peachy keen,” I just wanted God to give me a little peace as I tried to stand strong in the face of my adversities. I felt as though I was sinking in a bed of quicksand! I wanted to have a closer relationship with the Holy Spirit, but felt something was holding me back. I didn’t seem to feel the Spirit and wanted desperately to sense His love and presence with me. There was some kind of block, and I knew I needed help to get rid of it. A friend in my prayer group told me about Faith Family. I called and set up a three-day intensive with them. That was a hard decision for me, but oh, I’m very thankful I did! Toni was so sweet as she gently led me into the past hurts I had buried deep inside. She explained that when I buried them, I buried them alive, and they would trigger pain until I dealt with them. Having the Lord cleanse all the issues of abuse in my past was a beautiful thing! I’ll never forget receiving God’s love and acceptance. The peace He gave me is what I’ve sought my entire life, and I will always draw strength from it! Thank you, God, for using FFM to give me what I’ve been sorely missing my entire life— Your peace!


Thoughts for Living T’

his is the first of several articles emphasizing the need to acquire and maintain healthy thinking. Your brain is the most complex and intricate part of your body. At any one moment, it performs about 400 billion (yes, I said Billion) actions. While you are only aware of about 2,000, every one of them affects the way you handle life. You may not realize the physical and emotional ways your thoughts influence you, but it’s imperative that you know how to help yourself cope with the pressures your thoughts create. Every thought has both a chemical and an electrical aspect to it. These feed your emotional response to events that come your way. When your thoughts are uplifting and encouraging, your emotional responses are positive and bright. But when your thoughts are depressive and discouraging, your emotional responses will be negative and dark. Some of the thought patterns that regularly release negative chemical and electrical components are issues the Bible warns us against. Issues like unforgiveness, anger and rage. These can bring about worry, anxiety, frustration, fear, depression, excessive grief and guilt. In other words, these thought patterns create toxic emotions in your body, and studies are now conclusively linking toxic emotions to many diseases. Research shows that about 87% of illnesses can be attributed to your thought life. Toxic emotions can also cause migraines, hypertension, stroke, cancer, skin problems, diabetes, infections, and allergies, just to name a few. There is no longer any doubt that what and how you think affects both your emotional and physical well being—your mind and body are strongly connected. Knowing this is good, but without tools to deal with these toxic emotions, you are left to simply endure them and try, in your own strength, to overcome them.

So, let’s look at the tools God has given us. The primary step in ridding yourself of toxic emotions is to take conscious control of your thoughts. Paul told the church at Corinth that they were to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (II Cor.10:5). He didn’t say they were to take only bad or negative thoughts captive. He said they were to “take EVERY thought captive” (emphasis added). If your thoughts are powerful enough to make you sick, they are also powerful enough to make you healthy. What’s required is that you analyze each thought that you have, before accepting or rejecting it. This may sound like an impossible task given the number of thoughts you have each day, but it’s actually quite simple. Most of your negative thinking, according to Dr. Albert Ellis and Dr. Aaron Beck, two highly recognized cognitive behavioral therapists, comes from three thought patterns: first, “I must do well,” second, “You must treat me well,” and third, “The world must be easy.” While these appear harmless to the casual observer, they are in reality very toxic. You must realize that you will not always do well, you will not always be treated well, and the world will not always be easy or fair. Did you know that you have an imaginary “dial” in your brain? That’s right—you can actually dial down or dial up, whichever is needed at the moment. Let me explain. The Holy Spirit has given you a mental tool in order to handle whatever comes your way. You don’t have to be a victim of your circumstances! When a crisis arises, and you feel the blood drain from your head—don’t panic. Instead, take a deep breath, dial down and ask the Lord to respond through you. You’ll be amazed at the power at your disposal! You don’t have to allow the circumstances of life to dictate your emotions. Christ through you is greater than the circumstances that come your way!


Habit Forming Years ’ ago I heard a quote from Bobby

Knight who coached basketball at Indiana. Though I didn’t care for some of his coaching techniques, he said something that has stuck with me. He said, “Practice doesn’t make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect.” What I learned from that was, if I form a habit, my mind will perform that same task over and over exactly as I taught it when I created the pattern. In the previous article, I said that the brain is the most complex part of your body, and its ability to repeatedly, accurately and unthinkingly perform a task is called a habit. One of the best known quotes from the philosopher Aristotle is, “Excellence is not an act—it’s a habit.” And habits, whether they are good, bad or neither, are hard to break. Since your brain is so ready to grasp new patterns, why not form good ones that will serve you well for the rest of your life! It takes twenty-one days to form a

habit. So, start today on one that you know the Lord would be pleased to see implemented in your life. Is it getting up ten minutes earlier so you can spend time talking with the Lord—I mean conversationally, not just giving Him your monologue? Is it coming home earlier from the office to spend time with your family, rather than trying to get ahead “for them” when what they really want is you? Train your brain to work for you! “Program it” with positive habits to change your lifestyle from one of just getting by, to making a real and lasting difference. Mental discipline is easier than you might think. The hard part isn’t deciding to do something. The hard part is doing it consistently enough so it becomes a habit. As Bobby Knight said, “Only perfect practice makes perfect.” So do it right and do it long enough to make it a habit that you practice the rest of your life!


A Modern Day Miracle S’

upplements have often been given little credibility by many physicians, but that is changing as the evidence is so overwhelming it can’t be denied. A friend of mine whose son was born with a mitochondrial disorder, resulting in muscular myopathy, shared his amazing miracle. At first they didn’t know what the problem was. Their son would get tired by just walking across the room. Plus, he would cry most nights with pain in his legs, but could find no relief. They first went to their Pediatrician who ran many tests over an extended period of time. The doctor finally said, “I know something is wrong, but it’s beyond my field of expertise.” They were sent to an Orthopedic Specialist who ran tests and tried various treatments over almost two years before he came to the conclusion that it was “all in the boy’s mind.” However, the parents wouldn’t accept that and continued seeking help. They were referred to a Pediatric Neurologist and Neurological Geneticist, but were skeptical that they’d have a similar diagnosis. However, they were desperate to find help and chose to schedule an initial exam. These doctors gave the boy about fifteen minutes of testing and told his parents, “We know what’s wrong with your son.” This was the first ray of hope they had experienced in several years! He was given a series of tests to find out

HealthPoint

just how severe the problem was and a recommendation for treatment was prescribed. Many people had prayed for this young man for years. Not only his parents, but others in their church and community had been lifting him up as well. God chose to use these doctors to bring about a wonderful answer! He was put on a regimen of CoQ10, L-Carnatine, B-12 and other supplements that started bringing relief almost immediately. This happened about four years ago now. The boy will be graduating from high school in May, and has played varsity basketball for the last three years. That’s pretty incredible for someone who couldn’t even walk across the room without getting winded—God is so good! If you have a physical, or even an emotional struggle, and can’t find relief, a Cardio-ION Panel may help you discover the nutrients needed to balance your system, so you too can heal! Your MD or Chiropractor can order the ION-Panel by contacting www.metametrix.com.


Life In Christ - March