The release of my personal I Have a Voice video this week has been a bit nerve-wracking. I’ll be the first to admit that when I was shown the preliminary video my instinct was to say “No, don’t say that…I mean I only saw him once a year so it wasn’t ‘that bad’.” Or, “My story isn’t as significant as the others.” And better yet, “I look so old! Look at all those wrinkles and the way my shirt puffs up and bags out, I look like I’m twenty pounds heavier!” Can we say VANITY? But when I spoke to a fellow survivor about these things she said what I already knew to be true, “You are putting the tape on that little girl’s mouth. This is the same reaction we all have and it’s exactly why no one speaks up.”
So I let it go. And I’m so glad I did! The next day I read this blog post from a fellow blogger. Her words are eloquent and I highly recommend the read: DRIVING OVER WATER
I also received this amazing story from a beautiful woman I met at the International Christian Retail Show. I was taken by her road to forgiveness and wanted to share it with you all. Here is ‘Apostle Barbara Kizzie’s Story’:
I opened my mouth and without thinking, “Jesus I love you with all my heart” bubbled up out of my spirit. I realized that not only did I love Jesus but that I am in love with Him. I have completely dedicated my heart, my life, my entire being to Him.
I was born again in 1971 but through my teens, twenties and most of my thirties I only called on Jesus when I needed help, otherwise I was, or thought I was, on my own. When I was baptized with the Holy Spirit on June 9, 1991, It Was On!!! My new life in Christ Jesus really began. I could hear Him clearly. One day the Lord said, it is time to clean out your heart. There is something that has been like a dark thread woven deep into the fabric of your life. We must get it out…it is unforgiveness.
Then He brought back to my remembrance how my Grandfather molested me when I was a young teenager. I loved my grandparents. I wanted to be with them, spend the weekend at their house, run errands for them and listen to all their stories of the past. My grandfather was a deacon in the Methodist Church down the street, my grandmother went to the Baptist Church about a mile away and I went to the Lutheran Church across the street. On Sundays my grandfather and I would get home first. When we were alone one Sunday, my grandfather began to touch my breast. I told him to stop, ran into the bathroom and locked the door. I did not come out until my grandmother came home. I didn’t tell anyone what happened. About a month or so later, I went back because I still wanted to see them and to go to Church. My grandfather tried to do it again….I never went back alone.
Everyone thought that I was being a teenager and didn’t have time for my grandparents anymore. I really missed them. I started going to the Baptist Church with my Mom and got saved there. I went away to college, got married and had a daughter. We rarely went to Church, yet there was a hunger and thirst in my heart for Jesus.
When I was 36 years old, the Lord said, Now it’s time to forgive your grandfather. The Lord let me know that the feeling of being betrayed had infiltrated my life. He helped me to realize that I was waiting for my grandfather to say I’m sorry and that he would never say it. Hearing “I’m sorry”, was not required for me to forgive my grandfather. Jesus was on the cross for something that He didn’t do, He was lied on, spat on and treated with disrespect. While He was in pain and near death, He said, Father forgive them for they know not what they do! The Lord said I will give you My forgiveness so that you can forgive your grandfather.
I prayed a prayer: Lord I receive Your forgiveness and now I choose to forgive my grandfather and release out love and forgiveness to him. In Jesus Name Amen. I felt a weight lift off my heart and shoulders. Days after the prayer, I was driving and the Lord said I want you to go pray the prayer of salvation with your grandfather. By that time, I was living in New Jersey. My grandparents were in Illinois. I began to give God my grandfather’s spiritual resume. Lord, my grandfather has been a deacon in the Church for over 50 years. People say that when he prays they feel Your presence. The Lord said to me, in a big booming voice that thundered through my entire being: IF YOU DON’T GO PRAY WITH HIM, HE IS GOING TO HELL!
I cried uncontrollably as I pulled to the side of the road. I asked for forgiveness and said, “Yes Lord I will go.” I called my mother and told her. She said do what the Lord tells you to do. My mother went with me to my grandparent’s house. My grandfather was 87 years old and hard of hearing. He and my grandmother were in the kitchen. Mom sat in the corner and began to pray.
I sat next to my grandfather and said, “The Lord forgives you for all that you have done. He loves you and wants you to be saved. Granddaddy repeat after me, ‘Dear Lord Jesus.’
My grandfather said, ‘Dear Lee Martin*’…that was his name.
I said, ”No Granddaddy say ‘Dear Lord Jesus.’”
He said, “Dear Lord Jesus.”
I said, “I Love You with all my heart.”
He said, “I love you with all my body.”
Then I realized that the enemy was speaking through him and for the first time, I went into spiritual warfare. “The blood of Jesus is over you,” I said. “Satan take your hands off my grandfather…the Blood of Jesus is against you…come out now in Jesus Name.” Then I said to my grandfather, “Repeat after me. ‘Dear Lord Jesus I love You with all my heart.”
He said,”Dear Lord Jesus I love You with all my heart.” Suddenly a big tear rolled out of his right eye and a big smile filled face.
I heard the Lord say, ‘He is in eternity with us now.’ My mother, grandmother and I began to rejoice knowing that my grandfather was saved! Not too long after that my grandfather’s health declined and he went Home to be with the Lord in 1994 at the age of 91. The Lord taught me that forgiveness is the best thing we can do for ourselves. Urbandictionary.com says that holding unforgiveness against someone is like drinking poison hoping the other person gets sick. The Lord said that unforgiveness puts a lock on the person’s heart. A locked up heart stops the love of God from being shed abroad in one’s heart. When we forgive the lock is destroyed and the love of God flows in our hearts and to others.
Barbara Kizzie received Jesus as her Lord and Savior in 1971 and was called to ministry in 1991. She is an ordained minister who loves the Lord with all her heart.
In 2011, by the leading of the Lord she founded “God in the Midst” Christian Fellowship an apostolic organization that encourages, edifies and equips home, small and para-Church ministries. She is the host of the God In The Midst (GITM) Internet Radio Show that airs every Thursday night at 9pm CST (10pm EST). To listen and participate in the show call: 619-639-4733 or go to http://www.blogtalkradio.com/GODINTHEMIDST Her facebook /God In The Midst and twitter @GITM4GOD give glory to God and is a blessing to the Body of Christ.
*Names have been changed*
Thank you to Ms. Barbara for sharing your story with all of us! You are a beautiful survivor. These stories and reading other blogs such as the above “MudTherapist’s ‘Driving Over Water’” giving VOICE to what has been kept up in the dark for so long is GLORIOUS to me! No better way for all of us to SHOW UP!
Enjoy your Friday and your weekend! Be encouraged and strengthened in the little moments that speak to your heart today.