Born To Be Free

~Born to be FREE~

Growing up as a little girl I had a great childhood. I was blessed to have a mother who loved her children and took care of them and a wonderful father who worked hard to provide for his family; he enjoyed being home with his wife and kids. My parents always made sure we had the things we needed as well as the things we really didn’t need. I remember they always made sure we had a pool in the summer because summers were so hot here in California.

I have two brothers and a sister. One brother is a year older than myself and the other brother is four years younger: my sister is seven years younger than me. We had a lot of family gatherings at our house, where we would barbecue in our backyard. My Uncle had made us a really cool barbecue out of bricks and a fifty gallon barrel. We had chickens, dogs and cats; we had a typical American life.

Around the age of nine my world started to change; my Grandfather started molesting me. It was something you never heard of when I was growing up. It started out as innocent touching and escalated into him doing things to my body that it was not ready for. He would pick me up for a trip to the ice cream shop or use some other excuse to take me somewhere alone. He somehow managed to get me not to say anything because I would get into trouble. Everyone would be mad at me, he’d say.

When this was going on, it was not like it is today, they’re now openly teaching children in school that people can’t do things like that to you; and that they are the ones who will get into trouble. It was more of a shameful thing to speak of such things with anyone back when I was young. Although there is much more teaching about this reaching our youth, this horrific violation of innocence is still going on today. Kids are very trusting and loving and they never take a thought that the people they love the most would ever hurt them in such a way. This is where the deception “there must be something wrong with me” comes in. This intrusion into my life, my innocence and my heart, went on for about two years.

One day while we were at home, we received a call that my Grandfather had passed away while driving his car. My uncle was the first one to find him. I overheard the grown ups talking; they said the look on my grandfathers face was that of someone who had seen the pits of hell. Needless to say that was the happiest day of my life, or so I thought. I continued to grow up with this deep dark secret in my life, tormenting me. The man who violated me was gone but the wound he created was still very much present with me. I remained silent, not because it was fear of getting into trouble any more, but now it was a case of terrible shame and blaming myself for what had happened. If only I would have run and told someone.

The years went by and I was in High School now. I was a loner in some ways. I had some friends, but not a lot. I was not very good at showing my emotions, I kept myself bottled up inside like a time bomb waiting to explode. I quit school in the eleventh grade. I didn’t think I was smart enough to do it anymore. My parents had a business in natural foods so I took care of the house, my brother and my sister while they worked. I then started working for my parents, it was a good place to work but I always had that empty feeling inside of me. Feelings of low self-esteem, not good enough for people to really like me for me.

I started doing a little drinking; it felt pretty good. I found out that when I was drinking I could be more affectionate to the people around me and I was more free to tell people that I loved them. I started drinking more and more: why feel good some of the time when I could feel good all the time. Then a so-called friend introduced me to marijuana; that made me feel pretty good to, although I wasn’t wild about how paranoid I felt when I was high. I felt like I was on the wrong road and didn’t know how to get off; I had no sense of direction in my life.

I left home and went to Santa Cruz to stay with my uncle for a while. I landed a job downtown at a really nice clothing shop. In the process of this time, I met a nice guy that I really liked. One night at my uncle’s house when my cousin was gone, my uncle wanted me to come and have sex with him. He said he would take a shower and for me to wait in bed for him. When he was in the shower I took off running and crying. I went into town to a bar that I went to frequently and called the boy I had met. His mother said I could come stay with them for a while. Shortly after that my mom came and wanted me to come home, so I went back with her. I never told anyone why I left my uncle’s house, because I knew I deserved it. I was not good enough for anything else. I continued to drink and use drugs, but the drugs were turning into mushrooms, acid, and cocaine. Through the drug use I came to have a very active sex life when I was loaded. I just knew that the only way a man would care for me is if I had sex with him.

After a few years of this lifestyle, I decided I wanted to get away from my home town so I could be free from this way of living. I moved to Reno and stayed with my Aunt and Uncle for a while. I found a job at a restaurant and bar next to the university. I thought running from my problems would be the answer. The funny thing was that no matter where I went, I was always there; I couldn’t run from myself. I worked there for a while, then a guy that worked with me needed a roommate; I took him up on it and moved into his apartment. We called it the bat cave because it was a basement apartment.

