It’s an honor to have Shelly Brown as a guest today. God has definitely brought wildflowers from her winter. She says her deepest desire is to be used by God to impact the lives of women.
I’m trusting her story will do that today.
He Makes All Things New
Can you recall the saddest day of your life? I can. It was one month before my sixth birthday.
It was the day I heard the words, “Kids, your mom’s gone.”
As a result of a tragic car accident, my mom had spent the last year of her life confined to bed, with only an occasional escape in her wheel chair. My dad was driving that night. He had been drinking. The accident left her with a broken back, many internal injuries and she was paralyzed from the waist down. She wasn’t supposed to die. She would simply live out her life as an invalid. She unexpectedly succumbed to a blood infection.
The second saddest day of my life was my mom’s funeral. She was buried on her 32nd birthday. I lingered at her casket through the entire viewing. Gently caressing her arm, quietly crying, asking her to wake up. I couldn’t grasp the finality of death. I remember hoping that she was just asleep and would come back to me.
As the service began my father picked me up and carried me to the front row where he sat me on his knee. My eyes stay fixed on my mom for the entire service. When the service ended, everyone got up to leave, including my dad. But before he left, he leaned over and kissed my brother and me on the cheeks and told us good-bye.
We never saw him again … alone and abandoned … on the same day.
For the next year of our lives, we were at the mercy of temporary homes and foster care. We were neglected, rejected and abused in unimaginable ways by every one who was charged with our care.
Finally, a couple who couldn’t have children of their own adopted my brother and me. They chose us out of a catalogue full of children. There were many to choose from, but they were drawn back to my brother and me on more than one occasion. Perhaps it was our toothless smiles that endeared us to them. They read the narrative of our stories and knew we had been separated from our three sisters. They wanted to keep my brother and I together.
So we were chosen. We had our forever parents. A fairytale come true!
Or so we thought.
Our new dad was amazing. But, within the first few weeks our adopted mom unleashed her anger and hostilities on us.
Horribly abused. Rejected by the very mom who chose us.
After five long years my adopted father got permission to rescue us from our mom. We made a clean break from our home state of Pennsylvania to move with him to Orlando, Florida.
Though I learned to cope with my past, my soul wounds ran deep.
But over the next thirty years, God would divinely place women of faith in my life, each with great purpose. Some to show me unconditional love. Others to teach me how deeply loved I am by God. One to teach me how to depend fully on Him. Another to show me what it’s like to walk in the fullness of Christ’s power. And yet another who would lead me to embrace my inheritance as a daughter of the King.
From the age of five, the enemy sought out to destroy me. But, like Joseph of the Old Testament, what the enemy meant for evil in my life, God meant for good. And not only good, He has allowed me to be a part of a miraculous redemptive story. A story filled with His healing and power. God does not waste our sorrows. Today, I share God’s story of my life, a blueprint of healing, knowing that nothing is too broken for Him to make new.
Shelly Brown has spent the last decade sharing the hope and healing she has found in Jesus Christ with women of all ages. A life filled with hurt, abandonment, rejection and pain left Shelly emotionally damaged and longing for love. It was only through the redemptive power of God’s incredible love that she found restoration and wholeness. Shelly uses humor and poignant details as she shares her life experiences along with solid biblical truths, revealing the hope and healing that only God can give. Her deepest desire is to be used by God to impact the lives of women by not just having their hearts stirred, but forever changed.
Let’s Talk: Do you know Shelly? Introduce yourself. Say hi. And check out her ministry, Forever Changed.
Do you have a story you can share? Don’t miss out on the Wildflowers from Winter blog hop on May 4th! Click on the link for details.
Join me over at Casey Herringshaw’s blog today! I’m vlogging about friendship and she’s giving away a copy of my book.