Feature

Crushing Lies

How I discovered God’s deep love for me

By

My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be (Ps. 139:15–16).

Two years ago my husband, Dennis, asked me if I would like to join him on a trip back to Asia—the place where I was born and spent the first 11 years of my life as a missionary kid (MK). As a C&MA vice president, Dennis had been invited to Thailand for the Asia leadership conference for Alliance workers.

Seven years prior, a generous friend had deposited money into an account for the expressed purpose of my traveling with Dennis on one of his overseas trips. But previously, the timing never seemed right. This time it was. From the moment we began planning the trip, we felt God was going to do something miraculous.

As we flew over Thailand my heart almost beat out of my chest. I was so excited to finally be back on Asian soil. The food, the smells, the sea of dark hair, the heat—it all enveloped me like a comfortable soft blanket. I was home.

On Sunday morning we attended the Evangelical Church of Bangkok. People from over 50 nations filled the building, all praising God. The Holy Spirit’s power was so present I could almost feel it dripping off the ceiling.

After the morning service, two girls asked the pastor to help them destroy their idols—the things that seemed to have a stronghold over their hearts and lives. We witnessed a beautiful surrendering as the girls knelt down, with hammers in their hands, to smash the things that had once held them captive and to declare, “Jesus is Lord!”

I watched and wept, feeling overwhelmed that God would allow me to be a part of such an intimate, powerful moment. Little did I know that within a few days I would do the same thing in my heart and mind.

Uphill Battle

Monday morning we were off to the conference. When the first meeting began, a hunger and thirst stirred in my heart, and I realized this was going to be a life-changing time for me.

patty-tom
Patty and Tom in Vietnam with their pet monkey

The ministry team included Ron and Wanda Walborn, Donna Schepens, and Lisa Plunket from Nyack College. They led seminars, gave personal testimonies, and taught the group on spiritual formation, giving opportunity for repentance and confession after each gathering.

One session was on learning to grieve not only the hard things in life but the good seasons too—the new beginnings and the ever-present endings. They reminded us to trust God, that He promised to go to those hard places with us, and that His Word says, “Blessed are those who mourn for they will be comforted” (Matt. 5:4).

They taught us about strongholds: the lies that hold us back that we need to uproot and replace with truth. As I searched my heart, I found many corners that needed to be cleaned, places that called for deep healing. I was overwhelmed and exhausted.

Through deep groans and weeping, I confessed that all of my life I had believed lies about myself, starting in my childhood as an MK.

Nameless, Faceless

Being an MK had wonderful advantages: living in different cultures, being bilingual, and seeing the world. Attending boarding school also offered many benefits: always having someone with whom to play, learning how to get along with other kids, and figuring out how to make decisions.

But boarding school had some drawbacks too. Being just one of many little girls in the dorm, I didn’t feel special. I always felt invisible, unimportant. Therefore, I couldn’t understand why I was special to God. I could never picture Him loving me for me. I believed He was uninterested in me; I was a nameless, faceless person to Him.

Satan took those lies and had slowly but deliberately cemented them into my heart. As I fed those falsehoods, they became idols. I later found myself, at age 58, wondering if God could ever use someone like me—a person with no gifts, no abilities, and nothing to offer.

I often said, “Yes, God uses people like King David, but He also needs the nameless soldiers—those with no backstory who fight and die. Faceless, nameless men and women. The masses. I am one of those soldiers.”

Mighty Warrior

At the conference south of Bangkok, God showed me that although we may never know the names of those soldiers in David’s army, God knew them, and He loved them. He knew each step they took, each breath they took, and how many hairs were on their heads. He had a plan for each of them. He knew the names of their wives and their children. He knew their secrets and their struggles.

patty-school
Patty at boarding school

A wave of God’s love crashed over me, and I came up breathing new air—in a new world with a new perspective of God. His love broke me. My Heavenly Father’s love surrounded and empowered me. I went back to my room and prayed, cried, and thanked God for His Spirit’s infilling. I didn’t want to eat or sleep. I was completely satisfied.

The next day the ministry team spoke about fear and anxiety. Again it was exactly what I needed to hear. The major fear that I carried most of my life without realizing it was that if I truly began to have an impact for God, Satan would notice and fight against me. I didn’t want to be in spiritual warfare. I wanted to fly under the radar.

Growing up in Vietnam, I knew the men whom Mom and Dad taught in Bible school who had been shot in the head, the pastor who had to dig his own grave, the men and women who were thrown in prison for their faith—the missionaries who were captured, the missionaries who were martyred. I somehow believed that if I made a difference for God, Satan would attack me or my family.

