“Teaching and Training Women in the Word of God”
THANKSGIVING FOR AND FROM A NEW FOLLOWER OF CHRIST
Thank you for your recent letter and all your prayers and patience with me through my journey to Christ!! I am very excited to finally have Christ in my heart. I finished the first part of the assignment you gave me to complete during our holiday break, including working on memorizing John 3:16 and 1 John 5:11-13. I am confident the Holy Spirit will work in my life to bring the needed changes. What great news to have Christ on my side!! You have been a great inspiration to me and I will always be grateful to you for teaching me the Word. I want to read the Word everyday for the rest of my life! I will write you again after completing the next phase of my homework and will continue to memorize Scripture. I hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving.
Best wishes, Your (baby) Sister in Christ
A SOUL SET FREE FROM THE CHAINS OF ABANDONMENT AND COMPLICATED GRIEF
As I sought counseling for what I thought was the grief of my sister’s suicide, I actually found myself dealing with the issue of unforgiveness toward my mother, who I dearly love and have protected most of my life – even during my childhood when she was the one who should have protected me. My family is riddled with generational sin, and though I have read many self-help books and thought that I had resolved a few of the issues in my life, I knew that I needed biblical counseling.
During my counseling sessions at Daughters of Christ Ministry, Inc., God revealed to me the pain that I had suppressed for so many years and just how damaged my heart was from all the lies, manipulation and control that I endured for most of my childhood family life. If I could, I would unfold for you the nightmarish abuse and sin that I lived with growing up, but this is not the time, nor the place, for that. The Lord impressed upon me just how much He loves me by showing Himself dying on the cross. Christ died on the cross in order that my sins would be forgiven. I knew then that God wanted me to forgive others as He had forgiven me. I wasn’t even aware that I had suppressed these feelings and needed to forgive my mom. It was only God who could have revealed the core issue (lies) that needed to be dealt with. Now, I rejoice in the Lord Jesus knowing that when “the Son makes you free, you are free indeed” (John 8:36).
I was physically and emotionally exhausted when I left my counseling and prayer sessions, but my burden was lighter. I entered the counseling process with heavy anxiety but found at the end of each session, I could breathe with ease again! My joy in Jesus was restored. I am more convinced now than ever that God speaks to me. I’ve just never experienced it quite as quickly, nor have I ever had confirmation from someone who was in prayer with me quite like this.
The prayer supporters of this ministry should never doubt the power of their prayers. I am convinced that through your prayers and Audrie’s guidance, I truly received those revelations from God that brought profound healing and deliverance in my soul. I believe the best way to explain how your prayers have helped me is to invite you to read Colossians 8:9-13. This passage affirms the reality I am now experiencing because of your united prayers for me as a counselee of Daughters of Christ Ministry, Inc. THANK YOU for your obedience and faithfulness in prayer!
My favorite verse of Scripture is Jeremiah 29:11, which now has renewed meaning in my heart and life. Let’s continue to pray for each other. Maybe one day, I too, will be able to help others as you have helped me.
I’m forever grateful for what you’ve done for me and my family, Audrie. My husband just finished reading all my counseling session and prayer notes and now has a greater understanding of why we’ve had so many differences in approaches for things concerning our children, the bedroom, television, etc. The healing just keeps getting deeper. We can now discuss it with our children. To God be the glory!
LOVING THE SINNER WHILE HATING THE SIN
I sought counseling through Daughters of Christ Ministry, Inc. (DoCM) for a number of different reasons. I believe God led me to this ministry through my pastor. I had different issues that I wanted to work through and experience the complete freedom Christ died to give me. One of the major issues for which God brought freedom to my heart through DoCM is dealing with forgiveness and bitterness towards others. God showed me from Scripture that freedom comes when we submit to Him alone. That meant I had to get rid of the bitterness in my heart and forgive from my heart those who hurt me. A major breakthrough happened when God showed me that forgiving others did not mean loving what they did, but it did mean loving the person. Forgiving others means looking past the sin that the person commits in order to see the person. Jesus died on the cross for everyone’s sin, not just mine. This brought so much healing in my life because bitterness is like a leech that sucks the life out of us. I repented from the bitterness that I was holding in my heart, and now I have real life inside my heart (soul) again. I would recommend this ministry to other adult women, because the healing that God does through this ministry is deep healing. God gets to the root/core issues in our heart and brings true, genuine healing that is permanent. I am truly thankful to everyone who supports DoCM prayerfully and/or financially, because I am experiencing a freedom and love from God that I have never known, and it is truly life changing. Thank you so very much!
