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After Devastating Family Trauma, She Remains Unbroken

THE PHONE CALL
Wendy was at work when she got a phone call from the police. She was asked to come down to the police station because Lawrence, her husband who was in law enforcement, and another man had been arrested. Barely able to think, Wendy drove herself to the police station. She learned her husband had been arrested for the rape and molestation of her daughter, Emily, for the past six years. Emily and her brother Christopher were children from a previous marriage. Emily told her girlfriend about the abuse on a trip to Texas with her dad, Mitch, who then told the police. He was granted temporary custody of the children. Emily had not told anyone about the abuse previously because Lawrence told her if Wendy found out she would kill herself. Wendy was completely unaware the abuse was going on in her home and in a moment her entire life was swept away. “This man’s evil acts, his lies, and all the deceit he represented had destroyed Emily’s childhood and every good thing he had ever meant to me,” recalls Wendy who was married to Lawrence  for seven and a half years. She now realized her marriage was built on lies.

Wendy had not recognized God in her life since she was a teen when eighteen years earlier, she was raped and beaten by a music minister’s son. She vowed to never walk into another church again for as long as she lived. The morning after receiving the devastating news about her daughter, Wendy cried out to God in her agony, “What do I do?” She felt God tell her, “It’s Independence Day.” She decided to sell her house, quit her job and start over. Her house sold within two weeks. This was the first of many divine interventions on the road to her healing. She was thankful the sale took place quickly because the media swarmed her front lawn daily.

Next she had to fight for custody of her children and persuade the court the children would be safe with her. Wendy assured Mitch and the judge that she would no longer let her children near Lawrence if he was released from jail. God again made a way and she left the courthouse with her children.

STARTING OVER
After Wendy sold the house and put all their belongings in storage, she and the kids left with a suitcase of clothes in hand. They stayed with her mom until she could get on her feet. The realization hit her that she and the kids were homeless. One night, she found an old family Bible in her mom’s house she had not seen in twenty years. As she glanced down at the red-letter words she read, “I go to prepare a place for you. If it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:1-2 KJV). She knew God was talking to her as an amazing peace came over her. He was assuring her that she and the kids would be alright.

The Victim Witness Program provided funds to cover counseling visits for Wendy and her kids. The emotional breakdowns were constant. “I realized the healing process was filled with continuous baby steps, and it was going to take a lot longer than I had ever expected,” shares Wendy. As the weeks turned to months Wendy was frightened, alone and didn’t know where she belonged as she wrote, “all I want in life is a cup of coffee, with a side of job and a little house for dessert.” Wendy decided to try looking for employment near her brother and sister-in-law. She quickly found employment and began looking for a place for the kids and her to live. To her amazement, the townhouse that came available had everything they wanted. They could even get a dog! God’s provision amazed Wendy. She started going to church again and the messages spoke directly to her and began to set her free.

In the process of healing, Wendy wept over her choices in life. “If I had known the truth about the man I married, I never would have married him. If I had known my daughter was being abused, I would have done everything in my power to stop it, even to the point of my own death,” shares Wendy. She asked God to help her get past the guilt that was consuming her from the inside out. God taught her a lot about forgiveness when she realized that she didn’t deserve His forgiveness either. It taught her how to make allowances and forgive others for their imperfections. The more time she spent in God’s word the more she was reminded that He was with her, that she was accepted, chosen, wanted, loved, and adored.

God showed up for Wendy in many ways on the road to recovery. She recalls a time when she was instantly healed of a sinus infection during a church service. She had struggled with her sinuses for five years. It was during the difficult days leading up to this healing that Wendy remembered the Lord saying to her, “Wendy, there will be days when you will wonder if I am really here, and you will remember this and know that I am.”

One day, after speaking to a group of volunteers, Wendy went home and the Lord spoke to her. She asked God, “Why would you want to use someone like me?” As her eyes were closed she saw a picture of herself in her mind. She was holding a ceramic tile in her hand, and words were written on that tile. “My parents divorced, and my dad moved away when I was six years old.” The tile slipped from her hands and crashed to the floor, shattering into a thousand different pieces. Next, another tile was in her hands which said, “When I was nine, a boy pulled down my skirt on the playground in front of other students.” That tile fell and shattered. Then another one, “I ran away from home at age fifteen; I wanted to end my life.” One by one, each unfortunate moment in her life were reflected on each new tile that ultimately crashed to the ground. Then she saw the hands of God reach down from heaven and pick up the entire pile of broken pieces. Then, with His love as the mortar, He reformed the entire mound of broken pieces into the most beautiful mosaic vessel. He was showing Wendy that nothing is so broken that His love cannot put it back together.  

Wendy and her daughter made a promise to not let the pain be in vain. “We would rise above it, and we would ask God to turn it for good.”  Today Wendy offers help to those who are in recovery as well as the assists in the prevention of childhood sexual abuse. She was told by the arresting officer that she reacted like only 5% of the parents told – protecting, believing, and doing all they can to insure sexual abuse doesn’t happen to their child again. Her goal is for that percent to change to 95%. She is following God’s direction in doing more towards the prevention of this pandemic through writing, speaking, and filmmaking.

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Guest Info

Credits

Author, UNbroken, (Westbow Press, 2015)

Retired Vice President of business operations in the healthcare industry

Teaches communication techniques in the workplace

Facilitator for several recovery groups

Serves in leadership for her local Community Bible Study

Married and has two grown children

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