(By: Laura Timmermann)

Editorial Note: Parts of what Laura is about to share here may well offend some. However, we believe the Lord is prompting her to do so to help other women and men who have had things happen to them that they feel are just too "private" to share with anyone. Almost always, we grow up to become emotionally stunted adults to one degree or another due to our past, when we keep bottled up inside ourselves past traumatic experiences ... whether it be sexual trauma, and/or unhealthy relationships of various kinds. In bottling up and keeping secret traumatic experiences from our past, we often fail to understand WHY we are so prone to addictions - abusive relationships - outbursts of uncontrollable anger - patterns of self-destruction - low self-esteem (lack of confidence), physical health issues, etc., even to the point of wanting to give up on life and battling plaguing thoughts of suicide.

Being set free from our emotional prisons ... being healed and made whole, so we can become ALL God intends for us to become ... starts by realizing the wisdom of being able to share with others we feel safe with the events of our past that have traumatized us. And, complete wholeness from past trauma is never fully realized until we are willing to forgive those who have traumatized us.

Maybe you aren't aware of this, but the issue is not: "That person who traumatized me is not WORTHY to be forgiven! I will NEVER forgive that person for what they did to me! I can't! I won't!"   

Rather, forgiving those who have hurt us is GOD'S MEDICINE - GOD'S REMEDY - to help US - help YOU - be FREED from the emotional and spiritual effects of trauma.  

Saying it another way: Forgiving those who have traumatized us is not for their benefit; it is for OUR benefit. Our prayer and heart's desire is that God will use Laura's testimony to spur you on to seek out spiritual help ... to be ALL God intends for you to be. Through God's help, the sky is the limit! Laura is living proof, to the glory of God.

(Video - "INTERESTING AIRPLANE ENCOUNTER" - By: Laura Timmermann)

I was born in 1955, which isn't so bad. However, that means that I was in my teens in the 70's -- now that was bad! Small town, big family, eight brothers and sisters. We all attended Catholic school -- reading, writing, and large doses of guilt and shame. My mother was a very strict disciplinarian, and my dad allowed it or you suffered the consequences. As I look back, even now I realize I always felt unloved, so I was constantly looking for it.  

My first memory of any sexual attention was given me probably in the 3rd grade. The nun would call me up to her desk and have me stand beside her to show me something, and her hand would be going up my school uniform and she would fondle me. How I instinctively knew this was a secret that still baffles me. Why couldn't I stop her, or tell someone what she had done? I immediately felt guilty and ashamed. This is also the same nun who would not allow me to go to the bathroom when I needed to, so I sat in my chair and wet myself. She announced to the class that I was a baby and made me clean it up in front of everyone. One of the things God showed me years later was that I had no safe place to go for help, but He never left me.

When I was in the 8th grade, a new priest came to our parish. I thought he was so cool. He loved coming over to the school and hanging out with us. He smoked cigarettes and wore street clothes. I had never seen a priest out of his vestments before. He gave us nicknames and paid a lot of attention to me. He tried very hard to be my friend. 

He asked my mom if I could come to the rectory on Saturdays and help with office stuff. That was never his intention, and soon he began having me sit on his lap and hugging me. He took his time getting me to trust him until he was able to start kissing and fondling me. This continued for many months through the summer, and then I entered my freshman year at the public school. 

My life changed big time, from rules and rigidity to all out rebellion in no time flat, and the priest didn't like it. He had lost control over me. He started chaperoning at the school dances, and one night he offered to give me a ride home. In his car in my driveway he held me, and as he attempted to seduce me, he told me not to let any boys do these things to me. I was so scared of getting caught and getting in trouble, I ran. This was one area in my past that held a lot of power over me. I was so ashamed of myself because I liked what he was doing to me. It was years later when a precious lady told me that it was my body responding to stimulation and my deep desire to be loved. 

I never saw that priest again; he had left. He was caught in a car in another driveway with a girl from my class by her mom. My mom told me and never asked me a thing, and I kept the secret.