FREEDOM FROM A DESTRUCTIVE RELATIONSHIP
I am from Omaha NE, and I moved to Fayetteville NC to live with my brother and his wife through the summer. I came here in January very broken and needing healing from a past relationship and direction for the next steps in life. God gave me the perfect opportunity to counsel with Daughters of Christ Ministry, Inc.
I was ready to be set free and experience God’s love in a deeper way. Daughters of Christ Ministry was the first counseling that made me believe I was finally going to get free. The biblical, Godly approach really encouraged me from the first day. I am a very visual person, and I was able to physically see an outline of the steps we were going to take to walk through this process, and it made me happy from the start. Each week, I actually looked forward to coming back and receiving more.
The healing process was overwhelming, exhausting and draining but so worth it! The Lord truly set me free from the past and hurt. He also showed me how much He loves me and reassured me that He has a very bright future for me; I just have to trust Him. Growing up, I was a very happy joyful kid, and in the last few years, that was lost. God restored that joy in me and I am excited to see what He has in store for me next.
“THE LORD’S TABLE” BIBLE STUDY SUPPORT GROUP
My name is ♥♥♥ and I am a grateful believer in Jesus Christ who struggles with self-indulgence – mainly FOOD! Prior to my study in “The Lords Table,” I did not think I had a real eating problem even though over the last seven years I accumulated 30 extra pounds. I had lost my only son to a crippling disease after a 21-year battle. Praise the Lord he was saved and loved the Lord Jesus with all of his heart, and I will see him again! I noticed I had been putting on weight but paid it no mind because I was in a place where I did not care much about myself or anything for that matter. For the most part, I ate healthy 85% of the time, being careful not to eat too much of this (sweets & breads) or too little of that (fruits & veggies). But evening snacking and lack of exercise began to take its toll. I really didn’t see my eating habits as sin. Through this study, I found out that I was a “grazer” – like a cow. I would eat a little here, later a little there, then in the car, then in front of the TV. I pretty much snacked all day long. Food began to consume my thoughts. . . what to eat for breakfast, where to eat for lunch, what to cook for dinner, what new dessert to make, what was on sale at the grocery store, planning meals, looking through cook books…talking about food and new recipes consumed my life. I found that I was spending more time with my thoughts around food than my thoughts about the Lord, Bible reading and prayer. After I found out that this was sin and food was my god, I wanted to feel sorry but the feeling just wouldn’t come.
I thought that REPENTANCE was something I possessed or should possess, and if I didn’t feel the repentance, well then, I couldn’t repent. I couldn’t get free. What was I going to do?? Then two weeks into the study – Day 12 – Repentance Brings Refreshment. WOW! Was someone listening to my thought life?? This is exactly what I had been seeking. If I didn’t have repentance or feel repentant all I had to do is ask Jesus for it and He would gladly give it… And He did! Even when I didn’t think what I was doing was sin, the Lord would give me the gift of repentance if I would only ask. He knew my heart all along and all I had to do was trust Him with it!
I am fasting twice a week and loving it! (Did I just say that? ha!) I feel such strength under control on those days! His strength and His control of my will with food! These days have actually freed me not to have to think about food even though my stomach reminds me from time to time. And the next day when I eat again I just PRAISE him for sustenance. I eat slowly, mashing my food to my tongue, really tasting it! FOOD IS WONDERFUL!! …but, not as wonderful as our God!
I have had a new birth! I have learned to listen to my body to tell me when it is hungry and when it is full. Although I don’t always succeed with the latter, “He’s still working on me!” I find that my best nights’ sleep come from going to bed a little hungry rather than going to bed a little too full! Now I am convicted or convinced that my next step is EXERCISE! At my last weigh-in I had lost 12 pounds of disobedience, and I KNOW with adding exercise to this new way of life, I will be able to see the scales begin moving again. On the days that I didn’t do my study for one reason or another, the next day when I get back into it I want to smack myself as I say, “This is SO AWESOME, I can’t believe I missed it yesterday!”
