Revive Our Hearts Podcast

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Leslie Basham: Even when you’ve experienced the pain of sexual abuse, healing is possible. Here’s Paulina Torres.

Paulina Torres: Having that past has helped me today to be able to identify with a lot of girls. I can see their pain, I could understand. So today I see it as a blessing, even though it was very painful. Today I see the fruit, and what the enemy wanted to do—to make me suffer and to destroy me—God has used it for His glory.

Leslie: This is Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth, author of Lies Women Believe, for January 25, 2019.

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth: I should say that some of today’s content might not be appropriate for young children to hear, so be sure and use your wisdom if you have little ones around. If you missed yesterday’s program, I want to encourage you to go to ReviveOurHearts.com and listen to it first. Or, if you’re listening to the podcast right now, just click on the previous episode of Revive Our Hearts.

Yesterday we heard an amazing story of the healing grace of God in the life of Paulina Torres after years of sexual abuse. We’ll hear the rest of the story in a moment. But first, I want you to hear a portion of one of the dramas from True Woman ’18 last fall. Here are Jim and Carol Shores with their modernized rendition of the story of the Woman at the Well (from John chapter 4).

Carol Shores (as Millie who acts out being the woman at the well, with Southern accent, telling the story to her boyfriend): Well, what happened was, I went to the well same as always—at high noon—and the heat was so bad today it’s just rollin’ off the road in waves! So I get me as far as Halifax Hardware, and I just have to stop to rest! And so I’m standin’ underneath the awnin.’ My dress just stickin’ to me in the heat, so I’m pluckin’ at the material. I’m squintin’ down the road to make sure all the other women was gone from the well.

Jim Shores (acting as Millie’s boyfriend, Lee, with Southern accent): How come you do that? You got just as much a right to that well as they do!

Millie: You don’t know what they do! The talk about me as I come. I can see them eyein’ me as I come down the road, leanin’ over to each other, make their remarks. And soon as I reach the well, whup! Suddenly it’s time to go!

They pick up their jugs and their pitchers, and they make their way around me, callin’ across to each other in their sweet voices about the upcomin’ social, or whatever, just as if I wasn’t there at all! I prefer to wait until after they’ve gone, to go to the well.

Lee: So how come you hadn’t told me about that?

Millie: Because I’s afraid you’d just go down there and make matters worse! Anyway, I’m, I’m standin’ underneath the awnin’ of Halifax Hardware, and my mouth is just as dry as a bone! I’m just wishin’ I had enough money to leave this town. Or, or at least just enough to, you know, pay somebody to go to the well for me while this drought lasts and the pipes are dry.

So I’m leanin’ over and I’m wipin’ the sweat off of my face with the hem of my dress when I hear the screen door slam, and I look up. There’s Mr. Halifax standin’ there, just twirlin’ that toothpick he always has—just twirlin’ that over his lip. He’s lookin’ me up and down, and he says, “Mighty hot today, ain’t it Millie?”

I said, “Yes sir, it is. Mighty hot!” And he looks down at my jug, and he says, “We-l-l-l, you goin’ to the well awful late, ain’t ya?” And I don’t say nuthin’. . . and I don’t say nuthin’. . . and the silence gets so big I can’t hardly breathe. Finally, I just said to him, “Well, you know, it’s a mite cooler under this awnin’ here. It’s a nice place to rest for a spell.”

And he looks at me and he says, “Wel-l-l-l, a lot o’ nice people in this town think the same thing. And that’s why I’m gonna have to ask you to move on. Sorry, Millie, you’re bad for business.”

Lee: He what?!!

Millie: No, no, wait! You’re gonna let me get through the whole story, remember? You promised! So I pick up my jug; I start movin’ down the road. I can feel him standin’ there watchin’ me. And then I hear the screen door slam and the sound of another man’s voice, and the murmur of the two of them talkin.’ And then I hear my name and a big burst of laughter whips me like a belt from behind!

