Sunday, August 18, 2013

BOUNDARIES ARE A GOOD THING – The Testimony of Kathleen Scuteri

Any one who knows me, knows that I love to hear the testimonies of saints and how they came to know the LORD; how He delivered these lost souls from sin and death and hell and transformed sinners into saints.

Such is the testimony of one Kathleen Scuteri, a beloved daughter of the KING of Kings and LORD of Lords JESUS CHRIST, a veritable Princess in the Kingdom of God! And like all of us, her transformation is not yet complete - there is still work that the LORD has to do in us; nonetheless, we are considered by God the Father as His children, through the grace of our LORD!

Take the time to read this marvelous testimony and praise the LORD for what He has done in the redemption of yet another soul!

By Kathleen Scuteri –

At the end of a post-abortion counseling class, our lesson was to draw a picture of ourselves, as we saw ourselves now at the end of a long, very difficult journey through our past. After many weeks of dealing with the truth of what we had done, repenting and receiving forgiveness from God and forgiving ourselves, I drew my picture.

In the picture I was in an enclosed place with a fence all around me with the perimeters clearly seen, with one gate that was open. There were shackles and chains that had fallen off of me and they lay at my feet. After time was up and we had to show the others in the class our drawings, as I showed mine, they sort of gasped.

With a curious look on their faces, they asked, “why do you see yourself like that?” Meaning why did I see myself within those boundaries. The following is my explanation.

 I had backslid for a few years in the early 90’s as the “dog returned to the vomit” of my previous years before salvation. Before receiving the Lord Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior and becoming born again in 1977, I started going bad when at 15 years old, my mother left my stepfather and once again I was a child from a broken home.

We moved to a different town. The guys in that town, just entering puberty were as we jokingly called ourselves, “little N.Y. city wild”. Lacking morals, and into sex, drugs and rock and roll. I managed to steer clear of them for about a year. When I started hanging out with them, my life began to take a downward spiral.

Just before my 15th birthday, I realized I was pregnant. Scared to death, not knowing what to do, another month went by before I finally told someone. A friend took me to Planned Parenthood. They did a test on my urine, and confirmed my predicament.

After I sat and cried for a while, a kind lady explained to me that it was only a blob of tissue, it could be removed and after a couple days, everything would be fine. She said because I was a minor, I would need to get my parent’s consent for the operation. I absolutely dreaded telling my mother, completely dismissed telling my father.

After another few weeks went by, every day was a nightmare of throwing up quietly so Mom wouldn’t hear me and knowing I needed to tell her anyway. I didn’t know about the “blob” growing to the point when the “simple operation” could no longer be done. The “blob of tissue” was growing and forming and could no longer be removed by suction.

By the time I finally told my mother and after experiencing her shock and horror, her scream and anger, we went back to Planned Parenthood; they explained I would need to have a saline injection and go into labor and deliver the fetus. They never called it a baby. So they scheduled the abortion for me. My mother paid for it, which at the time I was young and stupid and didn’t realize she couldn’t afford it but somehow came up with the money because any other consideration or option was out of the question.

In fact, continuing with the pregnancy, giving birth and placing the baby up for adoption was never mentioned, not by Planned Parenthood, not by my mother. The convenience of sweeping my trouble under the rug so no one would know was, well just too convenient ---for them. My mother drove me to a hospital a few hours away, the only one closest to us that did abortions. I was 15, I was scared, but I believed the lie that in a few days, “it would all be over”.

I had a long needle inserted into my abdomen, and a saline solution was injected into the amniotic sac. And then something was done to cause me to go into labor a few hours later. I cannot describe to you how utterly lonely and frightening that experience was. My naivety and trusting in adults, did not prepare me for the nightmare.

When it was time for delivery, the nurse draped sheets over my legs so that I could not see the “blob of tissue” when “it” came out. That was probably the only thing that was spared me, not seeing my dead fully formed baby with its skin all burned from the saline fluid. But when it was all over and my mother was allowed to return to the room, I wept and cried and began the mourning process that unbeknownst to me would never end, not ever.