I became a teenager in the 70's in high school, and a lot of things started happening all at once. I was always a chubby girl, and my mom was forever putting me on diets and telling me I needed to have more self-control. She'd buy me clothes too small on purpose and tell me to grow into them. I remember her telling me no one would want me if I was fat; no one would take me seriously and I would never amount to anything. She was very strict. We couldn't date, no boyfriends, no sleepovers, no driving, no cool clothes, and no long hair. I can laugh now, but I can hear her saying, "Get that makeup off your face and no nail polish either! Only street walkers wear that stuff."

Another thing that was changing was my body. I started my period and I had no idea what was happening to me. In my house you didn't have a body from the neck down, and so you certainly couldn't talk about it. Since I couldn't talk about it I didn't know that I had unusually heavy cycles, and that I bled way too much. Unfortunately for me it took 30 years to get the medical help I needed, and I nearly bled to death at different times.


One day, out of the blue, my mother told me I had an appointment with the doctor. I wasn't sick - I had no idea why I was going. I was probably 14 and I went by myself. One of my older sisters worked at that office and I often wondered if she knew what happened. I went in the room, got in a gown, and the doctor came in with no nurse. He made me lie back and before I knew what was happening, my feet were in the stirrups and he had the speculum in me. He told me to stop crying. Then he proceeded to remove and insert it quickly and forcefully in and out of me ... telling me that it would hurt like this if I let boys have sex with me. Then he left. I got dressed and walked home. I had another secret.

I was introduced to alcohol pretty young. My dad would let me have a drink of his beer if I would sneak one to him. "Don't let your mother catch you or we'll both be in trouble." The sneaking stopped when I found one of his beers opened on his tool bench and I drank it. It was turpentine! Thankfully, I don't remember having my stomach pumped. 

It was pretty natural for me to starting drinking first chance I had. A friend in high school - her family owned a bar (where I later worked). We would just go help ourselves to a bottle and drink ourselves silly. I didn't know the dangers of alcoholism, or that my parents were alcoholics. I only knew this felt good. Anesthetizing the pain was what I was looking for, (but the getting sick and hangovers I could have done without!). 

I knew my older brothers drank and that it was no big deal. When my brother invited me to his apartment to show me something that would help make my life easier, I went. He told me it would make me feel great. I was all about feeling great and that was my introduction to the drug culture. 

For the next 17 years I was hooked on drugs, sex, and booze. It became a lifestyle ... get high, go out, get a guy, get laid. It didn't matter where, when, or with whom; married, single, old, young, good looking or not. It didn't matter what I got high on either; whatever was available. As long as I was high, I didn't have to think about how awful I really felt or how disgusting I had become. I did whatever it took to keep trying to bury the secrets of my past.

The day after I graduated from high school I left home and moved away for awhile. I came back to town and moved in with a drug dealer, and did that for a couple of years. Then I moved on to other guys, until one stuck around for awhile. We moved in together and I was convinced if I could make it look perfect on the outside, then I would be okay. My upbringing was screaming at me; we had to get married. It took me four years to force him to do it (oh my gosh where was Dr. Phil!) and then 10 years of abuse to get me to see how sick I was. My marriage was filled with mental, verbal and sexual abuse. I was still using, drinking everyday, and getting high as often as I could. He didn't like drugs but drinking was fine with him.  

It was such a setup from the start, and I didn't even see it coming ... or I didn't want to see it. I was so hungry for love and nurturing that I walked ... no ... I ran right into it. He was so charming; made me laugh and said all the right things; all the things I was literally dying inside to hear. Hollywood paints a wonderful romantic picture of affairs, but the truth is, they are ugly, degrading, unfulfilling, and you lie, cheat, and steal from your loved ones to find the way to do it anyways. I wanted to feel good. Deep down I knew that this was as low as I could go. If I went any lower -- well, death was lower.  

I found my bottom. I called my older sister and she told me to find an adult Children Of Alcoholics meeting.


