My guest this week on Faith Notes is Maureen Hager who happens to be one of my Christian Communicator sisters. I love having the opportunity to share her with you. My goodness, what a testimony! Because of life’s hardships, Maureen found herself seeking refuge and companionship in a biker gang. As a young woman desperately in need of Jesus, but seemingly running as far away from Him as possible, God saw and drew her to Himself. Isn’t His mercy incredible? God used the tragedy of massive gunshot wounds to reveal His love to Maureen and now she lives to tell of His glory and faithfulness. I’m sure the words of her heart will touch you.
Welcome to Faith Notes Maureen!
Entangled in a violent biker gang war, I became a victim of two gunshot wounds when a rival gang opened fire on our clubhouse with M16 rifles. After being shot, I thought God wanted to punish me. I never thought He had failed me, but I had failed Him. I questioned why God let me live.
I spent a total of six months in three different hospitals. The bones in my arm and leg never fused together as I hoped they would. My first step in the recovery process was for the doctor to put my leg in traction and my arm in a splint. When there wasn’t progress, the next step was to put me in a complete body cast.
Finally, it was determined I needed surgery to repair my leg. A bone fragment from my hip was fused between the break in my femur. The surgery left my leg two inches shorter and with a limited range of motion. According to the doctor, my arm was shattered beyond repair. For the next six months, I would continue with outpatient physical and occupational therapy.
Alone with my thoughts, I wondered where I could find the strength to persevere on this healing journey or even if I wanted to continue trying.
After a restless night in the hospital, I awoke to the sound of cheerful humming coming from two women cleaning my room. One of the women opened my nightstand drawer and pulled out a New Testament/Psalms Gideon Bible. She began to read from Psalm 70 and encouraged me to read other Psalms. They left the Bible on my bed where I could easily reach it.
God’s plan began to unfold that day as He used His Holy Scriptures to soften my hardened heart. I didn’t feel worthy to read God’s Word, but I did start with the Psalms. It was an introduction to God’s love.
I continued to read my Gideon Bible. It became a source of comfort on the many days of physical and emotional pain. On the days when depression and brokenness overwhelmed me, I held the Bible close to me even though I couldn’t bring myself to read it.
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds (Psalm 147:3). I know this Scripture to be true. He has healed my brokenness, and although I live with disabilities, God made a way for me to live a restored life in His transforming love.
Yes, the first book of the Bible I read was the book of Psalms; it is the praise book of the Bible. Praise is a vital part of a life surrendered to God. Praise is a big part of my faith walk.
Consider the many reasons why we should praise God: He is full of glory (Psalm 138:5), great (Psalm 145:3), wise and powerful (Daniel 2:20), good (Psalm 107:8), merciful and faithful (Psalm 89:1), and much more. Now consider the list of His wonderful works. He is the One who saves us (Psalm 18:46), keeps His promises (1 Kings 8:56), pardons sin (Psalm 103:1-3), and gives us our daily food (Psalm 136:25).
Thankfulness is a form of high praise. It requires an unfailing trust in the Lord’s goodness, His mercy, and His love. Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Proverbs 3:5).
During troubling times, I find the need for rest. I like to close my eyes and talk to the Lord. Reading the Scriptures or a devotional book often encourages me to feel the Lord is close and hears my heart’s cry.
My Lord is the Good Shepherd. He sacrifices His life for the sheep. The Lord calls His sheep by name, and they come to Him. No matter what I suffered in the past, I know the Good Shepherd loves me and cares for me. He is tender and merciful and gently ministers to my brokenness.
Often the most devastating circumstances create an opportunity for God to reach those in the pit of despair and pull them out of their brokenness and into wholeness. Are you still carrying the burden of shame, guilt, and condemnation from your past? In your mind are you replaying the foolishness of your prior decisions? If this is you, then it is time to surrender and move towards forgiveness.
If you don’t learn how to forgive former sins, you will always live in the past. Bitterness and guilt will continue to grow within you. Your past mistakes are meant to guide you, not define you. Give yourself grace and move towards loving yourself. God knows your name, and He calls you His own.
Recovering from the trauma of physical, emotional, and spiritual brokenness became a long journey. At times, I questioned whether I would ever reclaim wholeness again. All my efforts to start a new life had failed miserably.
I learned deliverance and restoration come to those who open their heart to the Redeemer and Savior, Jesus Christ. He longs for each of us to have a personal encounter with Him.
I know what it is to be alone, afraid, and ashamed. The uncertainty of my future once looked bleak. I am grateful for the Lord’s better purpose and plan for me. He put a new desire in my heart to follow Him. The depths of God’s redemptive love is available for all who seek Him.
Today I have been married to my godly husband, Tom for 35 years. We have two adult daughters and two grandchildren. I am forever grateful to the Lord.
More About Maureen:
A misguided search for love and acceptance led Maureen into a world of drugs and life in a motorcycle gang. A victim of a violent gang war, she suffered two gunshot wounds from an M16 rifle. Within those few seconds, the crippling bullets forever changed her life. The pain and suffering from that act of violence were the beginning of a long journey to recovery. Alone in a hospital room, she was consumed with shame, anger, and fear. It was during her long struggle towards recovery that she encountered the Savior who gave her the strength and courage to live a restored life in God’s transforming love.
She is an author, speaker, and blogger. Maureen’s blog, www.OutOfTheBrokenness.com is a place to find hope, comfort, and encouragement to experience a healing heart in God’s Word.
Maureen is an advocate against human trafficking.
To connect with Maureen you will find her online at:
Blog – www.outofthebrokenness.com
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/outofthebrokenness/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Maureen_Hager
Pinterest – https://www.pinterest.com/MoHager
Or you may email her at:
Email – MaureenHager@gmail.com
Maureen has just released her memoir, Love’s Bullet where she shares this amazing testimony. You can find her book on Amazon.
Link to Love’s Bullet on Amazon – http://amzn.to/2CDLcPH