I thank the Lord that sister Audrie was obedient to His call to bring this class to me and the others for such a time as this! I now KNOW that I am not looking for a quick fix, as I have learned through The Lord’s Table, this is a “lifetime journey” and not a “diet experience.” I will also be able to use all these principles and lessons throughout my life with other issues and not just with food.
JESUS IN MY HEART…NOT JUST IN MY HEAD
For years, I wanted to take a Bible study class and was recently invited to attend “The Lord’s Table” class offered by Daughters of Christ Ministry, Inc. What impressed me most was how much Scripture refers to eating, both right and wrong. Since starting this course, I have been able to put Jesus in my heart and not just in my head. I now see how overeating is a sin, and I was an idolater of food. I must remember that God made us to “consume food and not have food consume us.” Since starting this course, I have definitely spent more time than ever focusing on Jesus and His Scripture. Taking this course has really been a significant spiritual journey for me. Since this was my very first Bible study class, I have to say I was very pleased to be sitting at the Lord’s table learning how to better focus on Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior!
FREEDOM FROM BITTERNESS
For years I struggled with unforgiveness and bitterness toward my husband. Yes; he had hurt me badly, but I allowed Satan to build a stronghold of bitterness in my life and I was miserable. The Lord led me to seek counseling with Audrie at Biblical Counseling Services, Inc. My eyes were opened as Audrie lovingly confronted me with God’s word concerning unforgiveness. She helped me to take positive steps toward resolving a huge sin in my life. I see now that as a Christian I must choose to forgive as Christ has forgiven me. (This includes my husband!) I desire with all my heart to please the Lord and already I can see that God is working. I will be forever thankful that I sought Audrie’s wise counsel. May the Lord continue to bless her ministry by showing others the path to freedom from unforgiveness!
VICTORY IN THE MIDST OF SPIRITUAL WARFARE
Having been a Christian since I was a teen and diagnosed in 1988 at the age of 26 with bipolar disorder after having several psychotic episodes, I was in for quite a journey. But the Lord knew that one day I would finally understand my position in Christ and truly learn how to be the soldier we all are called to be. That time came for me in March of 2006. If you know anything about bipolar disorder, it is pretty much a rollercoaster ride. In March of this year, a depression came over me with intense pain that was unbearable at times. I believe the enemy was setting me up to take my life. I was losing all hope in ever being free. I thought to myself, I’ll try one more time and made a phone call to my local church and they referred me to a Christian counselor, my neat friend, Audrie. I am for the first time learning about my position in Christ and how to combat the enemy of my soul. It had been pretty much of a fog to me up until now. The Lord has truly turned on His light in my life and I want to do my part in letting it shine.
COMFORT AND HEALING IN MY SEASON OF GRIEF
Where to begin? My brother died unexpectedly at age 48 in January 2005. I finished handling his affairs in September 2005. During the nine months after his death, I was so busy with working, care-giving for my father and grandmother, being a wife, mother, and grandmother that I did not take time to grieve properly. In February 2006, my grandmother died. This was a great loss as I had been her primary caregiver for 18 years. During those 18 years, I was also caregiver for my mother who suffered from mental illness and died of lung cancer and for my in-laws who both were at the same rest home as my grandmother until they died. When Grandmother died, it left a great hole in my heart and brought on an identity crisis in addition to my grief. In March 2006, a dear friend was given a life prognosis of three months. I was in the clinical counseling environment over the years for mild depression. These events, however, led me to seek a Christian counseling environment because I am also an ordained minister. I did not understand where God was in all of this and so, a spiritual crisis crept in. I could not ‘get a grip’ because I was unable to pray and I was trying to do everything in my own power. My heart was broken. Many years of accumulated stress, responsibilities and loss had separated me from my personal experience with Christ. My belief in God was strong but my relationship with the Lord suffered. During those busy years of care-giving, children leaving home, marriages, births, deaths of family members, seminary and work, I felt I had to be in control.
