"When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; And through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you" (Isa. 43:2, NASB).
We are bringing awareness this month to childhood sexual abuse. In this episode of One Voice with Janet Swanson, Shelby R. Wilson shares her own story of childhood sexual abuse and drug abuse, and she discusses the struggle she faced when discovering her identity in Christ.
Shelby has been married to her husband Lester for 26 years. Together, they have raised seven daughters and have 12 grandchildren. "Raising a mixed family is not easy," she says, "when you are wounded, messed up and without God."
Shelby was sexually abused by three different women from the age of 1 through 6.
Her mom was an addict who practiced prostitution to support her habit, carrying Shelby and her brother to these promiscuous appointments. The two heard and saw what no little girl or boy should ever hear or see. This traumatic exposure sowed seeds of loss and rejection.
When Shelby turned 13 years old, she had a nervous breakdown from the abuse and the constant struggle. She was confused about her sexuality and identity as a result of the abuse. This left her no choice, or so she thought, but to follow the path of her mother. Shelby turned to drug use to numb her pain. Additionally, she felt she had to prove she wasn't gay, so she slept with her boyfriend habitually.
She dated him from 14 years old until she graduated high school. They eventually married and had a baby. But, after three years, he had an affair, and they divorced. In the middle of her divorce, Shelby felt like her life was spinning out of control.
Until one day, someone invited her to a revival.
That night, the preacher preached on the baptism of the Holy Spirit. He painted for her an irresistible picture of the Holy Spirit.
That night, she was saved and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Then a miracle happened! She was delivered from alcohol and cocaine instantly. Not only did He immediately deliver her from her desire of drugs, the Lord lovingly led her to the path of healing for her soul.
Shelby says she "stayed" on this path by learning how to receive God's love and replacing the negative emotions and lies of the enemy with the truth of God's Word!
She clung to Scriptures such as 3 John 2:1 (MEV), which says, "Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, even as your soul is well," and 1 Thessalonians 5:23, which says, "May the very God of peace sanctify you completely. And I pray to God that your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
Shelby credits Romans 12:2 as her foundation of "staying" when she wanted to "leave":"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
Shelby Wilson passed through the waters of abuse and addiction, and now she has a platform for nations. She truly believes that her purpose is to uplift, empower and validate women in discovering and believing in their own God-given identity and purpose!
Listen to this episode of One Voice podcast on Charisma Podcast Network to hear Shelby's story about how she met Lester and more on her journey of healing from the pain of her past.
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