After working for a while I met this guy that worked at the university, his name is Walt. We went out one time and then he disappeared, he quit coming into the bar after work. He finally came back in and we went out a few more times. One day my roommate said he was going to move; he was relocating schools. One thing led to another and Walt moved into the bat cave. We met in August and became engaged shortly after that. We were married on May 13, 1984.

I never told Walt about my deep dark secrets, I had hidden inside my heart. There were times when I would cry for no apparent reason. Walt would hold me and tell me I could cry on his shoulder until I felt better; this happened quite often. After a while we decided we wanted to move so we got together with some friends of ours who had a baby, who also wanted to move and we rented a three bedroom two bath house. Walt and I had the bedroom with the bathroom in it, our friends had the other two rooms. It was really a nice house, but we were out in the country, a bit far away from everything.

One night there was a lot of noise outside, the next morning my little dog Sparky came up missing. I loved that little dog so much, he was really special to me. Walt went to see if he could find him: the neighbor was out looking for his dog to. They went to search for them and found both dogs dead in the field. A pack of wild dogs had attacked them. I became very depressed living there so Walt and I decided to move back to my home town. There were times when I felt normal and there were times that I felt such emptiness inside.

When I was twenty-eight my dad had a heart attack. It was then that things really started changing. During the time in the hospital after seeing my dad in that condition, I threw my cigarettes away, never to smoke again. My dad required a triple bypass or he would not survive. On the day of his surgery the doctors came out and said that they could not get my dads heart to start again. My sister felt to leave the hospital and go home. She went home and walked into her house, crying out to God for our dad to recover. She said she would give the Lord her life if he would save our dads life. She had an incredible salvation experience with the Lord. Needless to say, our dads heart began to beat again and he had a miraculous recovery and came home. My sister began attending church and was filled with the Holy Spirit and was speaking in tongues. We were brought up believing this was of the devil, that’s what they taught us in churches we attended.

Our mom was a bit concerned about what my sister had gotten herself into so she decided to go check it out; she was also filled with the Holy Spirit and was speaking in tongues. Our dad had been working in beer distributing company before his heart attack and ended up being an alcoholic. After he came home from the hospital he would sneak into the garage and drink warm beer that he stashed out there. A short time went by and my sister had been praying for my dad to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He had always believed in Jesus but he was taught by his mother that the gifts of the Spirit were not for today and speaking in tongues was of the devil.

One night when our dad fell asleep on the couch and my sister was at home praying for him to be filled with the Spirit of God. He said he went into a dream where he was asking the Father to give him the Holy Spirit, He woke up with what seemed like a whirlwind around him and he was praising God with his hands in the air, something he had never done before. He was delivered from alcohol and never drank again from that day on.

About a month past and they finally talked me into going to church with them. I was real reluctant because I had gone to church when I was young by myself and nothing ever changed. I went just to get them off my back. Sitting in church the Lord grabbed ahold of my heart and I could not stop crying. Jesus found His way into my broken heart. At the end of August our church was having a barbecue in the park and a baptismal in the creek. My dad, mom, sister and myself were all baptized that day.

The Lord really started dealing with me to quit my job at the hospital I was working at, I was a cook; I obeyed the Lord and quit. There were some women at the church that had a prayer meeting every week, we all started going and growing in Gods grace. The women there were all going on a retreat to Clear Lake Oaks, California and asked us to come. There was about two weeks left before we were to go when the Lord was dealing with my heart about being molested as a child. He wanted me to share it with these women. I almost didn’t go because I didn’t want anyone to know, especially my mom. It was her dad that had violated me. It ended up that only my sister and I went, my mom felt like she was not supposed to go.

We were at the house in Clear Lake when one of the ladies said “I feel like the Lord wants to do some healing.” She put a chair in the middle of the room, my heart was beating so fast I could hardly stand it. The next thing I knew, I was sitting in the chair. I sat there for a little bit crying and then I began to share with these women the things that only my grandfather and God knew. They said the beginning of my healing was to forgive him and release it from my heart; that took a little while but once I opened my mouth and released those words “ I forgive him” I felt a weight start to leave my shoulders. I was so thankful that mom was not there!

During this time, I felt freedom to pray like I had not experienced up to that point. The Lord led me to pray over the lady that was going to be teaching that day. While she was teaching, I felt as though my ears had been opened for the first time; I was understanding everything she was saying from the Word of God. The weekend came to an end and we went home. Little did I know the healing was still going on inside of my heart. I had about two weeks of feeling like my heart was being ripped in two. Then one night at church my sister was praying for me and the Lord showed her an arrow going into my heart and the skin had been growing around it over the years; As this arrow that had been so rooted in me was being removed, the pain was so intense because the jagged edges from the arrow hurts worse when it begins to be pulled out.

