Cathy Pittillo

My Hope Comes from the Lord

“Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.”

1 Peter 3:15

It is hard for me to look upon the girl/woman from my past that has since passed. The devil tries to dig her up from time to time, calling me to view her lifeless body, reminding me of all the pain, regrets, and bad choices she had made; he beckons me to resurrect her, but God reminds me through his word that through Christ I am more than a conqueror of all things; I am victorious and has overcome the world. I am no longer a victim; I am a victorious conqueror!  There was a time in my life when the mere thought of my past and the people in it brought about emotions of hate, anger, fear, shame, and despair. They were like shards of glass that penetrated my soul, wounding me deep within; holding me prisoner in a pool of pain and I was slowly drowning. But because of God, when I look at myself; I no longer see that girl/woman and I hope that you won’t either. I hope that when you look at me you can see all the great and mighty things God has done for me and believe in your heart that if he did it for me he’ll do it for you. I give you my testimony today in hopes to give you hope and the same peace and comfort that God has given me.

I was brutally raped at age 8; seeds of hate, shame, and fear were planted.

- Father killed at age 9; seeds of denial, anger, and abandonment were planted.

- Was brutally physically, mentally, emotionally beaten and horrifically tortured for years by stepfather; hate, fear, shame, anger and abandonment were fertilized and growing; resentment planted. – Torture became all I knew, hiding it became a part of life to survive.

- Attempted suicide at age 13; anger, hate, shame, fear, resentment, denial abandonment were all suffocating me. – Began drinking; it was a band-aid that was just as painful as the wounds that it covered.

- Was raped again at age 15; my garden of hate, anger, shame and fear were taking over like weeds and killing me.

- Pregnant at age 17; quit drinking; battled a kidney disease; quit school.

- Married at age 20; finished school; husband became abusive; divorced a year later; I was a failure.

- Battled through several kidney surgeries; doctors said chances of survival were slim; they were always surprised when I lived; I was still dying on the inside.

- Son was kidnapped by biological father at age 4 over money; depression ate me alive.

-Surgeon’s mistake lacerated my intestines; left me in a coma; they said I would die; I wanted to die; I survived. – - – Later developed pancreatitis, surgery left the doctors with little hope, lost part of my upper intestine; but I survived.

- Another abusive relationship left me; pregnant and alone; battling depression, felt guilty for moving on without my son; hated myself; as much as I wanted to be different from my mother I felt like I was following her footsteps. – Son was born with Autism; blamed myself; tried to be a better person for him.

- Continued to battle kidney failure, endometriosis that was destroying my bowels and bladder, GERD, and depression.

- Thought I found a gentle man who loved me in spite of everything; married him; believed we would have a whole new life; miscarried several times; like a switch he flipped, said he was gay and wanted me to keep his secret when I refused  he would later brutally attack me at work and attempt to take my life. Fear swallowed me completely.

- Doctors would later tell me that my battle with kidney failure and endometriosis was almost over; they had hope that one last surgery may save my life but they said that it would most likely kill me. Either way I was going to die; they told me to make arrangements for my son.

- I began drinking and doing drugs to cope; my son had no one I could leave him to; it was my entire fault.

- Surgery time came; it was the first time a doctor actually prayed and cried with me before surgery. I felt like he had already sentenced me to death. He asked me to forgive him if he lost me on the table. I survived!

- A few years later, seemingly healthy; I married my best friend. He had three children who I claimed as my own; they had no mother. All would be a fairy tale ending until he would start drinking with friends 4yrs into the marriage. I hated it, but tried to be the, “it’s okay wife”, I didn’t want to fail. His drinking became worse. Controlling behaviors crept in, verbal abuse crept in, and addiction took over. I was determined to stick it out for the kids, I was all they had; I couldn’t fail them.

-I began suffering with lung problems; was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and degenerative disc disease; doctors put me on anxiety and depression meds to cope.  GERD was out of control. I had to beat this for the kids. – Lungs failed, heart weak, spent a long time in ICU; beat the odds; months of steroid injections and pills sent my weight from 98lbs to 240lbs; I hated myself; felt like a failure.

-In June of 2006 from the seat of my car I felt God speak to my heart through the words of a pastor on the radio. Sitting at the bus stop after the children had got on the bus, I heard him say that I could be free from all my pain and burdens through Christ if I gave up my life for him. I had to see myself being striped, being nailed to the cross, buried and then resurrected in a new body living for him. That when I died to Christ, all my pain, my regrets, my mistakes, everything about me was buried with the old me. There is no bringing it back! I wanted that, I cried out to him and this time fully committed my life to him.  I drew shallow waters in a tub and prayed God would use those waters to cleanse and restore my dying soul. I scrubbed the filth from my body and emerging from the now murky waters, I dug into the word, and made a commitment to stay less focused on my circumstances and more focused on what I could be doing for him and others. The old me was dead and buried that day all the seeds and weeds went with her.

The new me in Christ:

-God healed my brokenness and gave me true love and forgiveness for my attackers, abusers, my mother and their lost souls. He showed me that it was okay to forgive myself. All the seeds and weeds destroyed forever.

-I began to go to church. I chose to make a better life for my children and I, with or without my husband but I wasn’t willing to let my marriage fail. As he lay passed out I laid hands on him praying, rebuking and believing for a better day and freedom from his addiction but the drunken rages and controlling habits only escalated. I felt defeated. I chose to avoid him at all costs. It became a routine to listen to the verbal rants and accusations, go to bed, forgive and go on the next day as if nothing ever happened. I was growing numb and seeking ways to make it better, “Love Dare”, “Marriage Devotionals,” etc.; nothing worked.

-I enrolled in Bible College, started and worked diligently in a few ministries. God was my safe haven. My husband was angry about it.

-My deaf grandfather with Alzheimer’s moved in so that I could care for him till he passed. It made things even harder. He went after my husband a few times and even pleaded with him to stop drinking.

- I found out the pastor of the church I attended was stealing from the church and molesting his daughter. I felt betrayed. Looking for a new church but not sure I wanted to open the door to trust again, Brother Gerald led me to WOLT.

-From the floor of the tent revival at the feet of Jesus; he healed my body completely – doctors shocked- I’m completely medication free – the chains broken

-My husband kicked me out in one of his rages; I was determined to stay; my oldest daughter begged me to go so I didn’t have to suffer anymore. I left. Visitation has been a battle. They will always be my children. He asks me from time to time, “how I became healthy and though I tell him it was Jesus; he doesn’t believe it.”

-I hung on to Jesus, he was all I had. My battle has been hard over the last few years; the devil has made every attempt to strip me of every ounce of happiness I’ve found. But God has given me victory. I’ve lost over 100 pounds. I’m happy and completely healthy; praise God! I graduate from Bible College later this year and I am following God where ever he leads me. I still may not always make the right choices but God is quick to steer me in the right direction. I am filled with a joy that exceeds all others. Over the last few years I may have lost everything I have ever known, but I have gained more than I could ever imagine. I no longer know of Christ, but I know Christ and I make every attempt to live for him daily.