But I just keep my eyes on the road, I just keep on walkin’. I lick my lips—there’s nothin’, even a swallow, my mouth is so dry! But I just keep eyes on the road(starts to weep)‘til I’m almost to the well.

And I look up and I see this stranger sittin’ at the well. He’s a plain lookin’ man—in his early thirties, I reckon. He’s got on this cheap suit, but it’s nicely pressed. He’s got his jacket over one arm and his shirt’s all wet from the heat, but you could tell he put it on fresh this mornin’. I mean, he was a gentleman. You could tell that clear off. He was po’, but educated.

And when I reached the well, he gives me this friendly smile, and he takes off his hat to me. And he says, “Ma’am, would you give me a drink?”

I said, “You are asking me for a drink?”

And he looks me square in the eye and he says, “Ma’am, if you knew the gifts that God can give, and if you knew who was askin’ you, ‘Would you give me a drink?’. . . I think you’d be askin’ him, and he’d be givin’ you livin’ water!”

Lee: (skeptically)What?!

Millie: Well, that’s what I said! I said, “Where you gonna get this livin’ water? You didn’t bring anythin’ to draw water with. This well here’s the deepest one around. So, where you gonna get this livin’ water?”

Well, he points over at this well, and he says, “Y’know, folk who drink the water from this well here, they’re gonna be thirsty again real soon! But everyone who drinks of the water I give, they’ll never be thirsty again, because the water I give becomes a natural spring inside of a person, just wellin’ up to eternal life.”

Well, about that point I’m just about ready to drop from thirst, and I just said, “Sir, please just give me some of this water so I won’t be thirsty again! And I won’t have to come to this well no more!”

Well, he said the strangest thing to me! He said, “Go get your husband, and then come back.” Well, that one stopped me!

I mean, I thought about lyin’ to him! I mean, here he’s treatin’ me so kindly and respectful-like. Why tell ’im the truth and have him start treatin’ me like ever’body else?

Lee: What did you say to ’im, Millie?

Millie: Well, I, I don’t know how to explain it, Lee, but I couldn’t fib to this fella! So I told ’im the truth.

Lee: What did you tell ’im?!

Millie: Well, I just remember lookin’ down at my feet with my toes squishin’ in the dirt and I said—real careful-like—“I don’t have a husband.” Well, that is the truth! Well, whatever I expected him to say was not what come out of his mouth!

Cause he said to me, “You’re tellin’ me right you don’t have a husband, because you’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re livin’ with now is not your husband.”

Lee: Well, I’ll be! (laughter)

Millie: Well, you coulda just knocked me over! I mean, how could he know a thing like that? I figured he must be downright holy! (Lee snorts.)No, I even said to him, “Sir, you must be some kind of prophet to know sumpin’ like that!” Well, just knowin’ that I’m standing there in the presence of a genuine holy man who clearly knows I’ve had too many men in my life, it, it just made me very uncomfortable!

I just wanted to get off that subject, so I just started babblin’! I started tellin’ ’im about my great-grandfather. I said, “Y’know, my great-grandfather, he was a circuit rider. Mmm-hmm! He used to just ride from town to town, just tellin’ everybody how important it is to worship God in a church.”

“But nowadays, they’ve been havin’ these tent revivals. They say it’s just fine to worship God in a tent! So what do you think?” Well, he gave me the kindliest look—considerin’ I’d just made a fool out of myself, trying to talk like we had somethin’ in common!

And he said to me, he said, “Y’know, the time is comin’ when it’s not gonna to be a matter of worshiping God in this church or in this tent. The time is comin’—in fact, it’s already here—when true worshipers, they’re gonna be worshipin’ the Father in Spirit and truth.”

And he said, “In fact, those are the kind of folk the Father’s lookin’ for right now, because God is Spirit, and those who worship Him worship Him in spirit and truth.”

Lee: What’s that’s s’posed to mean?

Millie: I wasn’t sure myself . . . but it was somethin’ holy, and I liked it! And, ohh!, I like this man!

