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Susan has a powerful testimony of God’s healing power in her life. As a wife of a Vietnam Combat Veteran, mother of two, housewife, and full time office work, Susan went through many years of rejection, fear and emotional trauma. God's unconditional love flowed through Susan with cleansing, healing and restoration. God has given Susan a compassionate heart for all. God called Susan to minister healing and restoration to the hearts of women of all ages.


By the word of my testimony

              I am a person who lived most of her young life hearing about God.  Oh, I believed there was a God and as a child I could name in chronicle order all the Books in the Holy Bible from Genesis to Revelation.  I grew up going to church with my parents, we prayed at the meal table and I heard about Jesus even had pictures of Him in our house.  So I can say my life then I knew about God.

             It wasn’t until I didn’t want to live anymore.  I hated my life.  Why live in such emotional pain of no hope.  I didn’t know who I was and for sure didn’t want to be who I had become.  But then something deep down inside of me so desperate cried out to God, “God if you are real - show me you are real.” And “Help me God!”

             I want to share with you how and why I got to that place in my life.  But mostly how miraculously God Himself took me by the hand and lifted me out of that place of hopelessness.  It is my prayer that By the Word of My Testimony will help someone know God, not just know about God.  Yes, God is real.


I’ll begin at a time in my life when I was so happy, a little unsure, but happy.  I was engaged to my soon-to-be husband.  I had been dating William since my sophomore year in High School.  Our families lived in a rural area so the schools had fewer students and teachers than bigger cities around us.  Everybody knew everybody it seemed.  I was in the same grade as his younger sister and I even met his mom before I had met him.  When I met William he had been back from Vietnam and on inactive duty at home with his family.  He was in an explosion in Vietnam, almost lost his life.  He had undergone surgery and then rehab for several months which left him with burn scares on his right arm, his back and one leg where they did skin grafting.  And I was going to school not sure what I wanted to do for a career after I graduated.  No thoughts of going to college; no need to.  I wasn’t applying myself at all in school academics and I knew I was capable.

I knew in my heart that William was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.  And as time went on from our first meeting to the next year and a half we planned our lives to be together.  Before I finished my senior year of high school we were married and started our family.  I was so happy and I felt he was too.  We were very blessed to have both sets of our parents in agreement from the beginning with our relationship and marriage.  William and I both grew up in a family that knew God.  A house where our parents prayed and there were Holy Bibles in eye’s view.

We began our lives newly married with a child on the way and all the responsibilities that come with it.  Little did we know that we were about to encounter more hardships than none.  First of all we choose not to let God be a part of our lives as a couple or as parents.  We walked away from God in fact.  We didn’t pray at our meal table, we didn’t go to church, and we didn’t have a Holy Bible in our house.  I don’t recall our talking about God either.

             I wasn’t to see my friends anymore, was the beginning of my seeing a part of William that took me by surprise.  When I asked him why, he said they were a bad influence on me.  I thought about that for the longest time even argued with him that he was wrong.  I came to the conclusion, maybe they are and I let that separate me from my friends.

There was distrust building between us and I didn’t understand why.  Because next when I wanted to go see my dad and mom, which they only lived 15 minutes away, he would express that he didn’t want to be around them or anyone.  I would argue with him endlessly about that, but each time his overpowering words somehow made me feel guilty, that I was being selfish and inconsiderate.  In the back of my mind I was thinking he has been hurt enough, I don’t want to hurt him too.

I was torn between feeling guilty and angry about my wanting to see my parents and he didn’t.  I needed to see my parents and siblings.  I was thinking any minute, any time now, he is going to come up to me and say he was wrong, he was sorry and that this was going to change.  But it never happened.

             We soon found ourselves making a crucial decision on whether to continue living where we were on his parent’s property or move with them to another state of warmer climate due to his dad’s physical health.  At the time I felt it would help change things between William and I.  “It would be a fresh start”, was my thought and hope.  Moved with his parents to warmer climate was exactly what we did and having only been married least than a year.  Where we moved with the warmer climate was a great place to be in the early 70’s and change was good.  It was harder than I had imagined though being away from dad, mom, my brothers and sisters.  I was missing out of my family’s weddings, births, and it wasn’t long until I started to experience loneliness, helplessness.

