Stephanie reminds us that every salvation is a miracle from God. Listen as she shares the miracle that God did in her life as He healed, saved, and delivered her from hurt, hopelessness, and darkness.
Crystal: This is a story of a miracle. A miracle that we’ve all experienced. If we’ve given our lives to Jesus. Today, you’ll hear Stephanie share how God walk through, her trials and pain and introduced her to His son. Jesus. She thought that she was a Jew that didn’t do Jesus, but God knew otherwise.
Thanks for much for coming on Stephanie. And I’m excited to hear about your story of how you came to know Jesus, like you know Him now. And I’m excited to hear how this all came about.
Stephanie: Well, thank you, Crystal for inviting me and giving me the opportunity to share in the miraculous, because I believe every salvation is a miracle from God.
And I mean, I was born in a Jewish family, but I thought we were normal. I didn’t realize that we were different than other families in you know, growing up. You just know what you know, and you’re just whatever’s happening is happening. And you think is part of a normal lifestyle. One thing that really struck out to me in how the enemy from very beginning in life wants to take you out.
If he sees a calling of God on your life, he will do everything in his power to try to remove you because he doesn’t want that call to go forward. Especially if he sees that God is going to use you in some kind of fashion. So right at three months old, I had gangrene of the spine and my parents had to take me to the doctors and they have to do emergency surgery right there in the doctor’s office to remove this gangrene system, my spine.
I didn’t discover till later on in life, how God had marked me, but the incision on the bottom of the base of my spine was a perfect cross.
Crystal: Oh, wow.
Stephanie: It wasn’t an ax. It wasn’t a T it was a perfect cross. Again, that will come into play later on. Then after that, I remember I’m five years old. The Lord kept highlighting this to me this morning, visiting my grandparents’ house and using the bathroom.
And they have like a little magazine rack next to the toilet and in the magazine, rack were Playboy magazines. And out of curiosity, I looked through. And then told my brother about him and he went in the bathroom, and we happened to use the bathroom a lot. When we went to my grandparent’s house, just to look through these Playboy magazine’s now back then I’ll be 65 in August.
So, you know, we’ll just give you some parameters of what timeframe it was, but apparently it wasn’t, they didn’t hide it. It wasn’t hidden. Yeah. We hid it. There was shame that came on us. Like we wouldn’t let anyone know that we looked at them and we wouldn’t let anyone know the feelings that it provoked inside of us as we lifted them.
Yet. We were drawn back to them over and over. I don’t know if it was curiosity or something else, but we were drawn to them, and we would lock the door and stay in there for a long time looking through these magazines. Not too long after that. My brother, my older brother, started sexually molesting me.
And I believe he was just acting out the things that he saw in these magazines or acting out what he felt inside of him from these magazines, from looking at them. And so that created another layer of shame. Knowing that it was wrong, you know, that it’s wrong, you know, inside that something is wrong and now you hide it.
And now you walk in a position of shame and guilt at a very young age. You don’t even know what the dynamics, yet you are very well aware that it’s something you shouldn’t do. And it’s definitely something you’re not going to share with anybody else. You already know that even though no one taught you that it’s something that inherently is inside of you.
And I think it’s something that God puts in you as well, to make you aware that you’re not walking the way you should walk. Right. As time goes on this shaming guilt becomes more and more prevalent in my life. And now, because of that, I am hiding myself from the world. I’m living two lives now. I’m living this hidden lie and I’m also living this life that I’m a good girl and everything’s okay. But I’m just not sure which one I’m believing most. And as I become older, I’m realizing this is not something that happens to everyone else because no one’s talking about it. None of my friends are talking about it. It doesn’t come up in conversation. So, I’m not going to bring it up as well because now everyone will look at me and say, Hey, what did you do?
This is your fault. You’re to blame. And so now the heaviness becomes greater and greater. And I think when you walk like that, even though people can’t see it, you feel there’s a neon light over your head now for people to come into your life and begin to abuse. And you just accept it as punishment you accepted as I deserved this cause I was bad, and I did bad things and I allowed bad things to happen to me.
So, I deserve this punishment because that’s what I felt was happening to me. I was being punished. When all I was looking for was to be loved. Now I did not have good dynamics with my parents. My father was working all the time or not home, or actually I found out later on, he had girlfriends on the side.
So, he was fooling around with my mother. My mother on the other hand, had five children who she could not control. She did not know how to love. And so, she was depressed all the time. She was sick all the time. She slept all the time, and she was pretty much absent as a mother from our lives. So, I did not have any protectors in my life to protect me, which made me a little angry as well, but I would go to different neighborhoods.