In a whole life time.

Was I initially crying because I had let them kill my baby and I knew it was a baby? Deep down, yes. But I think it was also because I was only 15 and it was very traumatic. I was not allowed to think of “it” as a baby. So I pushed and stuffed the intuition of the truth way down into the depths of my soul. It began a killing process within me.
As I struggled to forget the pain, physical and emotional of that day, I quickly turned to doing more drugs and drinking more alcohol to numb myself. The guys were always there to take advantage of that. After several lame attempts at suicide, it was just before my 20th birthday, my teen years had come and gone and I was now a hardened, cold, drug and alcohol addict.

I didn’t know about anyone wanting to rescue me out of a life of shame and misery. All I wanted was an end to the pain and loneliness.

It was one night after I had seen my boyfriend with his arms around some other girl at my father’s house, after a day of pushing down emotions and a couple beers, I just couldn’t do it anymore.
At the table surrounded by family and their friends, I started to cry. I got up, walked in the living room, stared out of the picture window at the black night and felt the blackness and darkness in my own soul. I wanted to talk to someone, anyone who would listen; someone with a sympathetic ear and a warm hug.

I thought maybe Dad would do that, so when he came into the living room where I stood, he asked me what was wrong. With a choked up voice and tears streaming, I said I needed to talk to him. He said he had company and could I come back tomorrow. I left his house determined to end my life.

I got in my car and headed to a road on the hill that overlooks the lake. I felt a presence in the car with me, urging me on. “Do it, do it, you’ll finally have the peace you want. It will all be over.” At about 90 mph, I jerked the steering wheel over to the right into the guard rails.

When the seconds of jolting, metal screeching, and spinning stopped there was nothing but silence; it took me a few seconds to get my bearings. Did the car go over the cliff? Was it hanging over the edge about to go over? Why wasn’t I dead or for that matter even hurt?

I opened the car door and gingerly stepped out onto the pavement. The car was heading in the opposite direction, in the middle of the road with the passenger side all smashed in. There were several guard rails down.

Two weeks later, after getting yelled at by my father for wrecking my car and doing such a crazy thing, enduring my mother’s stares of disbelief on her face. Not being able to talk to anyone about my aloneness, my shame, my misery, I went to see a psychologist at my mother’s prompting.

They took me back through my past, put a bandage on my wounds and sent me home. Was there an entity from the dark side urging me on, whispering in my ear to just “do it” the night I tried to kill myself via car over the cliff? Was there an intervention from heaven via angels who prevented the car going over the cliff?
I can only tell you this, I know God is real.

I wrote a letter to a guy who had lived in my town whom I had heard tried to commit suicide. However he had found something or someone and his life had turned around. He wrote back to me. This was a letter that so completely and utterly influenced my life that I will never forget it or him, and I will always be grateful for both.

It contained the gospel of Jesus Christ. How God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in Him, Jesus, would not perish but have everlasting life. God loved me! He gave His life for me, and if I would repent, turn away from my sins, believe in Him and receive Him as my personal Lord and Savior, I could become born again. I could have a new life, be set free!

Not fully comprehending but knowing it as truth, I prayed one night in my bedroom. I cried out to God and told Him I was sorry for all the wrongs I had done and asked Him to come into my life and be my Lord and save me.
The weight on my shoulders that had been there for 5 years lifted off. The tears of sorrow turned to tears of joy.

The chains fell off, I was set free! The very best way I can tell you how much I love the Lord for saving me, I who was forgiven much, and who loves much (Luke 7:47) is to use the words of King David as recorded here is Psalm 116:1-19.

I wept when I first learned this Psalm because I feel as if I could have written it myself:

PSALM 116:1-19

I love the LORD, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications.
2 Because he hath inclined his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live.
3 The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me: I found trouble and sorrow.
4 Then called I upon the name of the LORD; O LORD, I beseech thee, deliver my soul.
5 Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; yea, our God is merciful.