God revealed this fear in my heart, but I needed to pick up the hammer and declare once again that Jesus is my Lord and the protector of my soul.

Come and Eat

Today I am a changed person; I walk in the freedom only Christ can give. I have a deep sense that God goes before me, behind me, beside me, above me, and below me. He knows all the days ordained for me because they were written in His book before one of them came to be (Ps. 139:16).

When I walked into the conference knowing it was for international workers, I felt that I had slipped in the side door. Enjoying something that had been prepared for them, I was treasuring every morsel I could find. I felt like the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15, desperate to get the crumbs that fell from the table that was set for our international workers.

Thirty-five years before this conference, God had shut the door to overseas work when Dennis got very sick. I always believed that He had allowed that to happen because He knew I would never make it as a missionary. I was not made of the right stuff. So as the meetings went on, I was overwhelmed that God had something for me.

U.S. C&MA President John Stumbo was also at the conference and gave a wonderful devotional that solidified all that God was doing in my heart. He spoke about Psalm 23. When he got to the portion of Scripture that says, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies,” John invited us all to sit at the table.

I had run to the table and found that, yes, God had set a table before me, and He asked me to come and eat. During these meetings, He had helped me crush every lie I had believed. He proved He cares for me and that for the last seven years, from the time that money was put into our account, He had prepared this conference for me because He loves me.

But Wait—There’s More!

The icing on the cake is what happened on our way home. Dona and Lisa from the ministry team had both encouraged me to contact my brother Tom because he knew my struggles. I promised them that as soon as I returned to Colorado I would call Tom and tell him all that God had done for me.

While I was sitting on the plane in Tokyo, anticipating the flight back to the States, I looked up from my seat and saw Tom walking down the aisle. He was returning from Australia and had a layover in Tokyo. We ended up on the same plane. I couldn’t believe it!

God had orchestrated this last piece to seal in my heart and mind all that He had accomplished. I could imagine the smile on His face as Tom and I sat and talked about our Heavenly Father and how He was working in each of our lives.

For so many years I had let lies rule over me, causing me to miss out on a personal, intimate knowledge of how God sees me. He rejoices over me, has set a place at the table for me—with my name on it—and He loves me.

His eyes light up for me when I come to Him. He longs for lengthy father-daughter conversations with me because I am His through Jesus’ death on the cross.

My idols have been crushed, but Satan daily tries to rebuild them piece by piece. He tries to whisper those long-believed lies. But God’s voice is stronger, louder, and truer. I am His, and He is mine.

12 responses to Crushing Lies

  1. Patty what a awesome testimony for our Loving Heavenly Father,thank you.Your parents were great friends,Would love to go Fl.just visit with your Mom one mor time.What a Blessing.

  2. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story. What are the “chances” of Tom being there? 100 percent. God is awesome.

  3. Wow – this is such a glorious follow-up to the “live” account. Thank you for your courage, obedience and transparency in putting it in print for the ages. I am blessed to call you friend and sister.

  4. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and powerful story. It is truly amazing how God brings such intricate plans together to heal us, build us up, draw us closer to Him, and just to reassure us of how great He is and how much he loves us.

  5. Patty, thanks so much for your honesty and authenticity. The work of the Spirit and your openness to it is such an encouragement to me. What the enemy intends for evil God is working for our good! You reflect so well the light and love of Jesus.

  6. I relate to this story in so many ways. Thank you, Patty, for sharing so beautifully what God is doing in your life. What a blessing to read.

  7. Hallelujah, Patty! Thank you for sharing these deep, personal, & foundational truths of the freedom we have in Jesus. Much love, JD

  8. Wow Patty! Your goal to “fly under the radar” has been my life saying growing up a Pastor’s Kid…I saw that you wrote this and so I decided to read, not knowing what to expect… I just read this, while sitting at my desk at work, and I just started to cry, because its weird how the Lord works, He used your story, your willingness to be transparent with your fears to have me, Megan Price, whom you have indeed known, since I was child to read your words- much of what you shared has been stirring in me as well, and be encouraged to know that your story was used to speak to another believer. Much love, and thanks! ~Megan Price

  9. Loved your story, Patty, you beautiful girl. I’m reminded that God delivered me from the spirit of fear, however, because it had been a life long habit, it tries to creep back in. It is a daily effort to resist it, in Jesus Name and sometimes hourly if needs be.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Past Alliance Life Issues

Share

Get Involved...

Pray.

We cannot “Live the Call Together” unless prayer is central to all we do.
Pray with us »

Serve.

Is God calling you to service? We’re here to help you connect your passion with God’s purpose.
Serve with The Alliance »

Give.

Help build Christ’s Church by supporting the ministry and workers of The Alliance.
Give today »