Where we lived and I was very drawn to what appeared to be normal families, which would be a mother, father, and children. They ate around the table at normal times. They celebrated together. They didn’t fight, they didn’t yell and scream at each other, which was not my family. So, you know, now I’m looking for something that I think I can fit into and be normal.
But once again, I’m hiding all the other stuff that’s inside of me and that stuff again, is making me feel ugly. It’s making me feel dirty. It’s making me feel not accepted. What was it about me that they couldn’t love me? What was it about me that they couldn’t accept? So, there’s this wandering going on, looking, looking, and searching for something to make me feel loved and accepted.
And I think it’s built in every single one of us to be loved and accepted. And sometimes we just don’t go to the right places to find these things. And then by the time I was 16 and 17, I had gotten pregnant. My parents took me to have an abortion that had a great effect on me as well. I was told it was nothing but tissue, but again, it affected my life in a negative way.
So, most of the things that. Happened to me in my life were negative things. They weren’t positive things. My father died when I was 12 years old of a massive heart attack suddenly. And I was a lot closer to my father than my mother. So that was extremely devastating to me that I lost him. And because my mother wound up having an affair with another man while they were married. I really disliked her a lot. I’m not going to say hate because that’s a strong word, but I definitely disliked her in In my father’s heart attack occurred after my mother left him.
So, I blamed her basically because I thought a heart attack was someone’s heart being broken. And in my mind, I thought my mother had broken my father’s heart. So that’s why he had a heart attack, you know, as kids, we, we go through our heads and, and try to justify everything and figure everything out, why things happen.
So, at this point, I’m basically wandering aimlessly through life, being very angry. Being very resentful, even being hateful. I remember one of my favorite sayings to my mother used to be, well, I didn’t ask to be born. And her response to me was, well, if you would have asked the answer would have been no anyway, so.
Didn’t add much. I feel loved. I feel wanted; I feel accepted. As a matter of fact, my parents named me Stephanie, but my mother let me know that the only name they had picked out for their baby was Steven. They, they didn’t even want a girl. They wanted a boy. And when I came. They just gave me a feminine derivative of Steven.
And but you know, people know, children know they’re very keenly aware if they’re loved, if they’re wanting. And so, when you’re not, there’s something inside of you again, that God places inside of you that makes you look for love, makes you look for acceptance. And no matter where I went. I wasn’t finding it.
I wasn’t finding it through my parents. I wasn’t finding it through my siblings. I wasn’t finding it through boyfriends. I just wasn’t finding it. And I started questioning life. What is life about what w what am I here for? What’s the purpose? Am I just going to go through all this pain and rejection just to die?
Well, that seems like a waste of time. And then when I was 21 years old, I was woken up in the middle of the. To a voice. And the voice told me to move to Florida. I didn’t know who the voice was, but for whatever reason I woke up the next day and I told everyone I was moving to Florida. I didn’t know anybody.
I didn’t have any money to move. I didn’t have an apartment. I didn’t have a job. I just. Led, I felt strongly led to go. And I think in my thought process, people were like, well, what are you going to do? You don’t know anybody down there; you don’t have a job. I said, well, if it doesn’t work out, I could always come back.
Right. So, I was looking at the glass half full. And at that point I lived in a small town, and it was a small town and people knew your business. And at that point I had been with many men, had affairs with married men, just again, just trying anything to feel, love and accepted. Instead, I would just get hurt after hurt, after rejection, and my heart was getting harder and harder.
And. And I thought, well, maybe this is a new start for me. I can go to a new place. No one knows me. No one knows anything about me. I can become whatever I want to be. I can reinvent myself. And that was the thought in my brain. So, I moved to Florida and God, our, again, didn’t know Him, but set me up right on the beach in a furnished apartment for $250.
And the lady that found the apartment for me even brought me a TV. She was leasing the apartment first. Her husband had built her home. They’re home was, ready. They needed someone to sublease it. She kept the electric in her name. It was just like, okay, so this is where I’m supposed to be. And I lived right on the beach in Indian shores in Florida, but I didn’t know anybody, so I would walk to the beach every night.
And this would be my question I would pose to the sky, “God, do you exist. If you do, do you have a plan and purpose for my life? If you do, can you let me know what it is? Cause right now I’m 23 years old and up to this point, it’s sucks. And if there’s nothing more than what this is, then I’m just going to end it because I can’t see myself going through my whole life, carrying all this pain and rejection and never feeling loved and accepted.”
The next week I met a girl who was just moved here from Wales, and she was a born again, Christian. I didn’t know what a born again. Christian was in my world. There were two types of people. There were Jews and Catholics and that was it. I didn’t know about everyone else and all the other.
