Lisa Dykes has a powerful story of being freed from the shame of her past which included years of molestation as a young girl, severe drug addiction, and emotional heartache. She now lives an amazing life through Jesus Christ and is being used as a vessel for God. She will share her story on today’s podcast.
Your Free Gifts:
Download the coloring pages, scripture cards, podcast transcripts and more here:
Don’t Have the Book?
S. Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast. I’m your host Shelley Hitz, and today’s guest is Lisa Dykes. Welcome, Lisa.
S. I’m so glad that you’re here to share your story. I know a lot of people are going to be blessed, but before we dive in I’m just going to share just a little bit about you and then allow you to share what God has put on your heart to share. Lisa has a powerful story. She was freed from the shame over past, which included years of molestation as a young girl, severe drug addiction, and emotional heartache. She now lives an amazing life through Jesus Christ and is being used as a vessel for God. She has a website and Facebook Group called From Broken To Beauty. So, today she’s going to share her story on this podcast.
So, as we get started Lisa, why don’t you just start by sharing what the Broken Crayons look like in your life.
L. Oh goodness. From the beginning, it was just years of the shame that I endured because I was not able to express into words to anyone what was going on with being molested. As a child, you really don’t know how to put into words what is being done to you. So, it wasn’t until I was an adult that I actually was able to identify, to the extent of what was happening to me, and reflect back on the years that I was tormented that this was exactly what was going on, and how wrong it was. As a child, you don’t really know, as a young child you don’t know the extent of what’s being done to you, because the person that is molesting you is telling you, “it’s ok.” Usually, you’re being rewarded, often times. As for my case I was, I would get rewarded and treated better than my brothers. So, for myself speaking, it wasn’t until I got a little bit later on into my adult life that I realized just how traumatic that it was and how it severely affected me.
S. When did it start? How old were you?
L. I was about 8 when it first started. If it had happened any sooner, I’m not sure if I really would have known anything other than that was… I knew something wasn’t right because it was a secret. He would always tell me not to tell my mom or my brothers, and it’s a secret. I think I knew something was wrong because he didn’t want me to tell. But, if it had happened to me a lot younger you would have never really have known that was something that wasn’t right, you wouldn’t have had those little warning signs, or those bells or whistles going off that this might not be right.
S. So, a lot of times, when things happen when we were a child it says like you were saying, that as an adult that is brought to the surface and we start to work through some of that pain. When would you say you really hit the lowest point for you, in your life? Was it later?
L. It was much later. It was into my adult years that I began to use drugs to cover up a lot of the pain that I was going through. I didn’t understand why I was so hurt inside, and broken inside, and didn’t really understand why I was mad, but I was mad all the time, or upset because I was upset all the time. So, I didn’t really understand, so I used drugs to cover up just the pain and the shame that I endured so many years of. So, the drugs took me away from just being able to live in myself, because you can’t get away from yourself, you can’t get away from the thoughts that you hear in your head, or the way that you feel about yourself; those thoughts are there. So, for a short period of time drugs allowed me the seconds of relief and if anything, those seconds helped me to just be able to cope, I guess you could say.
S. So, a lot of times what happens is we have this painful experience that happens, and then we’re just trying to cope, we’re trying to survive. We’re trying to get a moment of relief. So, for you it was drugs. What did it look like when you were at your low point?
L. My low point was towards the end when all the fun that, I guess anybody could say they could have fun when they’re using, that was all gone. It brought me only back to the way I felt in the beginning, if not a thousand times worse because now I’ve got the shame of now I’m on drugs and not just on drugs but strung out on these drugs. It just began to where it didn’t cover up and hide anything anymore if anything it manifested it louder. It’s crazy, and not thinking about that until I just said that, but that’s exactly how it made that; it made those whispers into screams.
I could no longer live with myself, it was an enormous amount of shame because I was affecting my husband, my children, my mom, other relatives, and friends. They were witnessing what I was doing to myself, but they just didn’t understand why, they didn’t understand what was going on so bad in my life that I wanted to live like this, that I chose to live like this. They just thought, “if you want to stop, stop,” like I did before. So, when the fun goes away you’re addicted, and you’re addicted faster than what you realize, and I couldn’t stop them, because I didn’t have any means to stop, I didn’t know how to stop because the drugs were so addictive that I didn’t know really what to do.