At 33 years old I finally found a safe place, and I told my secrets and exposed the stuff inside me that was really hurting. All the lies; all the self hatred; all the unforgiveness. 

Funny thing about coming clean; it makes some people around you uncomfortable. My first husband couldn't handle it that I was changing and getting healthy. It was already over; the affair showed me that. I had to go elsewhere to get what he wasn't capable of giving. I knew then that I had to change for myself and my children so they could grow up healthy.

Restoration is a beautiful thing. It takes time and patience and love; it's a process. When I surrendered myself and got help, God was there with open arms waiting for me. 

I met a man at AA that was also into his own restoration project, and we set out together to repair and heal our lives and our children's. I never intended to get married; that was not on my agenda. Our relationship grew and we were pretty much living together. Tim was in Amway and we were invited to Grand Rapids for a seminar, and then invited to go to church with this couple on Sunday. We spent a great weekend in a hotel and then on Sunday morning went to church. They tried to warn me that their church was different than what I had grown up in. I don't remember a thing the pastor had to say. I was scared out of my mind, and I knew this was not like any Catholic church I had ever been to. I remember thinking: My mom would kill me if she knew I was here. 

At the end of the service I thought the pastor was taking a survey. 'Raise your hand if you're going to Heaven' ... good. OK - 'Raise your hand if you're not.' Well - I raised my hand. I knew I wasn't going to Heaven. Who was I kidding? I was guilty of everything and then some.

I asked Jesus into my life that day and I was changed. Did everything just turn out perfect for me? No - many hard days were ahead for us; from that day, until Tim and I were married (as soon as possible). We remained celibate so we could start our marriage right. We combined his kids and my kids into our kids. Blending eight kids isn't easy, but it is so rewarding. 

God is so good to heal my heart from so much pain. Financially, we were a mess and so were some of our kids. About 12 years ago my father died and there was a will. Remember when I said getting better makes some people uncomfortable? Well, my father was one of them. I was not in the will. My earthly father had disinherited me and I know that if it weren't for my heavenly Father, that could have destroyed me. 

No, my life has not been one big pile of roses, but it's a great journey I'm on, and I ask the Lord everyday to continue making me into the woman He created me to be. We have been married 20 years this December (2009) and have served in church ministry in different capacities for 18 years. I wait expectantly every day for more of what God has for me. This song means SO MUCH to me:

What can wash away my sins? 

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus 

What can make me whole again? 

Nothing but the Blood,

Nothing but the Blood of Jesus!

Staff Note: Laura and her husband Tim currently live in Grandville, Michigan. Their children are grown and living in several parts of the country. Together they have 14 grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Here are some highlights of how God has enabled her to not only become free from the trauma of her past, but to also be used mightily in God's Kingdom work:

Dear Reader - are you at peace with God? If not, you can be. Do you know what awaits you when you die? You can have the assurance from God that heaven will be your home, if you would like to be certain. You can even have that assurance RIGHT NOW! Either Jesus Christ died for your sins, or He didn't (He did!). Are you prepared to stand before God on the Judgment Day and tell Him that you didn't need the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the Cross to have your sins forgiven and get in right-standing with God? We plead with you...please don't make such a tragic mistake. 

To get to know God, to be at peace with God, to have your sins forgiven, to make certain heaven will be your home for eternity, to make certain that you are in right-standing with God right now ... please click here to help you understand the importance of being reconciled to God. What you do about being reconciled to God will determine where you will spend eternity, precious one. Your decision to be reconciled to God is the most important decision you'll ever make in this life, because in Christ, it is impossible to put a value on the worth of your soul in light of eternity.


JESUS DID IT! and...


Remember:  All that we do in this life comes back to our God-given purpose which is to serve and glorify God. The money and assets we accumulate, the fame and power we've attained or seek to attain - all of the things of this nature will one day pass away, but those lives of others we impact for Jesus Christ will last for eternity, and we will be rewarded for the part we helped play by impacting those lives ... for eternity.
(Matthew 6:19-21 is our assurance)