Mar 27, 2013
My name is LaNora Purvis & this is my story: I was born in Cleveland Texas in 1973 but grew up in Livingston Texas until 2003. I now live in New Caney with my family. My motive for sharing such a deep personal part of my life with you is not for you to feel sorry for me. Rather, I want you to know this: If you do not have a personal relationship with God because of circumstances in your life, doubts about God's love or even his existence, you've got it all wrong—just as I did. God loved me so much; he helped me through the years of my trials and tribulations. He was there each and every time I called his name. It all started in 1972 when my mother found out she was pregnant. When she found out she was pregnant with me she would pray for a miscarriage and sometimes have her niece’s jump on her belly in hopes to loose me because she could not afford a baby and had quit school and had no place to go. My biological father was headed off to the Vietnam War so she never told him about me. She met my father/step dad in 1975 and married him when I was 5 years old so he is the only man I have ever know as "Dad". I remember my mother being so happy but the thing is she never knew that while her happiness had just started my happiness died. I started being sexually abused by him on a regular basis and it lasted until I was 17. In 1980 we moved close to my Aunt's house and I started being molested by my teenage cousin. The ordeal made me sometimes doubt there was a loving God. For I thought, "If there is a loving God, why doesn't he love me? Why would he allow me to be sexually abused?" Not by one man, but by two. Not once, but often. Not for days, weeks, or months, but for many years and if all this wasn't enough he allowed me to be raped at age 14 by a school “FRIEND”. I was a very good kid, so I didn't understand why. What did I do that was so horribly wrong? I asked God every “why” question known to man. I screamed, bargained, and pleaded with him. I cried myself to sleep most nights. "What am I suppose to believe? What am I suppose to have faith in? That God's going to fix this? That this is His will?" These were my thoughts because I didn't know what else to think. I never dreamed about my future or marriage. I lived daily in survival mode. I learned early on how to deny my own experiences, rewrite them, or excuse them because "it must be my fault." I blanked-out months and even years of time but even through all this I continually felt spiritually connected to God as far back as I can remember. I never knew why because even though my mom had been saved and she spoke of God time to time we never went to church. She would say my dad did not want to go where there was a bunch of hypocrites. I would go from begging God to make the abuse stop to being so mad at him for allowing it to continue. At times I even believed I would experience a miracle, but most of the time I did not. More often I thought, "Why is this happening to me? Maybe if I could figure out a reason, maybe just maybe, I could take the abuse better." These thoughts also surfaced and became more specific the older I got: "If there truly is a God, how did this fit in His plans for me? How do I believe in God when I doubt God?" I would cry out and pray, "Lord I am alone and afraid, please help me. I'm waiting God, tell me! What am I suppose to do next? I really need your help, Lord. Help me through this; I have no one to turn to. I am so scared and ashamed." I would ask God continuously to show me a sign that he was real and that he did love me. I know God showed me a sign every time, but I was so full of anger or perhaps too “of the world” to recognize them. I was angry with myself for not telling someone about the abuse, but I couldn't dare. My abuser was my dad, my cousin, my friend. I loved my dad and he made my mother happy and we were a “family”. I remember him telling that if I told anyone that he would have to leave me and my mom and then who would take care of us. I felt very alone and responsible for the happiness of everyone in my family. My father was very strict and I was not allowed to stay with friends very often or go anywhere by myself for to long. The abuse kept me isolated and I had no place to go. My mother divorced him in 1990, but I stayed with him. I know what you are thinking…Why? Because when you are sexually abused by a loved one you at first you don’t think its wrong and then when you know its not right you feel too much guilt, shame, hurt and responsibility for everyone else’s happiness. If I say anything I will destroy a lot of people that I love, so it’s better if I only hurt one person…..Myself! When I was a senior in high school I got a job and met my first "real" boyfriend at 17. I told my father at that time to STOP not because I knew it was wrong and I was standing up for myself but because I knew it was wrong to cheat on my boyfriend. From that day forward my father left me alone and life went on as if nothing had ever happened in the past 12 years. It was never spoke of again. After I graduated I married (1991) and in 1992 I became a mom. We had joined a local church and life looked good....so I thought. All along I was still dying inside because I felt guilty, ashamed and dirty. As soon I told him “no” he started dating a girl that was only two years older than me and she had a little girl only a few years old. Although I moved out of the house and my life went on I could see the same signs of abuse with my step sister as I did with myself all those years of abuse. I never said anything because I felt like why should I try and protect