Redeemed POWER STORY!
Dear brothers and sisters in our Lord Jesus Christ,
My name is "Redeemed." I'm an African American male, and I want to take this opportunity to share my testimony about how God used Lighthouse to bring me out of my Egypt of sexual abuse, addictive behaviors, materialism, brokenness, not forgiving myself and others, self-hatred, and being an abuser.
To give you little history on myself, when I was four years old, I was molested by a 17-year-old neighbor. The molestation went on for about a year because he said I would get in trouble if I told anyone. When my family moved to a new neighborhood the abuse stopped, but by then, the emotional damage was done. I had picked up the dysfunctional behavior of stuffing my feelings and just keeping up the appearance that everything was okay.
As I developed into a teenager, I started hating myself - not only because of what had happened to me, but also because I thought couldn't share my feelings with anyone. At the same time, I began to connect with older people who were sexually active, using drugs and involved in criminal activities. This was definitely the wrong crowd for a 13-year-old to be hanging with, but because I was good at hiding the kind of person I was becoming, my family had no idea what was going on.
About the time I turned 19, I got into a fight with another student at college. This led to my arrest, and to being put out of college. I quit the job I had and moved back home. My family told me it was time for me to stand up and be a man, and they put me out of the house. I felt like my life was falling apart and didn't have a clue what my next steps would be.
During this time, a preacher, who was also a longtime friend of our family, asked me a question that changed my life forever: "Do you know who Jesus is?" When I said, "No," he began to teach me about Jesus Christ. While learning about Christ, I got saved, and completely changed direction.
About ten years later, I was living in Columbus, Ohio, attending church regularly and working hard to stay on the right path. That's when my past caught up with me....
As I was driving home from work one day, I got so dizzy I had to pull over to the side of the road. Another day, I started having panic attacks and felt like I was going to die. Not long after these things happened, I went to a Bible study at my church and asked the pastor to pray for me. I told him about the panic attacks and all I was going through. He looked at me and said, "Young man, the Holy Spirit is telling me not to pray for you." Then he began to tell me about the Lighthouse Counseling Services ministry. I thought, "I'm not crazy. Why is he giving me this information?" I let couple of days pass before I finally contacted the counseling service to make an appointment.
As soon as walked in the door, the staff made me feels right at home. Then my counselor took me back into his office and told me about the Lighthouse counseling environment. He said that could talk about my feelings without any need to worry about what I wanted to say. He also said no one would judge me, and that what I said would stay between us. As I began the counseling process, I saw that Lighthouse was just what he had said it would be: a safe environment.
With my counselor, I experienced a give and take relationship had never had before. I also learned that my feelings counted, and that I could overcome the dysfunctional behaviors I handpicked up. Most importantly, I gained proper coping tools that helped me set healthy boundaries for my life.
If you need a place to help you overcome past or present issues, you can reach out to the Lighthouse. It's a great place to get the proper tools to set healthy Christian boundaries for your life. They did it for me and I know they can do it for you.