This series is intended to introduce you to the 20 women on the Your Life Still Counts Contributor Team whose inspiring stories of pain into purpose were selected for inclusion in the book. To read the full story of each contributor, click here to purchase your copy of Your Life Still Counts.
PLEASE MEET CHARLOTTE
Charlotte Larsen currently lives in Seoul, South Korea, on Yongsan Army Base. She has shared her story with many hurting women in the hopes that they too will discover they can be free from the shame, pain, and rejection of childhood abuse. Her personal goal for the future is to become a lay counselor in a recovery ministry.
MY INTERVIEW WITH CHARLOTTE
Me: Charlotte, what made you want to contribute your story to Your Life Still Counts?
Charlotte: I had been preparing to lead the devotion for our Women’s Bible study group and was watching one of the video segments of Lysa TerKeurst’s What Happens When Women Say Yes. It was her sharing her entire testimony and explaining how God took her “mess” and used the “Messiah” to turn it into a “message” of hope. As I was watching the video segment, my husband was in the other room and heard Lysa’s story. When she finished sharing the deepest, darkest part of her own life, my husband slowly came into the room and said in a very loving, yet matter-of-fact way…..”You have to tell your story”. I knew it too.
Right then, right there, God was telling me to trust him and share my testimony. The Bible study was the next day and up to that point, I had no idea what I was going to do the devotion on. It was the first time I’d ever shared my background of childhood abuse and the miraculous healing and restoration that God performed in my heart. I was a little nervous, but doing the devotion that next day, I was more excited than scared to share with my sisters in Christ about God’s amazing love and healing. And since my life’s theme verse has always been from Genesis 50:20 which says, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives”, I knew I had to soon step out in faith.
Then, within days of doing that, I was reading a Proverbs 31 devotion online and there was a link to go to your blog because you were inviting/asking for women to share their stories of Past into Purpose. I knew there was NO WAY that God was not speaking loud and clear for me to submit my story for the book. The timing…..His timing…….was nothing short of awesome!
Me: Wow, God’s timing never ceases to amaze me! He works in such amazing ways, intermingling all of our lives together in His perfect timing. So since then, has God blessed you in an special way for your obedience in sharing your story and being a part of YLSC?
Charlotte: Yes! The most amazing way was in answering my prayer of a hurting, still broken woman who desperately asked him to not let my pain be in vain. I asked God to allow me to be used to help at least one woman who was dealing with the pain of childhood sexual abuse. He did that a few years later when an acquaintance of mine broke down into tears at a PTA fundraiser one day. I took her aside and asked her what was wrong and she just fell apart and told me she was dealing with the trauma of the memories and anger of having been sexually abused as a child. She had no idea of my history at all. I thanked God many times for allowing me to walk with this woman through this dark time and point her to the only one who could heal those wounds – Jesus.
Me: How incredible that God brought your paths together, and what an example of how God calls us to do ministry right where we are. So what are your most passionate about right now?
Charlotte: Helping women who are broken, from whatever hurts they’ve endured in their lives whether in their childhood or adult lives, whether pain that was inflicted upon them or that they’ve been involved in. It doesn’t matter. I want to reach out and help those who are hurting, hopeless, lost, and show them that there is healing, forgiveness, restoration, purpose, and hope for their lives and that the only way to come out of their darkness is to run directly to the Cross of Jesus.
My heart races when I think about it because I know there are so many women out there who are “stuck” in their pain and shame and are too afraid to face it head on. I understand that because I was there many years ago, but if I had had someone to tell me that they walked through it and I didn’t need to waste one more day being angry, hurt, shamed, guilty, I could have spared myself years of anguish.
Me: You are such an inspiration Charlotte, and it’s so incredible to see you allowing God to use you in such quiet ways to help others. I know you are so thankful for all God has done in you and is doing through you, but if you had to name one thing that you are most thankful to God for, what would it be?
Charlotte: Complete healing of my broken heart and soul from a childhood filled with abuse, alcoholism, divorce, abandonment, and chaos.
Me: Has God given you the courage to start something new recently that is somehwat outside of your comfort zone?
Charlotte: Yes – leading a Bible study with 25 women was definitely out of my comfort zone. I’m much more comfortable in an “administrative” role in women’s ministry than in a teaching position, but I felt God leading me to do this and not just sit back and expect others to do it whom I assumed were better at it than me. I gave up my Administrative Coordinator spot on our Executive Board to lead this study. I would still rather be a participant in a Bible study than leading it, but I’m trying to be obedient to God and trying to grow spiritually through this experience.
Me: What are you most excited about regarding how God has turned your past into your purpose?
Charlotte: Oh, that’s an easy question. Hands down, I’m most excited that God turned my past into purpose to completely break the cycle of abuse, divorce, and poor choices that were rampant in my family of origin. My greatest desire in beginning to deal with my past was that I would be an emotionally healthy wife and mother. I didn’t want the experiences I had and the pain I suffered to negatively affect my husband and children. Not only did God lead me in that healing process, but he’s gone way beyond that desire and has now allowed me to use my story to glorify Him and to help other women who are hurting from similar experiences. God never wastes our pain if we are willing to let Him use it. Now that’s exciting!
Me: Yes it is! A big AMEN HALLELUJAH to that! So how might people pray for you at this time in your life?
Charlotte: My prayer would be that I can quickly recognize the divine appointments God puts in my path to continue to use my story for His glory and for the healing of many more wounded hearts. I am humbled to be a small part of this journey with Your Life Still Counts and I would love to reach more women right where they are in their own journey.
A resource that helped Charlotte find healing was “The Wounded Heart: Hope for Adult Victims of Childhood Sexual Abuse” by Dr. Dan B. Allender, and today I’m going to be giving away a copy of Dr Allender’s book. To enter to win, please leave a comment expressing your interest to win a copy of this book for you or someone you love.
If you’d like to learn more about Charlotte, read her story in Your Life Still Counts, Chapter Three, in the ‘Her Story’ section. You can purchase a copy of Your Life Still Counts: How God Uses Your Past To Create A Beautiful Future through Proverbs 31 Ministries or any major retailer.
If you’d like to contact Charlotte, she can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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THE WINNER’S OF LAST WEEK’S JEWELRY GIVEAWAY ARE BELOW. CONGRATS!