6 The LORD preserveth the simple: I was brought low, and he helped me.
7 Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee.
8 For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling.
9 I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
10 I believed, therefore have I spoken: I was greatly afflicted:
11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
12 What shall I render unto the LORD for all his benefits toward me?
13 I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the LORD.
14 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people.
15 Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
16 O LORD, truly I am thy servant; I am thy servant, and the son of thine handmaid: thou hast loosed my bonds.
17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.
18 I will pay my vows unto the LORD now in the presence of all his people,
19 In the courts of the LORD'S house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem. Praise ye the LORD.

The weeks and months that followed that glorious night of prayer and repentance and being forgiving, feeling God's acceptance and love, I had a hunger to read the Bible. I found scripture passages that spoke to the depths of my being and I was able to understand for the very first time in my life all that Jesus went through for me!

This scripture passage in Isaiah was and still is one of my favorites. It was a prophetic scripture that foretold about Jesus' coming to the earth. When I read it, I know He came for me, He died for me, He loved me while I was yet a sinner. He chose me, and I will be eternally grateful.

The Suffering Servant

ISAIAH 53:1-12
1 Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 
2 For He grew up before Him like a tender shoot, And like a root out of parched ground; He has no stately form or majesty That we should look upon Him, Nor appearance that we should be attracted to Him.
3 He was despised and forsaken of men, A man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; And like one from whom men hide their face He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He did not open His mouth; Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, And like a sheep that is silent before its shearers, So He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away; And as for His generation, who considered That He was cut off out of the land of the living For the transgression of my people, to whom the stroke was due?
9 His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.
10 But the LORD was pleased To crush Him, putting Him to grief; If He would render Himself as a guilt offering, He will see His offspring, He will prolong His days, And the good pleasure of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 As a result of the anguish of His soul, He will see it and be satisfied; By His knowledge the Righteous One, My Servant, will justify the many, As He will bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore, I will allot Him a portion with the great, And He will divide the booty with the strong; Because He poured out Himself to death, And was numbered with the transgressors; Yet He Himself bore the sin of many, And interceded for the transgressors.

The boundaries that I began this story with are self imposed. They are a good thing. Mine might be different than yours. The chains are gone, and the shackles that held me are loosed. I am free.

But I have a will. God gave each and everyone of us a free will because He didn’t want robots. When I overstepped my boundaries in 1993, and backslid after a few years of pastors and church, backsliding and falling into sin, I returned to the worldliness and every thing I had known before.

It took me a few years to go from bad to worse, to then repeating the frightening feeling of not wanting to live anymore and wanting to take my own life. The shame was unbearable; I felt I was too dirty that even God didn’t love me anymore. I was wrong.

The very minute I chose to return, to make that very first step back to the Father, knowing I had it better in His house, He met me. He was there, with open arms. He led me home. Now I am free. I am free to choose to stay within the perimeters He told me I need. My daily prayer is “Oh God, do not let me wander away.”

I have learned to recognize when I am moving to that open gate, getting too close, pushing the limits. If you do not know what your boundaries are, I strongly urge you to ask God. He will show you what they are.
For some Christians, if your like me, it’s worldly music, drugs and/or alcohol, and not staying within the confines of my own thinking.

If you have read my story and you do not know this Jesus who has set me free, but there has been a stirring in your soul, know that He is there, He is waiting for you to respond. You are not too dirty; there is nothing you have done that His blood cannot wash clean. He loves you, He died for you, He wants to come into your life and be your Lord and Savior.

He wants to give you new life, in Him. He wants to set you free. Just ask Him, He is only a prayer away. May God Almighty give you grace and mercy as you turn to Him. In His holy name, Jesus Christ, Amen.

Too Late For Annie, by Petra 

 Also FROM The MIND of FIRE: Lamentations of a Young Death

1 comment:

Cheri Hughey said...

Thank you so much for sharing, Kathleen. If the truth were told, Christians, especially me, have had to discover the boundaries that we must stay within to stay close to Yeshua, to remain in communion with our Abba Father. They are self-imposed, but within them we know a freedom the world never sees and even less understands.