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The Voice of Hope

“I just thought, ‘What’s the point?' Life is so…I just remember saying, ‘Life sucks. It’s painful. It’s hard," said Elizabeth Verver.

Life’s difficulties started early for Elizabeth. At age nine, her father left and never returned.

By age fifteen, she began numbing her pain with drugs and alcohol. After high school, Elizabeth sought purpose…only to find her substance abuse taking its toll.

“Internally I was a mess and I didn’t know what to do or where to turn.”

Elizabeth received a glimmer of hope. Some family members offered to let her stay at their home while she attended college at their expense.

She thought, “Okay I’m finally going to get out of this mess. I’m going to get to do something, be somebody. And so I was very excited about having the opportunity to go to college.”

But all that changed one night when a family member did the unthinkable.

“He had brought me a drink. I never thought, you know, anybody especially family would ever do anything to hurt you. And so I didn’t think anything about it. I took the drink and I just remember feeling very strange and I do remember at one point being held down and that happening. And it was almost like I was lifeless. Like I didn’t fight it. It was complete shock because you don’t think that anything like that would ever happen. But it did."

Elizabeth left the home and college. She met Frankie who helped her escape from pain, temporarily.

“He made me laugh. He made me forget about everything and I thought, ‘Man, if I could just feel like this. I’m going to be okay,’ but then it would spiral," Elizabeth said.

Frankie and Elizabeth began dating, but both were drinking heavily, addicted to drugs, and even at one point…homeless. Frankie was sent to jail for a DUI.  “And I just remember being all by myself and just crying until I could not cry anymore, I mean I can’t take it anymore.’”

Elizabeth decided she would end her life. She heard one voice telling her to do it, but another voice told her things would get better if she didn’t do it. And I was like, ‘What?' But at that point, I believed it. And that’s the point that I actually started to hope.

Frankie began hoping too. In jail, he met a man that led him into a relationship with Christ.

“One night I pulled the blanket over my head," said Frankie. “I’m in the bunk fixing to go to sleep and I just start asking God, ‘God come be with me as much as you can. That’s all I knew to say and the power of God came over me, which I know now was the Holy Spirit coming to visit me and showing me that He’s real."

Elizabeth visited Frankie in jail and noticed a big change in her boyfriend. 

“He was saying such nice things. He was like, ‘When I get out of here we’re going to get married and I’m going to serve the Lord and I’m going to be happy,’ and I was just like, ‘Are you doing drugs in there? What are you talking about?'" 

Frankie kept praying for Elizabeth and arranged for her to stay with his mentor’s mother-in-law. Momma Kay, as she’s called, left a bible on the dresser for Elizabeth.

“I just glanced over and I was like okay there’s the bible. I’ve tried to read that crazy book and it doesn’t make any sense at all, but for this particular night I decided to.”

That night, God spoke to Elizabeth through His Word. “All of the sudden my eyes were opened and I knew what was wrong with my life and I knew what was missing, who was missing. I got on my knees and I prayed a simple honest prayer and I said, ‘God if you’re real and you can do anything with my mess of a life I’m going to give it to you.'"

Frankie noticed an immediate change in Elizabeth. “From the way she dressed to the way she started speaking,” said Frankie, “I could see the hope in her eyes. I mean it was an instant change.”

Today, Elizabeth and Frankie are married and have four children. Frankie is a youth pastor and Elizabeth leads the women’s ministry at their church.  

She’s also the author of a book called, “No More Darkness” and tells the story of God’s deliverance through her most difficult times. Elizabeth is thankful that God forgave her, which allows her now to forgive others and heal her past hurts.

“Look at how much you have done for me and look at how you have forgiven me and I don’t deserve it and when I began to understand that, He said that’s what will empower you to forgive and really set you free.”

“I was like ‘Lord, I’ll never stop telling what you’ve done in my life. I’ll never stop telling how you can change a person’s heart.'”

 

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