Her Story

Deb Tison – “He is healing my past wounds”

My childhood and adolescence were a struggle to say the least. When my father drank alcohol, he was full of anger and would become abusive emotionally, physically, and sexually. That left me feeling unloved, unworthy of love, fearful, ashamed, and not good enough. When I was 19, I married a “Christian guy” who after we married became emotionally and eventually physically abusive.

Doubting God came in when I wondered why Jesus would let me and my brother go through such horrific times, then lead me to another abusive man. I was asking God why. Those experiences painted a bad picture of God to me. Satan wanted me to think that God is not good because of what happened to me. I know now it was my dad and ex-husband’s freewill and sinful natures.

I love the Book of Habakkuk in the Bible. He also questioned and doubted God. Habakkuk was a man who recognized that although we may not understand God’s ways, He is still love. In the book Amazed and Confused Heather Zempel writes, “Habakkuk’s God is not one who promises safety from the agonies of life; rather He is a God who is sovereign over the agonies of life. Habakkuk’s God does not promise deliverance in the valley of the shadow of death but presence. He is a God of love more extravagant and resolute than we could imagine, God is faithful, good and sovereign…It is okay to cry out and wrestle with God about His actions. It is our posture and our response that reflects our heart.”

Having faith does not mean that we will never doubt. John Calvin once said, “Surely while we teach that faith ought to be certain and assured, we cannot imagine any certainty that is not tinged with doubt, or any assurance that is not assailed by some anxiety.”

In the past seven years I have realized how God was working in my life and my brother’s life. God miraculously came into two teenager’s lives and guided us to a church and to Him. Today my brother is a strong Christian man, husband, and father. On August 17, 1966, I surrendered my life to Christ, but I still had many years of doubts and struggles. In 1984 God led me to my husband, who is a very loving follower of Jesus.

I kept driving by Central Christian Church, but it wasn’t until 2006 that I decided to attend. Though I attended on the weekends, I stayed to myself because I did not know who I could really trust. I eventually stepped out of my safe place and attended my first Women’s Bible Study led by Heather Rodriguez. I have now attended ten Bible Studies that have helped me grow and mature in my faith.

By faith I can now embrace God’s sovereignty and accept His healing love that gives me power over my past. I was changed by the unrelenting pursuit of God’s unconditional love. Psalms 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

He is healing my past wounds.

I know there will be scars but His presence gives me the peace I have looked for. It took forty years, but God never gave up on me. Jesus tells me in John 10:10, that he came so that we may have life and that we may have it more abundantly. I cannot live an abundant life wrapped up in the bondage of my past. My past may have made me who I am, but God keeps refining me. I will no longer let it dictate my future.

I trust God and His promises. Romans 8:28 tells us, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." By faith I can trust Him to lead me no matter what times of trouble come my way. So I will look up to Him, trust Him, and obey Him. As pastor Cal says, “He’s in my boat.” Amen to that!