Denominations. That’s all I knew. And I met this girl, and she was so sweet and so nice to me. And she would call me up on Saturday and say, Hey, do you want to come to church with me tomorrow? And I’d be like, oh, thank you. But no, I’m a Jew. We don’t do Jesus. And every night I go to the beach and say, God, do you exist?
Do you have a plan and purpose for my life? If you do, please let me know what it is. It was looking back now the most comical thing that ever happened in my life. And she would call me on Saturdays and asked me to go to church. And I’d be like, no, I’m a Jew, I don’t do Jesus. But finally, I said, oh, I need to be smarter than her.
I know what I’ll do. I’ll tell her, I’ll go to church with her. Afterwards, tell her it’s not for me. She’ll quit asking me to go to church and we can remain friends. Cause I really liked her and didn’t want to lose her friendship. Right. So I go to this church, it’s an Assembly of God church. I don’t know nothing about nothing.
And I walk in the church and immediately. My heart starts pounding. I thought I was maybe anxious or scared or not sure, but it would not stop beating. And as the pastor was preaching, I felt like he was telling my story and I thought what’s going on here? Why is this man telling everybody about me? And then I’m crying.
There’s just tears coming down my face. I don’t know why I’m crying. My heart is beating out of my chest. I don’t know what’s going on. They’re saying if you want to accept Jesus, come down here. I’m like a I’m not gonna accept Jesus. I don’t know who this guy is, but I’m walking down the aisle. I am walking down the aisle saying to myself, I’m not going to accept Jesus.
But I get to the front, and I say, yes, I accept Jesus. And I go home, and I start having this conversation with God. And I said, God, I believe your real. Cause I felt something that I never felt before. I felt pain. I felt sad. I never felt those things. And I said, but I’m not too sure about this Jesus. I said, but I’ll tell you what, cause I’m a reasonable person.
Let’s give Him six months. I made a deal. I made a deal with God. I said, we’ll give Him six months. We’ll see what happens and we’ll go from there. And I’m sure He must’ve been laughing, laughing so hard in heaven So now I am this born again, Christian, something definitely did change.
I felt for the first time in my life, I felt a sense of love over me, but I also realized there was a lot of anger and bitterness and unforgiveness in my heart that really needed to be dealt with. And. I don’t, you know, I didn’t even know the Bible. I didn’t know anything about fleeces. It must be in the Jewish DNA because I would go to work in the morning and I would say, God, I’ll tell you what I’m going to go to work.
And I’m going to leave this window shade halfway down. And when I come home, if it’s pulled all the way down, I’ll know, Jesus is your son, I’d go to work. I would be anxious to get home. I’d run into the house, look in the bedroom. And the shade was exactly the way I left it. So, then I thought, all right, well maybe that’s too hard for you.
I’ll tell you what, I’ll pull it down all the way. And then if I come home and it’s pulled up, I’ll know that Jesus is your son. Okay. Anyway, couple months passed and I’m working as a hairdresser, but summertime is coming. So, all the tourists have left to go home. My clientele had fallen down. My electric bill was due.
I did not have the $50 to pay for it. I didn’t know how long it takes to shut it off. They shut it off pretty quickly. I come home from work, my electrics off, but I’m too embarrassed to tell anybody. And I said, well, I’ll get paid in two days. I’ll just wait. And then I’ll use my paycheck to turn it back on.
I went to work. I came home and when I came home and opened the door, there was an envelope under my door, a white envelope. And all it says on it is Jesus loves you. And I opened the envelope and there’s a $50 bill inside. No one knew that no one knew what was going on. Okay. This must be Jesus.
Okay. Three weeks later, I’m driving down Gulf Boulevard. I have a little Volkswagen beetle. I’m coming home from a friend’s house. Driving down in the right-hand lane in the left-hand lane is a station wagon who decided to go to the seven 11 on the right-hand side of the street. And just, just. Turned just turn boom.
And right in front of me to go over across my car had no time to stop. I smashed right into him. My head went through the windshield brought my head back. I felt this thick, gooey, warm substance running down my head. And all I said was, Jesus. Not in a curse way. Just Jesus. That’s all I said. And then I took my hand and put it up to my head to wipe the blood away.
When I brought my hand back down and looked at it, there was no blood. Well, that’s weird when the ambulance got there, they were looking at me and they said, ma’am, are you okay? I’m like, yeah, they go, are you okay? I’m like, yeah, you sure you’re okay. I’m like, yeah. Why? They said, well, looking at you, you have about a hundred shards of glass sticking out of your head, but not one drop of blood.
Oh, wow. That’s exactly what I said. Oh, wow, And then again, I didn’t even realize that Jesus had touched me at that moment, but I knew something had happened and little by little, He kept showing Himself to me in such a real, tangible way. And as I allowed Him to, He was unpeeling me like an onion layer by layer.