Through Audrie’s ministering, God was able to heal my broken heart and spirit and my need to control. This unique ministry method has succeeded in helping where clinical counseling and medication could not. My personal needs were met through prayer and Audrie’s willingness to let God work through her. I have renewed my relationship with Jesus and have learned to take baby steps again in growing according to the work of His Holy Spirit. I know that Jesus will never leave me nor forsake me. What a wonderful promise! I am grateful that God directed me to this ministry and I would recommend it to other women. I am still working through the grief process and continue to trust God each day for new healing.
FREED TO BE FREE IN CHRIST JESUS
My life as a Christian was not life as God intended it to be. My prayer life was basic communication with God but not intimate communion with Him, as I now know. I was at a point in my life where I searched so desperately for rest in Christ. However, I believed I could never be good enough or even desire enough in my mind to be free from the pain of life’s circumstances that made me the way I was. The key word is ‘was’. Through this ministry of counseling, I truly found freedom from the bondage of pain and the prison to which my mind had confined me. I did not believe it was possible for me to truly experience God’s intended rest as His child. Sister Audrie showed me how to commune with Christ. All things are possible through Christ Who strengthens me — that is OUR promise and His gift of grace was given to us before we even asked for it because He knew we would need it. His word is a lamp unto my feet…and yours.
The practice of Audrie’s biblical counseling techniques does not focus on our circumstances but rather on our position and freedom in Christ. At the point of salvation, my place was instantly IN Christ. Salvation is a gift; however, I must accept it in its entirety within my heart in order to experience each facet of God’s grace that He provided for me through Christ. That completion is personal and He wants to remove all blinders from us so our communion with Him is clear and life-changing. To God be the glory!
EMOTIONAL HEALING IN THE HEART OF A PASTOR’S WIFE
I was referred to Audrie’s counseling ministry during some of the darkest hours of my life. My life was literally falling apart. I am not one to cry, especially not in public, but I was finding myself sobbing uncontrollably at the most inopportune times! I am a pastor’s wife, and felt that I had no one with whom I could talk. Most pastors’ wives do not have money to pay for counseling nor feel that a confidential person to confide in exists. Audrie’s years of being a church secretary has given her an understanding of the pastor’s wife and a heart to reach out to her. Because Audrie’s ministry is supported, she was able to offer her help to me cost-free. She has guided me to put into practice the powerful truths of God’s word, which I knew in my head, but was not putting into practice in my life. 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 describes her ministry, “Though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have the power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
She used her tools to help me identify unforgiveness in my heart. I had no idea what a stock pile that I was carrying. We started by tackling one deep hurt I was struggling with as a result of a very close friend rejecting me. God used Audrie to pray with me to choose to forgive this friend. I then asked what to do about my hurt feelings. We prayed for God to heal my damaged emotions. She taught me to wait on the Lord and listen. This is one of the biggest things that I have learned. I usually rush into God’s presence. Sometimes I take time to worship and praise Him, but often just jump into all my worries and requests. It was definitely new to me to be still and listen. I told her that I was quite sure I would not hear anything. We took this very thought captive. She prayed for me as I listened. (I don’t think God is American; He doesn’t operate like our instant, fast food culture.) I told Audrie that I was not hearing anything. We waited some more. That is when I experienced a real touch from God. God overwhelmed me with His love. I could sense His love in the most real way I have ever felt. He was saying to me, “I love you just as you are. Your friend may reject you, but I love you.” After bathing in His presence, I could face the fact that perhaps I would never have that friend back, but God’s love was truly enough. He healed my damaged emotions! I had His love overflowing out of me, making it easy for me to love this friend without any love in return from her.
I believe with my whole heart that the church in America is crippled as a result of unforgiveness. Our ears are plugged with unforgiveness, making it impossible to hear the Holy Spirit’s voice. We have visited many churches in our search for a new ministry position. I have watched as bitter hearts of members in churches tear the church to pieces. Satan has a very easy job, he just sits back and watches the Christians build the strongholds instead of us demolishing them. I can hardly wait until we get our next church to use this powerful tool of prayer to counsel hurting women. This ministry is blossoming beyond the walls of Audrie’s office. I thank you personally for supporting this ministry that God has used to bring me through these deep waters and to bring His healing to my life.