05 May 2012

Diana Flowers' Testimony - Overcoming Abuse With God's Help


Looking back on my childhood, the first words that come to mind are---little girl lost. My earliest memories are seeing my mother with a bloody face, and all of my siblings and I scrunched together in one bed, terrified and crying. My intelligent father, who was once voted the top insurance salesman in the state of Nebraska, had become a raging, and abusive alcoholic. I remember going to bed in fear, and waking up the same way, every day of my life. I knew when I heard stirring around in the house at 2:00 in the morning, what things would be like when getting ready for school. He would be good and drunk by then. Ranting, raving, and cursing, was my lot every morning, and I was relieved to be able to go to school just to get way from him for awhile.

In grade school, I was rejected by my peers (until I got in high school, and then the boys liked me and didn't care about my parentage... LOL!),  because my dad was the talk of the town, and we were very poor. My sister, brothers, and I were abused in almost every way, and I felt so alone and lost. My father told me I was worthless, and would never amount to anything, and called me filthy names. My respite was reading library books alone in my bedroom, and reading books is still one of my absolute favorite things to do! At first the only God I heard of was in a curse word, but for some reason, my neighbor decided to take me on as her project and got permission from my father to take me to church. He never let us kids go anywhere or do anything, but he never stopped us from going to church with the neighbors.

I starting hearing about another Father, one who loved His children, and gave His son to die on a rugged cross for me, and for the first time in my little life a ray of hope started to spring up. When I was 14 yrs. old, after years of fear and torment, I was allowed to go to a youth retreat in the mountains, and around a campfire I gave my heart to Christ! I went from being little girl lost to little girl found! When I returned home, I went up on my rooftop, literally, and prayed for God to deliver me from the abuse. The roofs were flat where we had moved to in Arizona, and my siblings and I had a ladder, and we would climb up there to watch fireworks at the University of Arizona. I felt closer to God way up there on that roof, and He heard my cry, for my father quit drinking, and promised he would never lay a hand on me again, and he kept that promise!

Through the years, I have made many mistakes and poor choices because of the shame and guilt I still carried around, but never once has my Father in Heaven rejected me, or left me, but always lovingly drew me back in, comforted me, and taught me of Him. And what a wonderful day it was when I pulled over in my car, and feeling the presence of the Lord so strong, I forgave my father! In tears and joy, I released any anger, hatred, and unforgiveness towards my dad, and love him so much today as I write this, even though he passed away when I was 20 years old. Oh, how I wish I could hug his neck and tell him it's ok!

One decision that I made as a child that I feel is crucial to me being the person I am today (though I strive to be more like Him everyday and seem to fall short), is that I would NEVER treat others the way I was being treated, but always endeavor to show kindness and love to all. And that has not always been an easy decision to live up to! I also made another decision as a young girl; to not let the things that happened to me make me a bitter person, but a better person, and I strive to live my life this way. Even after all these years the Lord is steadily working with me to renew my mind, "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day (2 Corinthians 4:16), and it is an ongoing process from victory unto victory. And "in all of these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us!" Romans 8:37 

30 comments:

  1. Oh Diana what a touching testimony, I had no idea how much you went through as a child. I am so glad that you came to know the best FATHER of all, and that He gave you the peace to be able to forgive your earthly dad. How great is our GOD!

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  2. I had to wipe away my tears first before I could write a comment. I'm SO sorry you had to go through that as a child.
    And I'm SOOO happy our Heavenly Father found you and healed you. It's amazing grace when you were able to forgive your earthly father!
    God bless you, my friend!

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  3. Thank you for sharing such a difficult story--sadly, one that a lot of children share.. Thank God for your neighbor and that your Father didn't forbid your to go to church and camp. Obviously what we go through in life can create wounds, but our heavenly Father heals them into scars that He can use. You get a virtual hug here, hugging that hurting child and the beautiful woman she grew up to be.