I honestly, it wasn’t until I wanted to take my own life that I thought, “I can’t live like this. So, what do I do?” The only option that came to my mind was trying to take my life, because I didn’t want to keep putting my children through what I was putting my children through, but at the same time, I couldn’t continue to live feeling the feelings I was feeling. I wasn’t able to put those feelings into words because I felt so broken.
S. So, you really shared a lot in that, and one of the things that I really felt like came out was, you were trying to silence these, and hide these voices and the shame. Yet, it became magnified through the addiction and trying to cope with it the best you knew. At the time you were like, “I just don’t even know.” Also, you mentioned it’s been hard to put things into words, and I think, especially when you have deep, deep pain from a childhood and there’s just all this stuff wrapped around it, and all these roots of things it’s like, sometimes it’s just hard to put it into words. I know a lot of people can probably relate to what you are saying, but what was the turning point for you when you were in this place and you were thinking, “the only way out is to take my own life.” What was the turning point for you?
L. I had a friend actually reach out to me and she invited me to church. I really didn’t question the invitation, I didn’t even give it weight, that was the first time in my life that really had happened because normally I talk myself out of it, I second guess. That invitation went to immediately a, “yes.” Within days I was at Sunday service and couldn’t believe the welcome feeling, because I hadn’t seen this girl in probably about 10 years. The invitation that, when I’d seen her, was to come to church and it was like, “yes.” Something deep inside me knew that was what it was going to take to save me.
Like I said, we made it to church and it was probably not even one song that was played before I knew if there’s an altar call I’m going to it, and to be honest with you I don’t even know what the Preacher preached on, I can’t recall any of those things. I just could hear that lady’s voice and the anointing she had on her to where it was all those walls started coming down. Everything I had built up over, on and off, a 10-year span of using drugs was coming down, just literally melting, all of it was coming down. I was kind of, I didn’t question why, I knew it was God, I knew that was the only thing that could save me was God. At the end of the meeting I went down and talked to the Pastor and I immediately told him, “I’m addicted to drugs, and it’s extremely severe.” He didn’t hesitate, he was like, “OK, I can get you into treatment, I can get you help, I know a lot of people.”
L. That’ s what I said, I was like, “are you kidding me?” Because I always had doors slammed in my face, and the quote from everybody was, I didn’t look like a drug addict. So, I just thought, yeah, alright, we’ll just see. He stood by every word he said, every single thing, to where it was like… Teen Challenge was where he was going to be able to get me in, that’s a year-long program.
S. Yeah, I’ve heard of it.
L. Yup. Before I even had a chance to sign paperwork something just inside of me, for myself speaking, was telling me to get involved with the church and not necessarily would I need to go into treatment. I didn’t understand that, because I was thinking I would have to go into treatment. I didn’t, for myself speaking, that was not the case. I ended up working intensely with a lady from the church that I, later on, became a member of. she helped me with treatment that is equivalent to a 12 Oaks Recover, a really expensive inpatient treatment center. There are a few different insurances that it will take, but it’s roughly around $12,000, that’s the last time we checked on the price of it. The success rate is huge. I was able to get that treatment outpatient. I was able to end up becoming really good friends with the lady. So, I never made it through the doors of a rehab center.
I made it to the altar and gave my heart and life to God, and when I tell you not one thing in my life changed, everything changed. It was just huge because you think with an addiction as severe as what my addiction was, only inpatient treatment was what it was going to take, but a lot of people underestimate the power of what God can do. How he moved in my life was huge.
S. It sounds like, even just as you were in the church that first time, the Holy Spirit was working in your heart and life from the moment the first song was sung. It just sounds like God was on a rescue, and I don’t know if people were praying for you and I just wonder if people were praying for you and that was an answer to prayer.
L. It was. You’re exactly right. That is the number one factor that I do tell everybody, it was the power of prayer. Never underestimate it, and at the same time I preach it to whoever listens; never give up on a person, and pray to God for them, because I know for a fact it was my mother that prayed for me, but at the same time I have three sons and a husband, and a best friend that’s amazing, and I know those people prayed for me as if it was their own life. Those prayers were what saved me. I don’t doubt it, I feel as if God, I could hear him putting on my spirit that it was those prayers, had they not prayed them I would still be where I was, if not dead. I don’t take it for granted, I don’t question it, I so sincerely just feel it in my spirit that they got through to God, somehow, someway, and they managed to, I don’t know if it was a collective and they were all praying the same thing, but it worked.
