Spreading God's Love Thru Prayer
My testimony I can only do with Gods grace, Christ’s love for me, and the Holy Spirit moving me.
There is a Native American story about a white man that found an abandoned eagle egg and placed it under a hen in a chicken coop. It eventually hatched, and believed it was a chicken like all the others. The only problem was that the other chickens knew he was different and would pick and peck on him all the time. Well, one day she looked up and asked one of the chickens what that was soaring in the sky above them. One of the chickens responded that it was an eagle. The eaglet chicken went back to pecking the ground and flapping around the pen accepting that answer. Then one day a huge storm came overhead. The little chicken eaglet ran to the edge of the fence while all the other chickens headed for the chicken coop to find shelter inside. Above the storm, was soaring an eagle and spotted the little eaglet inside this pen. It cried down to the little guy, you are not a chicken, you are an eagle, spread your wings and let the currents lift you up. Come up here with me and you will find rest. The eaglet turned around once to look at all the chickens huddled around together shaking in fear and then once again looked up. A little afraid, but knowing, I’m not like the others, stretched out his wings, and the first current lifted him up, and then the next current brought him up higher, and so forth till the eaglet was lifted above the storm. With the help of the One calling down and the help from the lift of the wind, the eaglet realized, " I can fly, I am an eagle."
An eaglet egg placed in a chicken pen.
My name is Brown Eagle. I was born in Chicago, Illinois as Hoselyne. I was found abandoned in a one room apartment at nine months old and placed in Saint Vincents orphanage where my name was changed to Terrie. At 14 months I was placed in a couple of foster homes and then with my now parents as a foster child. At six years of age they adopted me. Being a Native American and the rest of my family having blond hair and blue eyes, not too many people believed that I was part of the family until she’s adopted was always explained to them. That never mattered to me because what was important , was that they were my family.
The eagle living among chickens.
Throughout my childhood I suffered severe physical, mental, and emotional childhood abuse. By the age of 14, the physical symptoms I was being treated for were high blood pressure, ulcers, and shingles in response to all I was going through. I always tell people though, the bruises and marks were nothing because they would eventually heal and fade away. But, the mental and emotional abuse is what truly left the scars, along with a shattered spirit and a broken soul. I didn’t know back then, but I do know now, that a man sees the outside but God sees the inside. Back then there was not much anyone could do. Most knew but either turned their heads or stared. I was hurting so much inside, others responses truly did not matter to me then.
One time my face was so wounded, that the school hid me in the office for two weeks afraid that I would scare the other kids. I always protected my parents, and would explain the marks away with excuses. Even with all this, I somehow was able to get up on the stage in front of the church and sing with the youth group. My family attended church, but the secrets stayed within the walls of our home. Church back then didn’t mean too much to me. You had to go and for me it was dressing up and always putting on an act of happy, cheerful, and full of love. Deep inside though, I was so broken, lost, and afraid.
I was also an over achiever. I wasn’t raised with hugs and I love you’s. So for me to get any type of attention I accomplished many things. By the age of 14, I was an accomplished pianist, I played the clarinet in marching band, and the oboe in the symphony band. I entered many state competitions with my music. I’d been to the recording studio to tape two songs I’d written on the guitar. I had great grades. I was on the volleyball team, the tumbling team, the track team, and the swim team placing second in PG county my first year. I was a member of the girl scouts up through cadets and sang in the folk group at church. My trophies and ribbons stayed in the closet not meaning much, it was that moment of having their attention that was everything. It’s amazing now looking back. How I’d get back up from being knocked down, and still be able to accomplish this much. That is the grace of an awesome, loving, caring, God. It wasn’t me, but a whisper saying press on, press on, get up. My life was practice and chores with literally the toothbrush and white glove. I loved my parents through all this and thought that this was ok as long as they left my siblings alone.
The eagle leaves walking away from the cage.
After turning 14, I left home and hit the streets. It was safer then staying at home with the abuse. I was really a good kid and now was living among the prostitutes, drug abusers, alcoholics, runaways, the throwaways, and outcasts of society. Looking back now there was a pair of wings that protected and shielded me from harm and from getting into all that stuff. I had no problems with saying no to the things I knew that wouldn’t be good for me. I’d sleep in ditches along the high ways and eat what I could find. I owned literally nothing but that wasn’t important. I was scared, but somehow felt much safer. All I really wanted was to go home, but that wasn’t an option. . Through all this, God was beside me even though I still had not invited Him into my life. The Lord protected me from falling in other pits that were out there. I also went through numerous foster homes again, halfway houses and the system.. By 17, I had my own place. I never quit trying and reaching out to my parents. The impossible dream was not a part of my song, nor was quitting.
The eagles soaring overhead in the sky.
The Lord put a couple of very good people with Christian values on my path throughout all this. One was my parents neighbor Mrs. Berres. Back then all Karen could do was just cry, hold, comfort, guide, and love me as broken and battered as I was. She took me when I was around 12 to her church where she would have me stand in front of the church women and give my testimony,. I would, but had no clue of what I was doing. They would cry while listening, and now I know that they were crying tears I couldn’t. Karen had taken me to Jesus 78 in Pennsylvania, where I was baptized in the river at 17. I still didn’t understand at the time much about the Lord, but I knew somehow He was something I needed and someone who loved me, so I invited Jesus into my life. Karen still reminds me of the time there that I dropped on my knees, wearing shorts at the time, onto a ground of gravel and stayed that way for over thirty minutes praying. My knees were bleeding, but I can remember feeling no pain, just an introduction into the beginnings of peace. Now I had a chance to share my secrets with someone, but my walls held them back along with my trust and emotions. Jesus was the only one that could heal all this but it would take years before I felt safe enough. Safe was a word for me that described distance. The seed was planted, now it just needed to grow. A new life was forming inside of me. One that would take years to grow. I was a sprig with many broken branches, lacking food and water from so many years of abuse and neglect. This sprig most others , including myself would have given up on, but there is only One I know who could start a good new work until it is finished. My Lord saw something through that shattered spirit and broken soul. Only He could fix/heal/ and create a new from the scars that were left from the years of damage done.