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  4. Now, I'm the one wiping away the tears here, MARIAN. See what beautiful friends the Lord has given me? Look at what happened to poor Joseph in the Bible, and how the Lord restored back to him, everything that he had lost. Plus he found favor with the Most High! And yes, TERESA and Marian, it was a supernatural act from God that enabled me to not only forgive my dad, but love him as well. I still have issues I'm having to work on with God's help that stem from the abuse, but hey, who doesn't have issues? lol!

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  5. DEBRA, thank you for the hug...(the little girl that is inside of every woman still needs them them quite often), and for your sweet and kind words. Perhaps, we will get to meet one day. Wouldn't that be a treat?...well for me it would! Bless you for coming over to encourage my heart this day.

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  6. Coming over. Overcoming. Linked by God!

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  7. AWESOME, CARRIE! I love that. I got some encouragement today from one of my sis in laws who came by to see me this morning, and a word for ME from a lady that goes to her church. Not sure if I even know this lady that goes to my s-i-l's church, but we, too, are linked by God!

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  8. TERESA, I gave my testimony before the lady's ministry, but you and your family hadn't started coming to our church yet, so you didn't get an opportunity to hear it.

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  9. DIANA I am so glad that the Lord had plans for you that HE had foreseen before the foundation of the world. He saw a little girl named Diana that with His help would OVERCOME all the things that satan had planned to destroy her life and become a wonderful Woman of GOD. I love you GF!

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  10. My Dear Sweet Duana: This is absolutely remarkable!! What a testimony!! Girl I told you that you could be a writer!! There are thousands of women that have gone thyough and are still living in abuse, that would be so relieved to hear tha they are not alone.. We both have suffered a whole lot of things that were not necessary, but Our Heavenly Father who loves us so much chose us, and allowed Satan for a while, to torment us so we would have the testimony, so we could touch other lives and to give them HOPE! IF THERE IS NO TEST THEN THERE WOULD NOT BE A TESTIMONY! SO THANKFUL FOR THIS!!
    Love you so much,
    Your sister in Christ!
    Barbara Smith

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  11. OH, I love my sis-in-law so much! Thank you, BARB, I know how hard that was for you to type all of that, and you have blessed my heart this day! Barbara has macular degeneration, and it means so much to me that she would go to the trouble to comment on here to encourage and bless me! Pray for her, my friends, that the Lord will heal her eyes, and touch her body. She is a wonderful big sis to me!

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  12. TERESA, thank you for that. You know my heart overflows with love for you. You are such a blessing to so many people. I just want to be a wonderfuller (haha) woman of God, b/c I see my shortcomings every time I read His word. Just want to draw closer to Him.

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  13. Diana, thank you for sharing this. I lived through something very similar and my heart goes out to you. I can look back now and see that God was in my life all the time as He was in yours. Just think of the woman who took you to church -- I so want to be that woman--to recognize a need and be led to share God's healing love with a young person who is hurting. God led her to do that, and it's my prayer that He would use me in whatever way He chooses. So thankful that God molded you through your experiences into such a loving and thoughtful person.

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  14. SUSAN, thank you so much, and He certainly did the same for you. You are such a kind lady. I could have ended up on the streets with the kind of upbringing I had (it happens to alot of women), but God was so merciful. And a simple little thing like taking a lonely, little girl to church will earn that lady quite a reward, as you mentioned. My father never turned down a person when they offered to take me to church, even though he would hardly let me go anywhere else. I've always pondered that and wondered why, but there had to have been something in my dad's heart towards God, even though he was so bound. I just don't know... Maybe he had had an experience with God in his earlir years.

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  15. Diana, I'm so, so touched by your honest, powerful words and how they point to an all powerful heavenly Father. I had no idea the pain in your past. You are such a gracious, giving, loving person. Love the little girl lost and then found you talk about. Your story offers so much hope for others who suffer. I see so much of this going on in my sons' public school. I just want to wrap my arms around all the hurting kids and take them home but do what I can for a few. And I'm heartened by the woman who cared enough to take you to church. I also am touched by your dad's story and how, like you said, he was so bound yet had so much potential. God bless you. So thankful for you, Diana.