It wasn’t an automatic thing. It wasn’t a quick thing. It was a relationship thing, which meant it took time. It took time. The more I believed God and trusted God, the more He removed from me because I allowed Him to, because I trusted Him. And that’s how my relationship was Him was built. It was wasn’t built on an automatic thing.
It was a step-by-step day-by-day just me saying, okay, you did this for me. I trust you now a little bit more. And I trust you a little bit more and I trust you a little bit more. And that’s how my life was for the last 40 years. It’s been a day by day where He just shows and showers me His lab. Where He will, do things for me in a tangible way that I can see, wow, this is someone who cares about me.
This is someone who wants the best for me. This is what love is. And He kept proving over and over that I’m here. I’ve always been here. I always will be here. There’s nothing you can do. There’s nothing you can say. That’s going to change that. And I remember maybe about 25 years ago, going through a weekend, it was kinda like a retreat, a one-on-one retreat where you kind of go through your life and see, is there any, anything else that needs to be dealt with?
Anything keeping you from going forward into what God has for you. And I remember during that time asking Him, asking, God, God, I just have one question. If you loved me, where were you when these things happen to me as a child? Where were you when I was sexually molested. Where were you when I got raped?
Where were you when I had the abortion? Where were you when my parents beat me. Where were you when I was berated? Where were you when I was attacked by children in the neighborhood. Where were you? And His answer to me was I, was there the whole time holding your hand? Yeah, I was there the whole time. I’m always there because you’re my child and I love you.
Yeah. And I just want people to know that no matter what you’ve been through, no matter what you’re going through, no matter what your circumstances are, He’s there. He’s always there. He’s just waiting for you to recognize Him and accept His love for you, except His forgiveness for you. He gave His only Son to die so that you would live forever with Him. To do for you, what you cannot do for yourself. And the minute you allow Him to come in, everything changes. It’s like you’re in a dark room and all of a sudden, the light switch is turned on and you didn’t realize that the room was filled with all these gifts and presents, but the minute the light turns on you can see.
And that’s how it is with God. The minute you allow Him, in the minute you give Him access to your world, He will then step in and take over. And it’s such a beautiful, beautiful journey. Is it perfect? No, we still live in a fallen world. But He will walk with you every step of the way. He will show you the way to go.
He will speak to you. He will direct you, but most of all, He will love you. And that is the greatest thing that anyone can receive is unconditional love from a father who will never leave you and never forsake you. He’s so good. He’s so wonderful, Crystal.
Crystal: Yes. Yes. Amen. So good. Wow. Well, that was powerful.
Would you like to pray for.
Stephanie: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. I recognize and realize that I am not the only one who was abused, who was forsaken, who was misunderstood, who was rejected, who was feeling like inadequate and not enough. There are so many people out there searching for truth and in a world where there are so many lies, perpetrating, I want you to know that the one truth that you can take to the bank is that God loves you with an everlasting love.
You are His child, and you were created in His image and all He wants is a relationship. All He wants is for you to acknowledge Him so that He can pour His love out on you. So, I’m asking right now, if you would just take a moment and just say, Father, I don’t understand. What’s happening. I don’t understand what’s happened in my life.
I don’t understand how I got to where I am, but I know that something needs to change and I’m willing to take the chance and give you the opportunity to do that changing for me. So, Jesus, would you come into my life? Would you forgive me of my sins? Will you accept me as your child? And in return, I will trust that you’re going to work everything together out for my good.
But you’re going to show me what my purpose is. You’re going to show me what my plan is, and I’m going to have a good end and a good future. And if you prayed that prayer, tell someone else about it. Tell someone that you received the greatest gift you’ve ever received. Share what God has done with you.
And watch and see what happens in your life. I just pray right now, God, that you will cover them, that you will be with them, that you would bless them and that you would protect them and protect them from the enemy from stealing what was just deposited inside of them. And we thank you for it in Jesus’ precious name.
Stephanie’s younger years were filled with pain, hurt, shame, confusion.
And a lack of love.
She tried many ways to change those things herself. She tried to look for love and all the wrong places. But it wasn’t until she bowed her knees. To Jesus that she found all those things and more that she was looking for.
Jesus came in and healed her. He filled her with His love. And gave her hope and a purpose.
Friend. Where are you? Are you still looking for those things? Are you looking for a way out of your pain? Are you looking for love?
There’s only one place that you can find the truth of all of those things. And that is in the name of Jesus. If you would like prayer. Or you have questions about giving your life to Jesus? Reach out to me. And I can even connect you with Stephanie if you’d like.