Testimony Tuesday with Harley Wiloughby

Testimony Tuesday with Harley Willoughby

I’m so proud of the way Harley is growing in God. Surely, great things are in store for her. Here’s her story…
My life before Christ was empty, lonely, dark and hopeless.

I had no self-worth much less any self-love. My mom was a single mother of 3, so she worked all the time. We moved around a lot. That’s when the walls started being built, so I wouldn’t get too attached before we moved again.

I got pregnant with my oldest son at 17 in 2008, to a man who was physically and mentally abusive. He was also a drug addict.

I had my second son January 7, 2010.

Just over a month later my mom died. We were not even talking at the time.

I shortly married a young guy for some “security,” and it only lasted just a few short months.

Now in the midst of all that, I signed custody away to my second son in 2011, and I started dating my biggest addiction. We got pregnant just a few short months. During my pregnancy, his true colors started to show. More mental, physical and verbal abuse took place. Too much to list. The verbal and mental abuse of being too fat, worthless, unwanted, or never being half the mother; my mother was, was a gut-wrenching pain. Eventually, he left us.

Again, I found myself a single mother barely staying above water. When the overwhelming “fact” of not being good enough took over, Crystal Meth seemed the only reasonable answer.

In August 2015, I tried Crystal Meth for the first time. In one short month, it took everything from me, my children included. And I spiraled out of control. I ended back with my youngest son father. He didn’t care that I had lost our child to foster care. He was just happy we now had something in common.

Eventually, the abuse picked right back up, this time it was a whole lot worse. I woke up Thanksgiving Day 2015, in complete distraught over what I let happen to our kids. I wanted his comfort, but all I got was his rage. That’s when I realized I was living my mother’s life.

The cycle had to end. In December 2015, I left him and turned myself into jail. I sat 20 days, got out and stayed clean for 6 months.

August of 2016, I admitted myself to the Haven Of Hope Mt. Vernon, Alabama campus known as the Taylor House. I got saved August 14, 2016, and baptized September 11, 2016 (best decision of my life).

Since I have put all my trust in God and laid everything at the foot of his cross, my children included, God has blessed me in more ways than I deserve. God is restoring my relationship with my kids, and bringing my brothers and me closer.

But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; ~ I Corinthians 15:10

Wednesday Bible Study

Weekly Bible study beginning Wednesday January 4, 2017

Beginning on Wednesday, January 4, 2017, I’ll begin posting a short weekly bible study. Comments will be open for questions, and I’ll try to answer as best as I can.

If you have a preferred subject or scripture that you want us to study send it to bridgett@bridgetthenson.com or text or message me on any social media platform.

Testimony Tuesday with Stephanie Hepburn

Stephanie is the Program Manager of Haven of Hope – Fruitdale. Her book, Inside Sane, takes a deeper look at the evil chains of addiction, and how God miraculously set her free.

Testimony Tuesday with Stephanie Maddox Hepburn

My name is Stephanie Hepburn. I’m 28 years old. I have an amazing husband and a beautiful little girl named Reagan. My life today has been completely restored by God’s amazing Grace!

I’ve been with Mission of Hope for three years. I came to this ministry broken, bruised, and chained to an addiction that had consumed my life starting at a very young age.

At thirteen, I started to experiment with marijuana and shortly after with crystal meth. I partied, used drugs, and skipped school. I would drink until I blacked out. Even before I started using drugs, I self-mutilated my body. I felt empty, alone, and lost. I had experienced some things in my life that had caused great emotional pain. And I can remember not wanting to feel! So, I got high. At first, it seemed fun, but this only took me deeper. At Eighteen, I started using prescription pain medication; Lortab and Xanax. That very same year, I started shooting Oxycontin.

My life had spiraled out of control This (oxycontin) became the instant relief I felt I was searching for to relieve my inner turmoil, to forget who I was, and who I was becoming. There was no limit for me. I wasn’t satisfied unless I was literally unconscious; unable to hold my head up.

Around nineteen or twenty, I got pregnant and had an abortion. I remember pulling up to the clinic and warring with myself about the decision I was about to make. People were outside protesting. I sat in the car for almost an hour. I finally went in. That decision broke my heart. But I just got more high.

By twenty-one, I was pregnant again. I found out while I was in jail. I went to treatment. Probably stayed clean for two weeks after I got out. Started using again, and I used my whole pregnancy. I couldn’t go through with the pain of another abortion. When I had my daughter, I was strung out with no feelings. I can remember feeling dead. I never got to hold her. I left the hospital without my child that was adopted by a family member. Today, she is almost seven years old.

My addiction to opiates eventually led to heroin, and it completely destroyed my life. I hurt so many people that loved me. I was a shell of myself. Lost and broken. In a deep pit with no hope of ever being anything other than Junkie!

But God! Christ came down from glory to save a sinner like me. He came for the broken, the lost, the contrite in spirit.

But God! Christ is the only reason I can share this testimony with you today! Amazing Grace! He has restored my life. He has brought me out of the miry clay and set my feet on the solid rock.

He has given me an amazing husband, Justin Hepburn, and a precious little girl. The family I hurt, stole from, cussed and embarrassed, He has restored to its rightful place.

Jesus is Lord of my life!

 

The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor;

    he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

to proclaim liberty to the captives,

    and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor,

    and the day of vengeance of our God;

    to comfort all who mourn;

to grant to those who mourn in Zion—

    to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,

the oil of gladness instead of mourning,

    the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;

that they may be called oaks of righteousness,

    the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.

~ Isaiah 61:1-3 ESV

 

I have been released from bondage and exile to full free service to the Lord.

I will forever sing his praises! He has given me beauty for ashes! The God of the Universe sent His only Son to die nailed to a cross with a crown of thorns pressed into his head! Christ, Holy without sin, shed His Blood for a sinner like me. He paid it all! When I asked Christ into my heart and repented of my sin, His Holy Spirit came and now lives in me! I am made new!

Rejoice in the Lord alway; and again I say, Rejoice. ~ Philippians 4:4 KJV

 

Living With God Through Chemo

A Cancer Healing Testimony

Testimony Tuesday

 

Ruby Lambert Wagner lost three brothers and her father to cancer. Yet, when this woman of great faith was warned by God of her own diagnosis, she didn’t give up.
In November 2015, doctors found cancer cells in her esophagus, lymph nodes, and her left lung. The medical community predicted she’d be dead in three months.
God whispered peace. He said she would live. Ruby clung to this promise through six weeks of Chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
She rebuked those that warned of great sickness. She claimed her hair in the name of Jesus. Unsurprisingly, the small bouts of nauseated-discomfort were minor. Miraculously, her hair experienced no loss. When family members said private goodbyes, she reassured them that she wouldn’t die.
But she didn’t do these things alone. Amidst a topsy-turvy surge of emotions, God’s presence reassured Ruby that she wasn’t forsaken. He was with her during every treatment. He would heal her.
Five months later, she was pronounced cancer-free. As a precaution, a surgeon removed her clean lymph nodes and a lingering shadow from her lower left lung.
Ruby believes the heart-shaped remnant is God’s reminder of His love.
A year later, she’s sharing her testimony to encourage others to hold on to their promise from God. “People can talk, but God has the last say.”

Child of God, if you’ve been diagnosed with any cancer or disease, please remember that you aren’t alone. God is with you. He is for you. And there is healing power in Christ Jesus.

 

Read more testimonies like Ruby’s in WorKs magazine.