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  16. Diana, through my tears I read your wonderful testimony. God took a broken girl and gave her hope. That broken girl in turn forgave her abuser, her Father. I know that it was only through God's shed blood that you were able to do this.

    I need to read your testimony over and over and ask God to release me of past anger toward my grandfather. I, even in my old age, haven't been able to let go of what he did to me. I get confused. If you forgive, does that mean you must forget? I think I have forgiven him but I can't seem to forget it. I don't dwell on it but from time to time the past sneaks into my thoughts.

    Your post was so encouraging. My prayer is to completely chase those bad thoughts away when they surface. Thank you for sharing. You never know when your words might help a hurting soul!

    Blessings my Friend!

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  17. LAURA, thank you so much. I am what I am only by the grace of God. I have failed him so many times...aren't you glad He is a God of second, and third, and fourth chances? Laura, if you just touch one child's life, she can turn around and touch more, so you are doing alot even though it may not seem like it. I'm so thankful for you, too, LAURA. You are the best!

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  18. JUDY, I am so touched by your words and thank you for sharing with us. First of all, forgiveness is not a feeling, it is a choice. You make a choice to forgive your abuser with God's forgiveness, not yours. It isn't for the abuser's sake but for yours. You will never forget it, but you will have power over the bitterness and pain that satan wants to build up in each of us. You may even experience hurtful feelings still, that as you said, creep up from time to time, and that is where asking God to renew your mind comes in. He is as I mentioned in my testimony, daily working to transform my mind. After years of abuse especially when it starts right away in our young lives, it sometimes is a process, I'd say most of the time. I'm so sorry this happened to you, and I will be praying for complete deliverence for you in this situation. It sounds to me like you have made a fine start. Love and blessings, dear lady!

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  19. Diana, I am so grateful you were willing to share despite the enemy coming after you the minute we put this in Blogger for posting. Remember that day? I have been praying for you and am confident that those of His can keep putting up prayers for your healing from the dizziness, too. Big hugs!

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  20. CARRIE, I do remember and I was just telling my sis in law about that today. We can't let the enemy hush our mouths or he has won. He isn't as smart as he thinks he is...doesn't he know a woman can never be hushed up when she has something to say she feels is really important. lol! I mean even our husbands know that! I appreciate you, CARRIE, for giving me the opportunity to share my testimony. Today has been a real trying day as far as the dizzy/equilibrium problem, and I do covet my friends' prayers. But, I think we sorta expected that today, of all days. Super big hugs back atcha!

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  21. Well he (little "h" for him) has already been defeated and he can't stand it! I had a flare up today. But we kept on going, didn't we? Big hugs back!

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  22. Yes, we did, and good for you! We are more than conquerors, CARRIE! Praying b4 I hit the hay, that you will have a blessed Lord's day and no flare ups!

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  23. Random.org number for our bonus giveaway is JUDY! Congrats, Judy!!! The extra giveaway I did was for the paperback of Kelly's "Sarah's Garden". I already have your address, I believe!

    Now to do the weekly giveaway!

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  24. ELYSSA is our weekly WINNER per random.org!!! CONGRATS, ELYSSA! Will email you, also! Your choice of Kelly's awesome books in pb or ebook!

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  25. Yippee skippee! Congrats, ELYSSA and JUDY!

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  26. Wow, Diana, what a powerful testimony. I love how God turns our ashes to beauty, and you're living proof of that. Thank you for directing me here so I could read your story.

    Blessings,
    Sarah

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  27. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to read it, SARAH. That's why I love the story of Joseph so much...that that the enemy meant for bad for Joseph, God turned it into good!

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