             Years start going by.  We adjust to our new surroundings and we are truly blessed to now have two healthy, beautiful children.  A daughter and a son that helped keep our marriage second place to our children’s lives at first place.  We both loved being parents raising our two as best we knew how.  I couldn’t have asked for a better father to our children as William was that.  I seen a father play on the floor with his children, always hugging them, showing them he cared for the least little matter that they would bring to him.  There was not one thing he would not get them of what they would ask him for. 

             Something wasn’t right.  My husband was waking up out of deep sleep at nights and he would breathe hard.  It started to scare me.  I had learned early in our marriage that I did not approach him when he was sleeping or when he had his back turned towards me; it would startle him terribly.  I notice too that William would come home at times and ask me who had been there that day.  No one had been there but he had noticed footprints in the dirt or a cigarette bud out on the ground in our yard. It astounded me that he had such a precise awareness as that.  But much more than that he was suspicious of me and didn’t trust me.  I could sense that something deep was bothering William yet when I asked him what was wrong he said “nothing.”  He was becoming so withdrawn from me.  I was feeling that he didn’t want to be married, that I was the problem.  So I made every effort not to bring on any confrontations or arguments.  I became overly submissive to him, walking around issues with him as if I were walking on eggshells.  Both of us was getting good at pretending that all was well especially around his family, pretending to be happy but hurting deeply.  Fear was a daily part of my life my biggest fear was losing him.

Life started to be one issue after another concerning trusting one another.  William had broken my trust in him by drinking with his friends in the bars where they had strip dancers.  We spoke one painful word after another towards each other degrading each other.  I started asking myself why am I tolerating a relationship that is causing me more heart ache than not?  My relationship with William was like being married to two different men.  The one man I fell in love with that was a wonderful father to our children.  The closeness between our children and their cousins is a proven fact to me that this family had a stable foundation.  It is one of the main reasons I could not just leave William.  He always made time for our children and was so proud of his children.  I had watched him countless times where he would get down on the floor to wrestle with them.  He was so different when he was with them and I was so thankful.  He made sure that they got whatever they needed or wanted.  Our kids loved their daddy and there was no one like their daddy to them.  I could see that the man I loved so very much had much love to give; I knew he was capable of loving and giving.

             Why then was it so hard for William to love me?  Or even give me some assurance, encouragement or the trust that I desperately needed from him?  This other man could only lash out at me with hurtful words of anger and I didn’t have to say or do anything wrong for that to happen.

             My dad died in 1983 and the guilt I had was so tremendous because I didn’t see him as often as I would have liked.  Something inside of me died with my dad.  I hurt so bad inside, I lost wanting to go on living.  I didn’t care anymore about my relationship with my husband.  When I needed him the most, he wasn’t able to hold me, or to tell me enough times that he loved me; he just wasn’t able to.  I felt a numbness take control inside of me to where no longer anything done to me, no words of any kind could hurt me.  I just existed.

From that point on it was one nightmare to the next.  William started having a hard time keeping a job for more than two years and went from job to job.  He was withdrawing more and more.  He would stay up all hours of the night and come to bed when I was getting up of the morning to get ready for work.  I made sure that I was working a 40-hour a week job because my thinking was I would be able to support myself if he ever left me.  Our marriage was an emotional roll-a-coaster.  I could count on one week being good then the next one hell.

             William was told about a Vet Center where he could go to meet and talk with other vets, mostly Vietnam vets, once a week.  At first it seemed to help but it wasn’t long I watched William change not only on the inside but the outside as well.  He grew a beard, always wore dark sunglasses and wore hats that said something that he was a Vietnam Vet.  It wasn’t long that William needed psychiatric help and through the Vet Center he was connected to a psychiatrist.

             Our marriage issues seemed to escalate in every area.  William became 100 percent disabled due to his permanent physical wounds and now his psychiatric wounds.  He was diagnosed as suffering with PTSD (post-traumatic-stress-disorder), which meant he was no longer going to be employed.  To me at first it was a relief to know that he wasn’t alone in what was going on deep inside of him, but on the other side of it, this was something not quickly or easily remedied.  William was seeing his psychiatrist every week and he was put on anti-depressant drugs to try to keep him calm.  There was overwhelming confusion along with so much uncertainty.