A few months passed and not one of the women at that retreat said a word to my mom, even in that, the Lord had a plan. We were having a prayer meeting at my house when the Lord said I needed to tell my mom what happened to me: what my Grandfather had done to me. I mustered the courage with Gods help and told her everything. When I finished telling her she put her arms around me and started interceding and wailing in the Spirit. At that moment, I felt all that pain I carried for so long, leave my heart: It’s a feeling words can’t express. The newness I felt inside of me was wonderful.

My mom started sharing with me about how my Grandfather had molested her to: she also received some incredible healing from the Lord. I was so excited to be free but I was still wondering how I was going to tell my husband about what had happened. I didn’t know if he would still love me, if he knew. That evening there happened to be a movie on the television about a woman who had been molested. I knew at that moment, I was to tell him. So, with much fear, I told my husband my deepest secrets. Walt put his arms around me and held me with so much love. I started to feel differently inside; I was no longer that little girl who was afraid of the world, while being trapped in that darkness. When the Lord says “By my stripes, you are healed” He means it.

Walt and I decided to go to Reno and visit with his family, a few weeks after this happened. On our way up I was listening to some worship music with my eyes closed. I had a vision of my messed up days in the past and the Lord spoke to me that what Satan meant for evil, He was going to use it for good. He showed me that the person those violations created, was not who He had created me to be. He showed me how something like that could change the course of your life and that He was the only one who could get you back on track again. He also told me that those who are forgiven much, love much. It was like He took me back in time and showed me why I took the course I did and how the enemy tried to destroy me from a young age. There was a lot of work that needed to be done in me still but I set my heart to follow after Jesus.

As we continued to go to the prayer meetings there arose some problems in the church. They thought the women in the prayer meetings were getting a little too powerful; imagine that. The people in the prayer meetings were engaged with the Word and Spirit of God; this caused a stir among the religious. Little did they know that we were all just incredibly in love with the Master and wanted nothing less than to please Him. We were faithful to pray and gather together to seek His face.

One of the women had a word from the Lord that we would be scattered for a season but then we would be brought back together again. Sure enough, the church started quenching the Holy Spirit and one by one God removed every person in that church that moved in the gifts of the Spirit. That church has never recovered: they failed to embrace the Words the Lord had sent them through many notable voices in that hour. God sent them many who had credible ministries but they refused to heed the warnings sent by the Lord. For a season everyone went their own way, trying to find a place where the Spirit of God was moving. The Lord started bringing us back together again at prayer meetings at my parents home. One by one the Lord reunited every person from those prayer meetings in that church.

During the course of time my older brother received the Lord as well as my younger brother who was in prison at the time. The Lord started speaking to my sister to pastor a church, so we prayed and the Lord opened the door to a huge warehouse. There was miracle after miracle every week. One weekend, it was Fathers day, a woman in the church came in and told everyone they had to go outside, something was going on in the sky. We all went outside to find a huge flaming sword in the sky, it was the same sword that we had on our ministry logo. The Lord said it was a sign to us that He was with us. Every person in church saw it, there was 35-40 people at that time.

We never had your average everyday services. We learned to wait on the Lord in those prayer meetings we had at the other church and to see what He desired of us. At times we would worship, other times it was rich with the Word of God, other times we prayed the entire meeting. What ever He desired, that’s what we would do. It was always powerful and effective for the Kingdom of God. Lives were changed by His Presence.

One of the ladies in the church had a ministry for women in recovery so she had a big house. We would go there and have prayer meetings for the women. One day during prayer the Lord used my sister Pamela to minister to me. The Lord said that my spirit was crying out for deliverance when I would pray in tongues and cry. At that time I still had a stronghold in my mind of people not liking me and that I wasn’t good enough for them to care about me. My sister laid hands on me and I ended up on the floor under the Presence of God. After that, it was about a week or more that I felt so different inside. That stronghold had been a part of my life for a long time, so when it was broken, it left me feeling like a part of me was gone. I couldn’t even remember how it was I used to think; Praise be to God, it was gone and I was free.

