(By: MaryAnna Hunt)  

As I share where God has brought me from, my heart's desire is that He uses me to encourage and give hope to all who read this, especially to those who have, or are currently suffering abuse.

Here are some painful memories of my younger years, to give you some idea of what God has healed me from. From the time I was eight until I was thirteen I was sexually molested by my older brother.  t the age of fourteen I began to drink. Whiskey was my preferred substance. At the age of sixteen I was raped on a date and left alone in a pitch black auditorium. 

After that I began experimenting with all kinds of drugs. Speed, acid, sleeping pills ' almost anything that I could either buy over the counter or through my drug dealer.  

By the time I made it to 12th grade I was so hooked on chemical substances to keep my worthless thoughts at bay that I never even remember my 12th grade. 

I entered the military right out of high school in order to try and escape my past and try to start over again. I managed to finish basic training and then went onto advanced training. But even there the temptation for alcohol was just too strong. There was a bar right across the street where my barracks was, so every weekend I would get drunk. I could drink anyone under the table.

When I finished my training I was transferred to Fort Hood, Texas. I had only been on base for a couple of months when my past caught up with me again. I was raped yet again by a stranger and dragged into a dark room. It seemed that the rape took hours but I am sure it was much shorter. 

After this encounter with the devil it got the results he was looking for. I felt dirty and worthless. What was the use of living, I wondered? Once I got back to my room I got into the shower. I kept washing because I felt so dirty and worthless. The next day I went to my commanding officer to report the rape and his response confirmed my thoughts about myself. He said, 'You probably deserved it or made them come after you by what you wore.' I had worn a pair of jeans not tight and a sweatshirt and jacket. Unfortunately that is the mindset of some in the military even to this day.

A short time later I met and quickly married a man. That day would be the beginning of a seven year trip into hell. During the years that followed I would be subjected to torture by him tying my hands and feet to the bed. Mostly he did this to get his sadistic kicks. I suffered a broken wrist because he could not find his socks one time. He would also beat me by a belt, or anything else he happened to get a hold of. I was deprived of sleep some times for days so he could have fun doing it. I also had my jaw fractured one time because I had slammed a door and showed I was angry.

This torment went on for five years; then a miracle happened. I got pregnant with my daughter Helen. He tried to force me to have an abortion which thankfully I flat out refused to do. 

There was one instance when I walked into our front door, he started hitting me with a metal baseball bat. He controlled every part of my life. He timed my showers and expected me to be able to tell him to the minute when I would return home. If I was one minute late there would be punishment.

I will forever be grateful for the six months I was able to keep my baby. During early morning feedings it was just her and I. I can still remember her little giggle and it has been 26 years since then as of this writing.

After trying to commit suicide twice during this marriage  -- on neither occasion was I ever taken to a doctor or hospital. 

The beatings kept coming - sometimes several times a day depending on his mood. And any money I might have earned he took to support his habits. 

There was a situation in which - as I look back - I can see that Jesus was right there with us. My husband decided that he didn't like the glasses we had so he proceeded to break them and so our whole patio was covered with broken glass. I was barefoot and holding my daughter when he started to force me out onto the patio. I had a very strong hold on Helen and just kept backing away from him barefoot over the broken glass. When I got to the edge of the patio, there was a steep embankment dropping down right at the edge of the concrete. He had me by the throat and was trying to push us over. This is when I knew - looking back - that my Lord had been with us that day. He was not able to push us over. I had not even the tiniest cut on the bottom of my feet from the broken glass either.  

Shortly after that I was forced to do something illegal. It was never him actually engaged in the crime; just me, and I ended up being sent to federal prison for bank fraud, serving 18 months. 

In prison I met my second husband. Oh yea - it was a co-ed prison. That might clear that little snag up. 

When I was released I found a job in Indianapolis and tried to start putting my life together without my daughter. 

While I was in prison my in-laws illegally adopted my daughter, due to the fact that my husband signed away all of his and my rights to my daughter. So when I got out of prison she was no longer mine but theirs. I would never again see her or be able to communicate with her (Though I'm believing I will one day).

About seven months later I moved down to Tennessee and divorced my first husband and married my second husband Vern. 

We had been married about six months when I received a phone call that would send my life spinning out of control. A man's voice asked for directions to our business and within ten minutes two men came walking in, both dressed in suits and ties, which should have clued me in. They said that they were arresting me for probation violation in Georgia.  I thought: Georgia - not again! 

I was taken down to the same county jail, but this time I was facing 10 years state time. I was newly married, taken several hundred miles from anyone who knew me. 

The worse was yet to come. I had a visit by my lawyer. He told me that Vern had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. I just fell apart. I thought:  Is there no end to my suffering

I went before the judge and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. All I can say is but God! He allowed me to be released and my sentence turned into 5 years probation. I was able to be united with Vern. 

We had about four months of time together. Then he was put into a VA hospital over an hour's drive away and I had no car. I was blessed with some special time with him on a couple of weekends when I could get a ride there. But all too soon I got a phone call saying he was gone.

Vern's family never came over to me at the viewing to share the burden. It was as if I wasn't even there. I went home after the funeral and just cried. A kind word from them would have meant so much. 

It was a couple weeks after the funeral that my neighbor started asking if I wanted to go to church with her. She asked me three weeks in a row and I finally said 'Yes' so that she would leave me alone. I sat in the very last pew. I wanted to be able to leave in a hurry. 

As the service went along I started to join in the singing so as not to stand out. It was the end of the service and the pastor asked if anyone wanted prayer. I thought: Prayer could do nothing but help. 

As I stood there waiting for my turn to be prayed with, I felt almost like a hand on my back. I turned my head and nobody was there. 

It was finally my turn for prayer, but instead of him praying while standing in front, he stood beside me. I felt such power and love surge through me as I repeated the sinner's prayer after the pastor. I felt totally surrounded by love and forgiveness. Old hurts and habits were removed and a love for God fell over me like a warm blanket.

I opened my eyes and the pastor was now in front of me with his arms wide open. I felt like I leaped into his arms. He just held me as I cried and laughed.

Within two months I quit smoking and drinking and cursing. I was a brand new creature in Christ. I knew my sins, which were many, had been wiped away that day I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. I have now been His servant for 22 years (as of 2012).

Eight weeks ago the Lord healed me of several different illnesses which the doctors claimed I had. One was Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Neuropathy, three bulging discs in my lower back and two impingements also in my lower back. I was on 8 different medications; three of which were pain related. The doctors told me that I would be on pain medication for the rest of my life. They also told me that my right knee was so bad that only a knee replacement would help. I was on several mental health medications. I had been forced for more than three years to either use a wheelchair, walker or cane. 

During a Wednesday night service the worship team was singing a song with one line, saying: 'I am free to run.' The first time through I was just standing and praising the Lord while in very intense pain. 

During the beginning of the second time through the song I heard the Lord speak to me as clear as if He were right next to me. He asked me:  'Do you trust me?' Without a moment's hesitation I said, 'Yes Lord, I trust you.'

His answer has forever changed my life. He said, 'Then run!' I took off not running well, but trying to be obedient, and by the time I reached the altar I was totally healed from everything! 

No more pain and I am off all of my medications. I have been able to take walks with my husband and walk through grocery stores without having to use the electric cart. God is just so amazing. 

Recently - in November 2012, I was able to go into one of our state's women's prison for a Kairos weekend. What an experience that was! I know that He had to heal me to be able to use me in ministry the way He is using me. He deserves all of the glory and honor!

My email:  maryanna_h@mail.com.

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)