I can’t tell you how grateful that I am, because in all that there have been lives that have been changed. My husband got saved, my mom got saved, they got baptized, my son got saved, he got baptized. What God’s doing now for me is, he’s helping me to have the courage to get out there and try to help someone else, to share the message that he’s still in the business of miracles, and nobody is too far gone or to broken.
S. I was just kind of getting teary-eyed when you were talking about all these people who were on your side and praying for you. It was like your friend invited you, then boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and God was just really showing up in your life. It reminds me a little bit of a story that Jim Cymbala tells in his book Fresh Wind Fresh Fire about his daughter. His daughter was far from the Lord and just doing all sorts of things. They had a prayer meeting at his church one night and he said, somebody was like, “I feel so strongly that we’re supposed to pray for your daughter.” I can’t give the story justice, but they all joined together, and it was that collective prayer of, “we are not letting go.”
S. It makes me want to cry because…
L. It does. I get choked up and have to try to hold it together because I cry about everything, but the majority is what God’s done for me and how I can see his hand moving in my life. I just didn’t really understand what it was in me that he’s seeing that was worth saving and why it would be me. I ask that a lot, and it’s never a day that goes by that I don’t say to him, not that it works that I try to do to earn back anything, but it’s the waste of time that I spent not serving Him and I want to give that back, reach back out to help as many people that have a second chance, or maybe they don’t have the team that I had behind me praying. I’m like, “I’m going to bring as many friends as I can find to pray for you, and it’s huge to see the hand of God in your life and then to turn and walk back to where he was at.
S. Yeah, it’s like, in the Bible, it talks about the woman who was anointing Jesus’ feet with this oil, or the perfume, and the people were like, “she’s wasting money, we could give it to the poor.” Jesus said, “the person who has been forgiven much loves much.”
S. Basically when you have been forgiven so much and brought into this love of Christ, restored, and healed, then you have this compelling desire to love Him back in an extravagant way. That’s why, I think, he’s putting this on your heart. Like, “yeah, I can’t help but want to do these things, help others, and loving Christ through loving others because of all he’s done for me. If you could give someone one piece of advice or encouragement just from all that you have been through, and I know you’re probably still working through things, what advice or encouragement would you give?
L. Like you said, I am still working through things, and daily I do find things that I still need to fix, work on or tweak because everything didn’t get fixed that day. If there was one thing that I could tell someone else it is, make sure you give Him everything. You tell Him to just take it all, just commit yourself to God and say to Him, “take everything. Don’t just come into the living room of my house, come into every room in my house. I’m going to lay it all down and I want you to come into every area of my life.” Just lay it all down and allow him that chance to just move from room to room, area to area, and unpeel the layers, but you have to invite him in, you have to lay it down.
It’s not just with the things that I went through, it’s everything. You have to be submissive to God, but you have to start by laying it down somewhere. Where I was so broken I didn’t think I had that much to lay down, but you do. You have to start somewhere, and that’s why I tell people to start by just putting it all down. Once you do that it gives you an enormous amount of freedom. It’s like the book bags like I expressed onetime, heavy loads of mass in these book bags, you start laying these things down and by the time you get up and walk away the load’s been lifted and you can breathe again. It lightens your load just by that simple act of submission, I guess that’s the word, but you lay it down before God and watch Him do miracles and move mountains in your life. It’s beautiful. When he finishes, or when he gets you going, it’s a beautiful thing to look back and see that he honestly made changes in your life, that for myself speaking, I never thought I’d be able to change and that would never change.
So, it’s beautiful to just lay it all down at the feet of Christ. Once you do that you really don’t have anything else to hold back that you don’t let Him take over and take control of.
S. Yeah, because the shame causes us to want to hide.
L. Oh yeah!
S. I think what you’re saying too is just being willing to bring all of that and to be open with Christ. He’s safe, He’s a safe place. There are certain people that you can really trust and that you can share with, but when you’re walking through all this stuff it’s not necessarily the time to be telling everyone.