The Lord started speaking to Pam and I to do a play about Gods healing and forgiveness. At the same time He spoke to us what song to use which was called
“Friend of a wounded heart” We did the play at a couple of churches and then we did it in central park in the middle of downtown. Shortly after that the Lord sent us to Oregon to minister in a park with some people from a church up there. We were so tired when we got there, but the Lord came so powerful during the play: He blessed us for our faithfulness. We seen God touch hearts through it and heal broken spirits. It’s so awesome how God can take something that is broken and messed up and use it for His Glory.

My sister and I were never really close growing up, probably because there was such an age difference between us but since we have been saved, God has bound us together, it’s amazing how close we are now. The Lord had spoken a word to her through me that He was raising one to stand with her that she never thought would. I knew He was speaking of me. Since that time He has made us thicker than glue. I know the things concerning the future will be done together.

We continued at the church for seven years when the Lord said to close the doors. There were problems with gossip and tale bearing. The Lord warned everyone that if it didn’t stop there would be consequences. A short while after that the Lord instructed us to close the ministry and that He had other things for us to do. For a season it felt like our world was falling apart. As faithful as He is, the Lord started picking up the pieces. It’s amazing how every little thing He does in you and for you is preparing you for the future. At times you feel like He’s forsaken you but then you get ahold of yourself and Him and you know He will never leave you or forsake you, just like He said. You wipe the dust off your feet and continue on your journey.

We have had our good times and our bad times, but God is God, no matter what you’re going through. His strength is made perfect in our weakness. There have been times of going around the mountain a couple of times when the Lord is trying to show you something or remove things in you that are not pleasing to Him. I have learned that in the good times and the bad, his love always abounds to me. The Lord removes things and adds things to our lives, all for the Glory of His name.

When I was first saved I thought I was being punished for something, until I learned He was doing things for my good. Sometimes things can be painful and be very lonely when He’s working out His perfect will in you. There are seasons when He will remove everything and everyone while you grow in Him. When you come out of those times you are very thankful, if you have learned through the process. If not, you can expect to go around the mountain until you get it and it’s all working to perfect us in our walk with Him. So it’s very important to learn the first time around, unless you enjoy going around the mountain more than once. I myself prefer to see it once, although I have seen it more than once at times in certain situations in my life. I have learned that whether I’m on the top of the mountain or at the bottom of the valley, He’s the same God in both places. Before I was saved, I would blame God for what happened to me; I have since learned that we have a very real enemy that walks about as a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Although he tried destroying my life, the Lord called me into His Kingdom and set me free from the darkness I once walked in.

When I was a young girl, I went to church but the Word says that the body without the spirit is dead. The churches I attended were very religious and were without the Spirit; there was nothing real there to transform my life. God has taught me that I have a voice to be heard. He’s called me to proclaim healing to His people, to set the captives free, even as I’ve been set free. It’s very crucial to speak when He says speak, you don’t know whose life your words may help or bring healing into their brokenness. God heals us so that we may reach others in this dark world, who are being taken over into the realm of despair. It is imperative not to be silent in this hour. The world and church are hurting and in need of Gods people to reach out with helping hands, words of comfort and hearts of love and mercy. Those few words you hold back could be a matter of life and death to the hearer.

Trust the Lord to heal you, set you free and send you to reach a hurting world. He say’s He takes the lowly thing’s of this world and uses them for His Glory. Praise be unto the Lord for His mercy that He shows toward us all. Pray that you may be filled with His Spirit and receive the gift of tongues which is the perfect prayer to God. Your spirit prays mysteries and is in communion with God on a level the enemy can’t interfere with. When you don’t know how to pray, His Spirit will help you pray through to victory.

Take the whole Word of God to heart, not just what suits you. There is much more life in Him than we can ever imagine. The more time you spend seeking Him, drawing near to Him, the more He will reveal Himself to you. People only touch the surface of what the Lord has for His children. Don’t set your heart to seek after things, seek Him and you will never be in need of anything. The Word of God says, to seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (which is only found in Jesus) and all these things shall be added to your life. The Father takes pleasure in showing Himself to us in many ways. Sometimes small, other times large. Seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be opened to you and remember that nothing is impossible with God. I’m living proof that no matter what might have happened to you or how far you have fallen from who you desire to be; the Lord Jesus Christ gave His life so that you could find the freedom in Him that He has destined us to enjoy. God bless you and keep you in His loving care and protection..

Arlene Yorston
Midnight Oil Ministries