Revive Our Hearts Podcast

A Process of Healing

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Leslie Basham: Dorie Van Stone would line up with the other girls in the orphanage where she grew up, hoping that a family would take her home. It never happened.

Dorie Van Stone: And so all the times that I would stand in the line for the years it went on, I kept thinking, I must be the meanest, ugliest kid ever, ever there could be.

Leslie Basham: But as we'll hear today, Dorie did find healing and hope. This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss. It's Tuesday, July 15. Today we're going to continue to hear the dramatic testimony of Dorie Van Stone. Here's Nancy Leigh DeMoss to introduce today's story.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Aren't you glad that we have a God who knows how to turn ashes into beauty? He knows how to pick up things and people that are left on the scrap heaps of life and turn them into something of great value and beauty and wonder. We've been listening over the past week or so to the story of Dorie Van Stone. She has told her story in two books, one called Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved, and then a second book called No Place to Cry.

As we pick up Dorie's story today, she is a grown woman--going to college, getting married, going to the mission field. Then coming back to the States, she goes through some experiences where she reflects on what it was like growing up in that orphanage and in those foster homes.

We share this story not just so that you can hear someone else's testimony, but because I know that there are many of our listeners who are right now in what is for you a painful process of healing. I want you to be encouraged to know that God's grace can meet you right where you are, and that God is willing to walk with you through a process of healing--no matter how difficult it may be, no matter how long it may take.

When you look back on your journey, as Dorie is now looking back on her journey, you will be able to say with her, "Through it all, I found that there was a God that I could trust." Let's join Dorie as she continues telling us her story.

Dorie Van Stone: I went to a Bible college and a good-looking guy came across my path. I said, "I'll never find one." The seventh date as we walked back to school--do you remember the TV show of the flying nun? That was me. I was flying higher than a kite. We got up to the school and he kissed me goodnight. I ran up the stairs.

He said, "Dorie, come back!" He gave me another one. I flew up the stairs.

Well, on the second floor, that Dean of Women appeared out of nowhere. She was not an angelic form. She grabbed hold of my arm and said, "I saw that."

"What?"

"The kiss." She campused me for two weeks.

Can I tell you the good part of it? He married me. That wonderful, wonderful fellow--he was my prince. Lloyd said to me, "Dorie, I want to find that orphanage."

I said, "No."

"Please, I want to find it, honey."

So we had a rented car and we went across the bay, into the Oakland area, right on down Telegraph Avenue. We turned on a street and went down. All of a sudden, about two blocks down, I said, "Stop! Stop! There it is."

We got out of the car. There was this great, great big building, U-shaped, and Lloyd rang the bell.

When he did, a little white-haired woman answered and said, "Yes?"

I said, "When this was an orphanage, I grew up in it. I was wondering if you would let us come in and just look."

She said, "Yes, of course."

We went down near where the bathroom used to be and saw the old funny bathtubs. I said, "They used to put about that much water in it, honey. Then three kids would have to take a bath, first one and then the other and then the third one before you would get clean water." I tried to beat them up [the stairs] so I could be the first kid. We didn't stay there too long.

Then we walked into the big room that was called the parlor. As I walked into the middle of it, I said out loud, "This is the room in which I found life."

The woman looked at me and she said, "Were you sick or something, honey?"

I said, "In a way." I was sick with bitterness and hate and vindictiveness. In this room, I met Jesus. Well, she thought that was nice. I realized she didn't understand.

All that to say that when we left the orphanage, Lloyd looked at me and said, "Do you think we could find out where you grew up before you got here?"

I said, "I don't know."

We rode around for a while. I said, "Turn. Turn down that street."

He turned down the street. When we were about in the middle of the block, I said, "Stop. Stop right here." I looked at two huge duplexes. There were just two buildings; four duplexes. I walked to the back. I looked up. I said, "Oh, honey, I remember something that used to happen in that window up there."

Lloyd said, "What?" Now if anybody reads the Dorie book, it opens up with this story--of a little girl leaning out a window, waiting for her mother to come home that seldom came, trying to protect--with her arm around her little sister. Yes, I had a little sister whom I never, never had spoken of until we wrote the Dorie book.

"Dorie, how come?" Oh, she was the cute one. "Did she go to the orphanage with you?" Yes, but we were separated as soon as we walked in. One day somebody came and chose that little girl. They brought her back, but she was chosen again.

And so all the times that I would stand in the line for the years that went on, I kept thinking, I must be the meanest, ugliest kid ever, ever there could be. Yes. I thought, Am I so awful that no one but no one wants me?

I said, "You know, honey, I remember something." In the back of this house there was this old window. I used to sometimes try to stick my arm through that window because the building was so close, but I never could reach it. The old building was still there. Lloyd walked with me right to the end of the building. Do you know what it was? A church.