I met my husband, and have now been married 27 years. Another gift placed on my path from God. My husband had a gentle spirit, a large field of patience, ears always open to hear, a bottomless bucket of understanding, and an over flow of much needed love. I had not a clue of all this, but was starving for it. I didn’t have much to offer in return, but he was extremely patient. My luggage coming into the marriage was loaded. Into adulthood I carried in my baggage severe depression, anorexia, Post traumatic stress (I had the same thing as the Viet Nam vets suffer from, except my flashbacks and symptoms were due to the severe abuse) and so much more. Yet he still loved me and stayed with me. Over the years I’d had numerous therapists, trying to help. For many my suffering was the big one for them, "the….. so called case." They would seek numerous exceptions in policies to try and stay with me to see me through, but the darkness remained.
Now and then we would attend church after moving every couple of years, but for me then I kept it all pretty much at the surface. I truly lacked trusting anyone, and kept most people at a safe distance for the first 5-10 years, including Christ. Looking back on it all now though, behind my fortified walls were also my feelings that I had to protect.
I had three children and was extremely protective of them. I made sure what happened to me would never, ever happen to them. I never wanted to get hurt again or see my kids hurt. I’ve always loved my family, people, and my friends, but growing up I knew they were the ones that could hurt you the most.
After about ten years of slow pruning and weeding, that changed though and I started having large circles of friends. I tried to make sure that there weren’t too many limitations in my friendships, trying to include most. I never wanted to see anyone left out . I have always been drawn especially to the quiet ones and those who stay to the back.
Retiring 21 years after the Navy, we moved to Maryland. What another new experience. Where we live is a small train community. The word acquaintance describes most friendships. A new adjustment. So after two years of being there, I had another set back. The depression really kicked in, along with a large weight loss, and staying isolated. I reached out for help finally to Walter Reid and they got me a follow up with yet another new therapist and some medicine. Well, after a year of that, someone stepped in and intervened. My life has never been the same since. I wouldn’t even call it an intervention, the word today is grace, grace, and more grace.
Enough with the chicken flapping, and self works.
I picked up my bible and started reading, from the first page to the last. You have to know me, I couldn’t count on one hand the number of books I have read in the past 20 some years. And after I read the bible, I went through the Les Feldick series in 48 books and tapes, and that was four years ago and 200 plus books, 70 some tape series. Also, I fired my therapist, quit with the meds, I’ve put on 40 plus pounds, I’ve done some speaking around the area, and so much more. Now when I get up in the morning I think of who I can share a blessing with before my feet ever hit the floor, instead of searching for excuses to stay in bed. This has been going on now for close to eight years now.
I was raised in a chicken coop, but I was never meant to be a chicken. I was finally realizing and accepting it.
I am now soaring on eagles wings with the warm thermal currents of the Holy Spirit. I have gained a lot of feathers though along the way. My relationship now with Christ is above and beyond the mountains. He called me out of that last chicken pen I was in over seven years ago. I wasn’t really afraid, the worst thing that could happen was I could fall. For once I had to learn to trust, and to lean on Him. There was no sitting on the fence for me. No one foot in the chicken pen, for my safety and one to the sky. He wanted all of me, and what a mess all of me was, but He still wanted me. Wow, can you imagine.
The Lord never quit in me, though there were plenty of times I tried to quit. My relationship today with Christ reaches new heights every day. I’d been in one form or another in cages for too long. The Lord never pushed, but was always calling to me throughout my life. Christ paid the ultimate price for me to be set free from the confinements of the cages, fences and walls, and even more from the laws of sin and death. It was up to me to reach up and out to Him, to lean completely on Him, to lift me up. I look back now, and there were so many times that Christ carried me. I’m sure too that the many times when I wasn’t aloud or able to cry, He cried my tears for me. Christ is the reason I am still here. Every day though we are dying, dying to self and…I also have to remember that it was also for His glory. He took a totally shattered clay pot and designed it according to His purpose and will, and believe me, everyday He fills me to overflowing, which I am blessed to be here today, to share the overfill with you all.
I know now who I am. . The scripture in Ephesians 1:11 In Him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of Him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of His will. One day last year He whispered in my ear I wasn’t the only adoptee. Beloved believers in Eph. 1:5, For all, all of us who have invited Christ into our hearts, that we all were predestined by Him to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ So since we are no longer a slave to sin, and since we are sons, God has made us also heirs. (Gal 4:7) (Romans 8:15-17)
The outcome. My parents today and my relationship with them has been called out to the deep. I see how much change has occurred with in them these past 20 odd years, and I told them one day that I couldn’t wait to see how much the Lord could do a good work in me in that amount of time. I’m still a far way off from being in His image, but praise God I am not where I used to be, but I’m on my way. The light stays on in front of me and the cross is a daily reminder for me what Christ did for me and just how much He truly loves me. He never quits.There is no limit in our Lords reach.He wants none to perish.