Breaking the Cycle of Tormenting Fear

With a shaking hand, Nancy slid the key into the brass lock and swung open the door to her new home. It was dark. There was no furniture anywhere. It was as barren as her battered heart. Alone and exhausted, Nancy fell to her knees with a gut-wrenching moan. “Lord, I’m a mess.”

When Nancy was a child, it seemed that when it came to God, all she learned at home, church, and school was about His wrath, anger, and eternal damnation. Her little heart trembled as her teachers at school seemed to confirm this fierce picture, as the nuns were often cruel even toward the smallest children. For little Nancy, it all played into a terrifying picture of an unrelentingly angry God. 

“It was horrible,” says Nancy. The guilt and fear of seemingly unavoidable hellfire played into years of rebellion long after she left the Catholic Church. “All I heard was that you cannot do this or that or you will go to hell. That kind of perfection seemed impossible, so I felt like I wasn’t worth anything.” She rebelled against it all, and this tragic misunderstanding of her value in the eyes of God would torment her for years to come as she struggled to fill the spiritual void left in her heart.

A Downhill Slide

While Nancy was baptized, along with her husband, as a born-again Christian in her twenties, that nagging picture of God left big room for doubt. Her new church hinted at God’s grace, but the place was more of a center for social events rather than a place to find a life-changing belief system. All the same, Nancy and her husband took their children with them to church every Sunday. They were happy—that is, until Satan crept in and brought a wave of destruction into the marriage.

Riddled with guilt and heartache over the demise of her relationship, Nancy slid further downhill, hitting one devastating pothole after another. She began drinking and partying, moving in and out of relationships. She even lost another husband when she had an affair with a married man.

This cycle of heartbreak continued in a desperate search for love and acceptance, but it amounted to little. To make matters worse, she was even diagnosed with cancer. “Why I didn’t turn back to God at that point, I really don’t know,” says Nancy. While she believes God spared her life, she still made one more attempt to find lasting happiness her way—she married again. But this one ended like the others.

Her life was in shambles, and she knew it. Even when Nancy got keys to a new home, there was no excitement, only the heartbreak of loneliness. She realized that she had looked into every dirty corner to find the answer to her soul’s cry for love, but only had failure and pain to show for it. 

In those moments, she knew where she needed to turn. She prayed, “Lord, You promised to lift us out of despair. I need You. I need You to start guiding my life.” Nancy asked God to be her husband—her captain and leader. It was then that her life began to really change.

A Step Forward

Nancy soon returned to a church she had once attended only sporadically. There she met Gary, a spiritual man who invited her to attend Bible studies and services at a variety of churches. They became friends and eventually a couple. It was through Gary that Nancy met a group of Sabbath-keepers in a walking club. They joined the group, meeting several times a week. Nancy bonded with her group. “They are the most genuine people I have ever come across,” she explains.

The pastor, Jeff, joined the group almost every day, and Nancy loved hearing his perspective on the Bible. She and Gary loved learning more about God, so when Pastor Jeff told them about an upcoming prophecy seminar, they were excited. “I didn’t trust just anyone to teach prophecy,” says Nancy, “but I felt like this was the right place to go for answers.”

Craving the Word

Amazing Facts evangelist Darrin Bartell did not disappoint. “He is really led by the Lord,” Nancy shares. “And he is an amazing teacher. He talked in a way that I could understand and relate to.”

Nancy attended every meeting, drinking in the many new teachings. “It seemed like Darrin was talking directly to me even when we were in a group setting,” she says. “Amazing Facts really opened up the Bible to me. For the first time in my life, I felt comfortable learning the Bible. I was absorbing it like a sponge.”

Nancy was especially impressed by all the scriptural evidence for everything Darrin taught. “I would always get something new, something that I hadn’t heard in the past,” says Nancy. “I finally knew the reality about God’s love and His forgiveness. He wants to have fellowship with us—that’s why He created us! And I understood that by being obedient to His Word, it brings harmony to our lives. I’m finally fulfilled. I don’t have that empty void. God fills it!”

What she learned about God and the Bible through Amazing Facts has filled Nancy’s heart with lasting joy. She couldn’t believe the amazing love of Jesus, and the prophecies provided an even clearer picture of God’s loving character and His battle to save her from sin. “I had always known about the judgment,” she reflects. “But learning about His love and character makes a huge difference in how you perceive His judgment. If you have a relationship with Him, you are not going to be judged that way.”

A Life Changed—by You!

Darrin spent a lot of time talking with Nancy and answering her Bible questions. When he spoke to her about recommitting to God through baptism, Nancy nearly shouted, “Yes!”

A few weeks later, she was baptized by Pastor Jeff on a Sabbath. “It meant so much that Darrin was there,” says Nancy. “He taught me that this is the truth, and this is what I want for my life.”

Evangelist Darrin was there for Nancy when she needed someone, but so were you. Because of your sacrificial giving, Amazing Facts was able to send him to reach Nancy with the truth about God’s law and His character of love. She is finally at peace knowing that God gave everything to save her and, through a daily relationship with Him, provides guidance for living in obedience.

Your loving gifts change lives. The world is filled with people like Nancy who don’t understand the freeing truth of God’s law of love. Thank you for sharing! 

Today, Nancy looks back on her life of turmoil, incredulous that she didn’t turn back to God in the midst of difficult times. But for her, coming to God was about finding compassion. “It took the truth about His love, not a catastrophic event, to bring me into God’s fold,” she says. “When the time was right, it was the love of God’s people that opened my eyes, and the honesty of the Word that brought me back to the Lord. And I couldn’t be happier about it!”

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