Lee: Mmm-hmmm!

Millie: No! Not like that! This is a holy man! I wasn’t sure what he was talkin’ about, but I just wanted to keep the conversation goin’. So I thought back to some of them church lessons I had as a kid and I said to ’im, I said, “Well, you know, I know one day the Messiah’s comin’!” Well, he seemed to perk up a little at that.

He looked at me as if he wanted me to say somethin’ more, as if he weren’t sure what I meant exactly, and so I said, “Well, you know, the Christ! And when he comes, he’s gonna be makin’ all these things you’re sayin’. He’ll make ’em plain to us country folk!” Well, he held my gaze for a moment, and he said to me, “I am the Christ who’s speaking to you now!” (Lee snorts.)

N, No, I know what you’re gonna say! I know what you’re thinkin’: “He’s just another nut!” Right? But no! He told me everything that I’ve ever done. He gave me just a touch o’ his holiness. ‘Cause just standin’ there, talkin’ to him, I just wanted to be better than I was so bad!

Here, he knows who I am in this town, and still he treats me with such dignity, with such respect, that for the first time in I don’t know how long, I actually felt like I was worth somethin’!

Lee: What are you talkin’ about!? I mean, I am always tellin’ you, you got the prettiest figure of any woman in this whole town!

Millie: No-o-o! Not like that! I mean in here! I felt like I was worth somethin’ in here, and it felt so good! Well, then all his friends showed up with their sacks of food from H. B.’s,and they looked at me . . . and they looked at him . . . and I know what they wanted to say. They wanted to say, “What are you doin’ here? What are you doin’ here talkin’ to him?” But they didn’t because he was treatin’ me with such respect

But I knew it was time to go, so I kind of was pickin’ up my jug to go. But then I turned to him and I just said, “Thank you for all your kind words, and good day to ya now.” And do you know what he said to me?

Lee: No, what?

Millie: He said, “Good day to you, Miss Millicent!” Miss Millicent!

Lee: What’s that?

Millie: That is my true name is what it is! That’s the name I was born with, and nobody’s ever called me it since! Well, I just gave him my biggest grin, and I just took off down that road! I’m tellin’ everybody I saw, I didn’t care who it was! I said, “Come! See this man who’s told me everything I’ve ever done! Couldn’t he be the Messiah?!”

And I’m tellin’ ya, they’re turnin’ ’round in the roads, they’re comin’ out of the stores, and . . . Maybe it was the look on my face! I caught a glimpse of myself in a store winda. It took me a minute to even recognize myself!”

Hey, Lee . . . Lee, look out the winda. Look at all these people! All these folk are goin’ down the road! They are goin’ to the well! They’re gonna see for themselves who this man is!

Lee: Yeah? Well, maybe I’ll go, too.

Millie: Yeah?

Lee: Yeah, maybe I’ll go see this kindly, respectful fella. Yeah, maybe he’ll tell me all I ever did. Or maybe he’ll tell me what you’re doin’ while I’m out there talkin’ to ’im! What you got behind your back, Millie?

Millie: Nothin’. It’s nothin’!

Lee: I guess you didn’t have no trouble lyin’ to me!

Millie: I’s a packin’!

Lee: Again? Here, we didn’t even have a fight!

Millie: I’m not lookin’ to start one, neither!

Lee: Don’t worry. I ain’t gonna touch you. I ain’t even gonna get mad. No siree. I can do this “kindly, respectful” doodad stuff you so all fired up about, yessir. So why don’t you keep on packin’—whyn’t you keep on packin’ while you still all excited, because you wanna know what?

After you’ve been out there a coupla of days—no money and his friends just real happy to have you taggin’ along—he’’ll get tired of you, sweetheart (he laughs) . . .because I’m the only one that can put up with you! I’m the only one who has ever loved you, and that’s why you’ll come back! That’s why you always come back! I’ll see you in a while Millie!

