by Tim Anderson on Wednesday, March 30, 2011 at 8:14am
The past twelve months have been some of the most interesting in my life. My family and I have gone through quite a transformation. It’s been exciting, challenging, thought provoking and very interesting to say the least. I’m sure there are so many more words that could be used to describe the past year and all the events and changes that have gone on in my family’s lives.
More than a year ago, the abuse that my wife Tina went through years ago as a child was brought to light in the most round-about way and without any prompting on her part. In fact, if it had been up to her, it would have stayed a private matter. I knew about it within the first couple days of our first date. I’m sure that she expected me to run away scared of the scars in her life both physically and emotionally. We connected right away. In fact, we were engaged within three months and married within seven. As most know, we now have three beautiful children.
One of the biggest changes that we made a year ago was to change churches. We had decided that it was the best option for our family. This was not an easy decision and we didn’t make it foolishly or in haste. A lot of prayer went into our decision and there were many reasons for our decision. I was about to go into those reasons but that is not the purpose of this letter. I know there are a lot of speculations and rumors about us and the reasons we left. I’m sure none of them are correct because we’ve never explained fully “why” we left. I don’t know what rumors are flying around and it does not matter. We have to answer to God for our decision, not man.
We never stopped going to church. We just found a new one. We spent the summer visiting various churches. I’d say that I attended at least ten different churches in the area. It was great to see the variety of churches and the love that these believers had for God. I even took my family to an all black church in the area. We were the only white people in the crowd. They were friendly and invited us back again and I wanted to but we never made it there again.
We finally walked into a church that just felt like home. They preach God’s Word and the messages spoke to our hearts and were exactly what we needed. The service is just so uplifting and edifying of God and it’s just an excitement to go there every Sunday. It is so great to walk through church and people being excited to see you, give you a hug, and a genuinely happy with life and serving God.
They have stretched out their arms and have loved us. They didn’t know our story and it was nice to be able to sit in the audience and not worry about what the latest news article, website, or blog had to say about Tina. We have been very blessed to find a new church home. As time has gone by, we’ve shared our story. Usually, when we’re done they stop and ask if they could pray for us.
God has multiplied our friends. We made a few friends during the four and a half years that we were at our previous church but even in just the first four months at our new church we developed more friends and a deeper relationship with many of them than we had been able to with others in the past. On numerous occasions we have had people from our new church call us up and say they were thinking of us and felt that we needed prayer. Just the other day, a woman called Tina and when Tina didn’t answer, she just prayed for us and we heard it when she listened to her voicemail. It was very sweet and thoughtful.
We’ve been able to get involved in women’s Bible studies, men’s Bible studies, community outreach services, children’s programs, nursery, just to name a few. The church is involved in so many things that it’s hard not to get involved in something. The church focuses on reaching the needs of people and getting people involved in meeting those needs.
Another big change that happened was putting our children into a charter school. Suzanna was about to go into second grade and Haydn into kindergarten but we just couldn’t see where we were going to come up with the tuition. Even though we had help with Suzanna through Tops (which we were very thankful for), we could barely keep up with that and didn’t know how we were going to do it with two kids. Anyway, we chose a charter school based on their high academic quality and have been very pleased with their education. They are both doing so well.
Aria’s health is so much better. For the first couple years of her life she was always on one antibiotic after another. She was in the hospital four or five times for various reasons. This past year to year and a half she’s been able to go four to six weeks at a time without antibiotics instead of every two weeks. She does get some medicine at night but it’s preventative stuff to help her not get sick. She’s still susceptible to catching everyone’s cold but not as bad as before.
Haydn’s asthma sometimes kicks in when he’s running around too much but other than that, he’s doing great. Suzanna just got her first pair of glasses. It’s amazing how much a pair of glasses improves concentration and handwriting.
To sum everything up, we are doing great!! A year ago, we were just kind of coasting through life wondering what is God’s purpose for us. I always told Tina that God was going to use her abuse to minister to others. We never in our wildest dreams ever thought that God would use us this big. This is only the beginning. We are always asking God for His direction in our lives, that His Will be done, and that everything that happens brings glory to Him.
We never wanted Tina’s story to be public. We always thought that she’d be used in the local church ministering to other abused victims. When called by the police to confirm the report of her being raped, impregnated, put up for church discipline, shipped to Colorado, baby given up for adoption, and kept away from other kids her age, she cooperated. That is all. We still never saw the magnitude of all that has happened over the past year. We’re still in shock at all that has progressed. Everything is being orchestrated by God. We don’t know or understand His ultimate purpose in all of this.
Now that Tina’s story is out, we pray that it will encourage pastors, churches, schools, universities, and any other organization of believers to examine how they will deal with a situation of abuse when it happens to their children. Unfortunately, Tina’s story is not unique and it’s not the worst. There are too many children who are being raped and beaten by “Christian” parents, pastors, teachers, and church members. Now, here’s the question. Are you going to deal with sin or sweep it under the rug? If you, as a pastor, Christian leader, teacher, layman, or any adult tries to hide it, God will bring it to light. God will deal with you. I believe that is exactly what is happening. Christians, who say they believe the Bible, are not dealing with sin properly, and God is taking care of it.
As a family, we are happy. We are content. I personally am excited to see what God is going to do in the future. I know that God has a plan for me and my family. I’m excited about the possibilities of God using a horrible situation and turning it into a situation that He can use to His glory.
How is God working in your life? I know He’s working in mine.
I want to give Him all the glory and honor and praise His Name, forever and ever.
Also posted on the "I Support Tina Anderson" Facebook group here: http://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_194137603936064&view=permalink&id=213902488626242