Do you know what Lloyd said to me? He said, "Oh, honey--that they didn't come around the corner and find some little girls that desperately needed to know about the Lord!"

I think as I close this part of the words of a song:

*Through it all, through it all,
I learned to trust in Jesus, through it all.
Through it all, through it all,
I learned to depend upon the Lord.

If I hadn't had a problem,
I wouldn't know that He could solve them.
I learned to trust in Jesus, I learned to trust in God,
I learned to depend upon His Word.

Do you know what He took and did with a dirty, filthy throwaway of a little girl? They said, "You'll never amount to a hill of beans." They may have thrown me away, but He recycled me. I've been recycled and taken from the dysfunctional family of Adam and He has put me into the functional family of God. He made me new, brand-new. He gave me a song to sing and He pulled me out of the pit.

Have you ever tried to climb out of a pit? "Of slime"--another translation says. He pulled me out of that slimy pit. As you try to climb, you fall. Then you climb again and you fall a little more. You climb again and you fall a little more. You climb and then you fall a little more.

One day I came in quick and I was reading that again in the Word. I thought, O Lord, I've got to go out again tomorrow. Would You just make these words come anew? As I was looking it up in the Hebrew, do you know what it said?

When it says, "I waited patiently for the Lord and He inclined to me"--when He heard the cry of that child in that pit, that means He turned His full attention toward me. When He heard the cry, it was that nail-pierced hand that pulled me out.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Isn't the grace of God incredible? We've been listening to Dorie Van Stone as she has been continuing her story of how God found her on the ash heap of life and has been in the process of transforming those ashes into something of beauty.

I love the way God works. In one sense or another, that's the way it has been with all of us. All of us were dirty, throwaway little girls at one time and would never have amounted to anything if it had not been for the redeeming love and grace of Christ.

That's really what Revive Our Hearts is all about. That's what God is doing day after day. He's setting women free from their past, from their bondage, from their shame--walking them through a process of healing to experience the grace of God and to walk in freedom and fullness, and then to become fruitful in their relationship with God. It's a miracle. It's the work of God.

One of the things God uses in doing His sanctifying work in our lives are trials. God uses the suffering and the pain, such as Dorie Van Stone experienced and such as many of you are experiencing. Even those troubles and trials--those unspeakable atrocities that some of you have experienced--they can become instruments ultimately of God's blessing and grace in your life, if you will let Him walk you through that process of healing.

I think of one author who said, "Our greatest cause for rejoicing tomorrow will not be that we have been spared from the trials and suffering, but that Christ has been present to sanctify the trials to us and to comfort us in them."

Difficult times, whether in your past or in your present, will either drive you to God and His Word or they'll drive you away, depending on your view of God and whether or not you choose to trust Him and to believe His Word and to reject the lies that the enemy has led you to believe.

Leslie Basham: Nancy Leigh DeMoss will be right back to lead us in prayer. We want to help you keep your focus on God and His truth if you're going through times of trial. If you've experienced the kind of abuse or rejection that we've heard about today, I hope you'll visit our web site at ReviveOurHearts.com.

We've listed several books that can help you find freedom from past hurts. We've posted some information on healing from sexual abuse. Just visit us at ReviveOurHearts.com.

While you're there, you can order a framed print that we've created to help you focus on God's promises. It will add beauty to your home, and more importantly, it will serve as a reminder of God's care and protection. It lists several Bible promises. For example, Jeremiah 29:11: "God knows the plans He has for you: to give you a future and a hope."

Again, you can get more information at ReviveOurHearts.com or give us a call at 1-800-569-5959. If God has been using this week's series as part of a healing process in your life, would you write and let us know?

Dorie has left out one dramatic detail of her story so far. We'll hear about it tomorrow. Now let's pray with Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Nancy Leigh DeMoss: Oh, Father, how I pray for continued healing and grace to come to the hearts of women who are listening to this program, who have experienced rejection and pain and scars and wounds from their past. May they come to You, the Wounded Healer, and find You to be a refuge.

Then, Lord, I think of the comment that Dorie made today that there was a church just around the corner from her house. They didn't go around the corner to find some little girls who were hurting. Father, I wonder how many of us in our churches and in our evangelical world have been so busy building our programs and building our homes and we have no time and no concern to go around the corner and to find those who are hurting and needy.

O, Lord, show us how one life can touch another, and through us You can touch our world. Help us to be willing to go around the corner and find those who are needy, to find those who are hurting, and to reach out in the name of Jesus Christ and to extend Your love and Your grace. May we be instruments of Your healing in our hurting world. For Jesus' sake I pray it. Amen.

* A. Crouch , "Through It All."

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh DeMoss is a ministry partnership of Life Action Ministries.

*Offers available only during the broadcast of the podcast season.