S. Bringing that from being hidden to being open and laying that before Christ, and trusting that He is safe, that you can lay it to Him. Like you said, it’s been a miracle. There are not any certain seven steps you can give, Christ has done the work. You have had to walk it out day by day, but just knowing that there is hope, there is hope for anyone that is going through a really difficult situation, or you have family members or friends that are going through something and you think they’ll never change. Never give up hope.
Do you have a particular scripture that has really meant a lot to you through this?
L. I have really grown fond of Provers 3: 5-6. It says, “trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean upon your own understanding.” For myself trust, that’s kind of an iffy word for me and a lot of people that have gone through the things that I’ve gone through, you’re scared to trust anybody. But, once I saw that I could trust God I knew that I could not lean upon my own understanding, I had to trust Him completely with everything. That’s a beautiful verse to me, I really try to read it often and I share it with as many people as possible, because as many things as has happened to me and I was still able to find the courage and strength to trust God. He’s not ever let me down, and I think more so because He knows that He had to win that over. He didn’t have to, but He knew from myself speaking He had to show up and show that He was trustworthy. Once He showed me that it’s been nothing but beautiful since.
S. Yeah, I remember there was a time when I was having trouble just even feeling like I could completely trust God. I remember He showed me, because I was going through counseling and other things, and I had one instance of sexual abuse when I was younger, and I remember Him saying, “Shelley, I am not like that man. I am not like that.” We see God a lot of times as a male figure, but He’s like, “I will not hurt you in that way, in any way.” It’s easy to project, sometimes, our experiences onto God, whether it’s with our father and some of the experiences we’ve had with our father or other men. So, the Lord had to really heal my heart in a really deep way. It was really beautiful though because then I was able to walk into much more deeper trust with Him. I think there is so much that He just wants to do.
I know there are probably a lot of people who have listened to this who might want to connect with you or get in contact with you somehow, do you have a way for our listeners to find you or reach you online?
L. Yes. Actually, on Facebook under Lisa Dykes, but then I have a closed group where we welcome everybody, because like I explain to everybody, it’s not just that you’re broken in this type of area but there are so many other areas in life that we’re broken. Until we receive Christ we will never be able to see the beauty of living. So, the closed group is From Broken To Beauty. We try to encourage one another to speak up and break the shame of just staying silent. For some of us, we’re the voice to people that can’t have their voice that they haven’t found it yet. Also, I have a website http://www.FromBrokenToBeauty.com. On that I do list my personal cell phone number because I look at it like this, I would never not want to be able to help somebody in some way, whether it’s a text, email, or anything, and make myself available because not everybody had that support system that I had. If they’re serious about getting their life to where they should be, I list my telephone number on there, in any way that they need to reach me I try to make myself available. It’s a beautiful thing whenever you can get to the foot of the cross, but sometimes a lot of people just don’t know how to get there, so if I can help in any way I try to make myself available.
S. Great. You know, I think your story is just another really great example of how God can turn our messes into masterpieces. He’s taken all that you’ve been through and now he’s using it to help so many others, and I love that; From Broken to Beauty. So, definitely look up that group on Facebook, check out her website, and connect with her if you are feeling that tug to really connect with Lisa and the ministry that she has. Thank you so much, Lisa, for sharing your story today.
L. Thank you Shelley, and again, I really appreciate that you wrote that book because had I not seen your little clip on YouVersion honestly would not even have realized how important it was to speak up and share what has happened in my life. So, thank you. It means a lot to me. I cried the whole time when I was reading it, because it was just every part of that book touched me and I can’t tell you “thank you” enough.
S. Yeah. That’s just the way that God works because now you’re going out and you’re encouraging others to share their stories.
L. Planting the seeds.
S. Yeah, receive healing in Christ. For those of you who may not know my book is called Broken Crayons Still Color, there’s a free YouVersion devotional that you can also go through. Yeah, it was really amazing when you contacted me after you had gone through that. Just seeing, now, all that God is doing and what He is going to continue to do in your life, I know that He’s going to use you in powerful ways. Thank you for being willing to share your story and for just being open to what God wants to do in your life.
L. Amen. Thank you so much.
S. And thank you all for joining us today. If you or someone you know has a powerful story to share I’d love to have you on the podcast. You can apply to be featured at http://www.ShelleyHitz.com/Story. I will see you next time, bye bye!
Share Your Comments:
How did this story impact you? Share with us in the comments below.
Do you have a story to tell? Apply to be featured on the podcast here.