            The arguments between us started repeating the same unsolved issues and ended with “Let’s just get a divorce.”  We were beyond trusting each other; we avoided each others emotional needs, and pretended all was well with us when we were around family and neighbors.  My life now was focused on my outside job so I worked as many hours at my job that I could, and weekends I would go shopping as much as possible.  I remember going to bed so many times crying myself to sleep. What will always bother me about Williams and my outrage is how it affected our children.  I watched them run to their rooms when the fighting went on, or they would leave and go to our neighbor’s house.  One time our daughter, probably a teenager then, came out of her room and looked at us and screamed “stop it!”  OK, that was it for me.

             Who was I?  I had pretended so much that I didn’t know the true me anymore.  I had made a vow to myself that I would see our children through graduation from high school then I was leaving William.  I would leave and he wasn’t going to know where I went.

             The bottom; enough was enough.  You start to examine your options one last time.  I remember going to bed and crying my heart out.  And I turn my voice to God and cried, “God if you are real - show me you are real.” And “Help me God!”

             The next day of course nothing seemed to happen right away.  A deep voice within me said “Hold on that’s not your husband.”   I felt I had to hold on one last time.

             Desert Storm was taking place and our son was of draft age for military.  William was at a place where he would close all the blinds in our house during the daytime.  He would hardly go out during the daytime.  And then William attempted suicide.  I didn’t know he did until he shared with me a month or so later.  He was at his last hope and overdosed on his medication.  There was a peace about him I had not seen before ever. I witnessed him changing in every way.  He didn’t lash out at me as usual nor was he angry about anything for days.  The days turned into weeks.  I could not comprehend what in the world was going on between us.  It was peaceful for once.

             Not only was God working on William He was working on our daughter and our son.  All of us around the same time period.  Amazing!  Our daughter‘s close friend our neighbor’s daughter witnessed to her.  Our son’s high school friends witnessed to him at their Bible Study.

             When William attempted suicide he in his last breath called out to God saying something like “God do something with me, or take me home!”  When he finally told me what had happened he said we were going to find a church to attend.

             I could almost hear God say at one point “Finally, I’ve been waiting so long.”  I can look back on my life and tell you of the many times God had tugged at my heart.  I could sense a Love deep within longing to be revealed to me. 

             You see, I had a praying Mama that I remember as a child I heard her behind a closed bedroom door praying in an unknown tongue.  And she instilled in me throughout my childhood that Jesus loves me.  If I remember anything about what she would tell me it was that “Jesus loves me”.  She gave our children a small Child’s New Testament Bible one Christmas.  Many times throughout my married life I could actually feel prayers surrounding me, because all of a sudden I had a peace when there should not have been any peace.

             I must tell you that at the age of thirteen I asked Jesus into my heart.  My best friend asked me to go with her to church camp that summer and I will never forget that Friday night at chapel she and I heard the message of being a sinner needing a Savior.  My heart was so convicted.  Something inside of me wept and when asked if I wanted to receive Jesus in your heart come to the altar, I didn’t hesitate.  I went forward and glance to my side and there was my friend both of us crying.  The next day I knew I was different.  And I know without a shadow of any doubt, God was always with me.  I may have left Him, but He never once left me.

Maybe you can relate to what I have shared in these pages of my life.  I am so thankful to God that I didn’t leave my husband.  When we cried out to God He answered above and beyond what we asked of Him.  God not only showed me He is real, he showed me how much He loves me.  He gave me everything I was looking for.  Love I had never imagined I could have.  Hope in wanting to go on living and joy that is now restored and still being restored.

God restored my love for my husband shortly after I rededicated my life back to Him.  It is as though the pain and heartache never happened between us.  I can’t explain it.  God has restored the relationships of our children and to think what could have gone wrong in their lives because of our problems is only God having His way in each of our lives.

There is something to crying out to God “If You are real, show me You are real.”  From a heart that was so desperate.  God meets us where we are in life.  He is more than willing to show Himself so true and so real.  I ask you, with your whole heart ask Him, seek to know Him, knock on His door, He can and will be found.