One of the privileges of operating an Internet blog is meeting people on-line that you would otherwise never have the privilege of meeting. One such person is a 70-year-young lady named Mary G___ . She and her sisters were born in Arkansas during World War II in a place they came to call "Madness" because of the horrific physical and sexual abuse they suffered. Their mother knew what was happening, but she did nothing to stop it. There was "the breath of evil" (Mary's words) in the presence of their abuser.
In 1967 Mary became a follower of Christ. Prior to her conversion, Mary was "as lost as a goose in a snowstorm," still bearing a scar above her eye where she fought with a member of the Hell's Angels. Shortly before she became a Christian, she was homeless with three babies. "Without Christ there is no telling where I would be," says. The last several decades of her life have been a journey toward wholeness. Mary's sister disappeared into a world of mental illness, but Mary developed a hunger for God's Word.
In 2010, 68-year-old Mary was a graduate student at Hardin Simmons/Logsdon Seminary (M.A. Family Ministry), doing research on sexual abuse. It was during that time she came across this website and began reading some of the things I have written about sexual abuse, patriarchy, and male domination. "I was 68 years old, had grown up under the load of male domination," says Mary. "In my research, I found a statement by Bruce Wares that said, 'One reason men abuse their wives is because women rebel against their husband's God-given authority.' I was horrified." Mary decided not just to study the cause and effects of sexual abuse, but to tap into her personal recovery from abuse and begin to bring practical healing to other survivors.
Mary is holding her first ever Sex Abuse Survivor Workshop at the Country Inn in Texarkana, Texas on September 15, 2012. Her husband and church have been very supportive. "Even if it is one woman who is helped, it will be worth it," says Mary. If you would like more information about the conference, you may contact Mary directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
As Mary shared with me some of her background, she me the following fascinating story. She has given me permission to share it with you.
"We live about a hundred and ten miles from Lubbock. On the outskirts of Lubbock is a strip club that used to be called, "Chilli Willies." Every time we drove by there, I prayed for God to close it down or infest it with a plague of lice, mice and frogs, anything God - just shut the doors on that hell hole. Well, after four years of driving past Chilli Willies and praying that prayer, God said to my heart, "Stop cursing the darkness and go in there." Really? I drove on to Lubbock and did what I had to get done and tried to push the idea out of my head. Again, "Stop cursing the darkness and go in there." I even stalled the time to leave thinking God might be out to lunch and not see me drive on by or maybe they would be closed if I waited a little longer. "Stop cursing the darkness."
Since the deer and wild hogs come out at night, I needed to get home before dark. So, as I cruised on by the strip club, out of the corner of my eye, a young woman walked walked out of the club. She was headed toward the convenience store next to the club and she appeared to be a dancer (imagine that). I probably drove another half mile before I turned around and headed back. (You just can't out wit God!!!) There she was coming out of the convenience store.
I headed into the strip club parking lot and got out of my car to approach the woman. I introduced myself and asked her if she worked at the club. She replied that she did. Her stage name was Diamond. She went on to say that she used to deal drugs to support her children but she changed "professions." I asked her about Jesus and if she attended church any where. She said she had been a member of a church but was no longer attending. I asked her if she could get me into the club to talk to the manager about starting a Bible Study for the dancers. So walking along with her, I followed her inside to a very dark place (spiritually and literally) and spoke with the manager. I shared my desire to do a Bible Study and he said he would "talk to the girls." I knew he wouldn't. I gave him my card with John 3:16 on the back, thanked him and left. Shortly after that, the club closed down.
I have asked God to let me write and speak as I live out the last years of my life. I want the last years to be better than the first ones. I want to get into every church I possibly can and try to help the women and in so doing, strengthen the next generations to come! Dr. Dan Allender (The Wounded Heart) said, "Sex abuse is a designer evil that is meant to shatter us and drive us away from God." I have got to get this message through to women and church leaders."
I love how God is using women like Mary to build His Kingdom and teach guys like me some wonderful lessons of life.