Nancy: That’s Jim and Carol Shores from the group, Acts of Renewal, imagining what it could have been like in the home of the Samaritan woman—the woman at the well. Jim and Carol performed that drama at last year’s True Woman conference . . . and it really struck a chord for women who have suffered from verbal, emotional, physical or even sexual abuse.

You can watch the whole drama at our website, ReviveOurHearts.com. Look for the link in the transcript of today’s program. Now, I promised we’d hear more for Paulina Torres. Yesterday, we learned that her stepfather sexually abused her for eight years. Her mother was aware that this was going on but did little to stop him.

This family had the outer shell of religion, but there was no substance to their faith. When she became a teen, Paulina followed in her mother’s ways of turning to relationships with men in order to find security and fulfillment. Yesterday, she shared that beautiful moment when she came to the end of herself and cried out to Christ for grace and help!

Now, it would be naive to think that life was easy for Paulina from that point on. It wasn’t. She had just surrendered her life to Christ. In her case, that meant breaking off her relationship with a man. She had no idea what that might mean for her future.

Paulina: Up to this point, I wasn’t sure about what was going on with guys. I was hoping there would be a real man out there that loved Jesus. That was a hope I had. And with the people—the guys I met—they didn’t have a strong walk with the Lord. There was this time when I would say to God, “I want a strong man that would love You with all his heart.”

And then it dawned on me, “Well, a person that loves the Lord is not going to date a person like me! I need to be a woman that loves the Lord in order to have a man that loves the Lord.” So I started focusing on my life and what needed to be changed in my life. But, I left that to God.

I wanted Him—if He wanted me to get married . . . I didn’t want to choose the guy. So I said, “Lord, You choose whoever You want me to marry if you want me to be married.” So for the next months, when He was teaching me and walking with me, I had so many temptations! It was probably the best six years of my life . . . and the worst six years of my life!

It was very hard because I had all these lies in my head, all these things happening in my body. I was being born again!

It was hard because I had many temptations. I had guys call; I had guys offer. There were so many times I wanted to say, “Hey, you know what? I’ll meet you at your apartment.” Then on my way, I would say, “You know what? I can’t do it anymore. I can’t. Sorry, I’m not going to meet you there.”

So, for me, I was hoping there were real men out there, but I just wanted Him to choose. I wanted God to choose who He would want me to marry.

Nancy: And God answered that request. He provided a husband for Paulina.

Paulina: Yes, He did! I didn’t want to date anybody anymore. I was just scared I would mess up again. So there was this guy that visited the church, and he was from Mexico. A friend of ours told me, “Hey, I want to introduce you to a Mexican friend that is here visiting.” And he introduced me to him. He lived in Mexico, and I was living in San Diego at the time.

We met for two hours. We started talking . . . and ten weeks later, God confirmed. He gave me a ring. I said, “Yes!” I had God’s peace. I was like Gideon, asking for so many confirmations: “God, You’ve got to tell me; I’m new at this! You have to tell me: how do I know it’s him?” And there were many things that God let me know that this was the man he wanted me to marry.

And it’s the same thing God did with him. Eleven months later we got married, and I moved back to Mexico. Now he is a pastor; he pastors a church in Querétaro, Mexico. We’ve been married for eight years!

Nancy: Paulina knows that God’s healing is a process. That work begins at our conversion, but even years later, He continues His work in us.

Paulina: Even as married now, God is still healing many things. I searched for love and fulfillment in men, and sometimes I see myself doing that with my husband. I still expect him to make me happy, and that’s when I remember, “No, no, no! He’s not designed to make me happy. Only Christ could make me happy!”

So that’s when I remember, or he would tell me, “Babe, have you had your alone time with God? Because you’re a little needy right now.” He reminds me sometimes that I can only be fulfilled and satisfied in Jesus. There are so many things in my mind, and lies that I still have to fight with the truth, but I’m in the process of being still transformed by His grace!

Nancy: Paulina first heard about Revive Our Hearts through two of the women who serve with our Spanish language version of the program, Aviva Nuestros Corazones: Patricia de Sáladin and Laura Gonzalez.

Paulina: I met Patricia and Laura at a counseling conference, and they told me about Revive Our Hearts, so I started listening to Revive Our Hearts . . . and I loved the program! It has such great resources. I was already a pastor’s wife, so I needed all the resources I could get, and it was great help for me!

Nancy: It may sound funny to you, but Paulina says that Revive Our Hearts has transformed her household chores!

Paulina: I love washing dishes now! It’s my time of Revive Our Hearts, and just listening to the Word. I know my mind is dangerous, and if I leave it there, it can get worse! So I tend to have either worship or a Revive Our Hearts podcast on, so I can be listening to the Word.

Sometimes I’m mopping, and I have to stop because I’m crying so much, because I have listened to a very amazing testimony. I love Rosaria Butterfield. She has been a great impact in my life. I love it that there are so many teachers—very wise teachers—that have taught me so much on all topics.

I love the topic, “Love to Eat, Hate to Eat.” That was a really good resource for me, because that is something I dealt with.

Nancy: But beyond her own personal encouragement, she’s then able to pass on to others what she has learned.

Paulina: Revive Our Hearts also helps me to give resources to other girls. As a pastor’s wife, I get a lot of girls that come to me with me a lot of questions. One of the homework I leave them is, “Listen to one podcast a day—at least—after you read your Bible.”

It has been a revival in our church, Revive Our Hearts . . . Aviva Nuestros Corazones. They love it, and I see how the truth is transforming lives!

Nancy: We asked Paulina if it’s been difficult to tell others about her background of abuse and her own personal struggles with sin. She sees it as something that fills a void.

Paulina: It seems like talking about it is something that impacts a lot of women. Because they come and say, “You have been very brave to talk about your story! I need that strength.” They open their hearts to me and say, “I have gone through a lot of what you’ve gone through, but I am scared to open my heart!”

And, always, either I pray for them, or I say, “God will give you the strength and the grace to do it in its time.”

Nancy: And in retrospect, she can see how the confusion and hurt that she experienced years ago have actually made her more effective at ministering to others.

Paulina: Having that past has helped me today, as a pastor’s wife, to be able to identify with a lot of girls. I can see their pain. I can understand if girls come with depression or fear, or they have been sexually abused, or with eating disorders.

It has helped me, so today I see it as a blessing, even though it was very painful. Today I see the fruit. What the enemy wanted to do—to make me suffer and to destroy me—God has used it for His glory.

Nancy: I’ve been so encouraged by Paulina’s story yesterday and today, and by the reminder that God has the power to heal us from the deepest hurts and to use our stories to encourage others to find that healing as well.

I’m so grateful that Revive Our Hearts—and the Spanish language version, Aviva Nuestros Corazones—have been available for Paulina. I love to see the way that she is now partnering with our ministry and using our resources to encourage other women.

We’ve been able to be there for Paulina, and for so many other women like her, thanks to listeners like you who pray for this ministry and who support it financially. When you give a gift of any size today, we want to send you a brand-new Bible study as our way of saying “thank you.” This study is called Elizabeth: Dealing with Disappointment.

It will help you walk through Elizabeth’s story in the gospel of Luke and to apply lessons from her life to your own situation. When you make a donation online be sure and let us know that you’d like a copy of the Elizabeth study. That web address is ReviveOurHearts.com, or ask for it when you donate by phone. You can call us at 1–800–569–5959.

There’s been a sweeping revolution in recent generations of how women view themselves and their roles, how they view men, and how they view family. How do these widely-held views align with God’s original plan for women? Kelly Needham will be with us on Monday to talk about womanhood and the gospel. Please be back for Revive Our Hearts.

Revive Our Hearts with Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth wants to help you walk in freedom in Christ. It’s an outreach of Life Action Ministries.
 

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About the Speaker

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth

Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth has touched the lives of millions of women through Revive Our Hearts and the True Woman movement, calling them to heart revival and biblical womanhood. Her love …

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