her, she has a mother. I did not want to take on anymore responsibility for people’s happiness and hurt. I had my own life now and my own children to worry about. In 1994 just after my 21st birthday my mother died. She was a healthy woman that I had just spent Mother’s Day with her laughing and talking. Next day she was gone and I was 3 months pregnant and feeling I had no one. Several months later I’m told that my biological father that never wanted me died. I became so depressed that I wanted to die but instead of suicide I became very self destructive. I just wanted the pain, shame, and humiliation to stop. I really don't remember much from May 1994-Feb1997 except that I had a healthy baby girl, that I named Mary after my mother. I do remember checking myself into a mental hospital for help but all they wanted to do was give me drugs and I did not want them, so I checked myself out after 1 month. I looked at myself in the mirror, and I felt nothing for that person staring back at me because all I could see was pain, anger, shame, and even hatred. I lived a life filled with this hurt, pain and depression for over 3 years. I may have looked normal to everyone on the outside but inside I was dying. In Feb 1997 I told my husband I wanted a divorce. I took my children and began a life of partying and sexual self destruction. Again, to everyone on the outside it seemed I had it all together, single mom working and raising her children on her own. No one knew I played Russian roulette with my life. I started drinking and turning to every man that thought I was pretty. I started searching for my own happiness. Thing is I could never find it. It wasn't with the alcohol or the men. I was so scared, but the voices in my head were encouraging me, saying "You will never find happiness; No one will ever love you, hell your own dad didn't want you or love you, you’re ugly." "These men think you’re beautiful and they like you and the alcohol will take the pain away..... So just do it!" So as soon as I did, there was my answer. Confirmed I no longer felt pain, shame, hatred or abandoned. I was "LOVED". But then I would start to hear a different, tender voice saying, "LaNora, I love you. I have plans for you." It was as if this other voice was pleading. But I was to the point that there was no turning back. I spent the next 12 years running to God and running from God. The ritual abuse I had endured left me with horrible pain, fear and deception about God at times, as well as many dysfunctional behaviors. I needed physical, mental, emotional and spiritual healing. The stress wore me down and I often stayed depressed. I never considered walking away from Christianity because I knew no one else had the answers to life's questions. This all happened while I still tried to be a Christian and mother. I know I caused my children so much trouble and pain. Every time I was being so self destructive God would intervene. I remember in November of 1997 I was at my worst and one night while driving home I got a DWI. Again, I was so mad at God.....Why did he do this to me. He knew I could not afford it. I had children at home. I did not want to loose my girls. Well I was given court fines and probation and community service. I was thankful no jail time. In December of that year I asked God to help me...Please take away the pain! Help me to be a better person! Well God knew I had always wanted a little boy just as my mother did. One night at a local night club I ran into one of the men that I had went out with earlier that year, but it ended when he caught me with his friend, well I got up the nerve to go and ask him for one more night of great "LOVE" and after that he would never have to see me or talk to me again...to my surprise he said yes. That night I got pregnant with my son. I told him about the baby and even though he always paid child support he was never part of his life. I know my son was sent by God to help save my life because if was not for him I know I would not have lived if I continued on my self destructive path I was on. He was part of God's big plan for me I just didn't know how, why or when. It was then that I really started to change my life. I focused on my children & my career more. My children had never met any man I was with and then very few men that I dated during the next 4 years and I only went out if they were gone to their dad's for the weekend. Yes my son went with my first husband, every time he took my girls he took my son. He said he needed a father figure. All was good again for me.....so I thought! I got a real good job for the County while doing community service which later led to a better job for the State of Texas working for Children's Protective Services as an accountant. I was providing for my children and was able to give them material things that I had never been given, but with all this came stress and the feeling of failure again because I became a person who always wanted to please others; to be the best at everything I attempted. I simply refused to pursue anything unless I was reasonably certain I could obtain perfection. So as you might surmise, my endeavors became very limited. To receive love and acceptance, I felt I had to be "doing something" to obtain it. And I know I relayed this message to my children. One night 3 years later in November of 2000, I went out with some friends because again I started feeling those old feelings starting to surface again. I called a babysitter and went out with some friends to a bar and on my way home I got pulled over for a DWI 2ND offense. I was terrified! I just knew that I was going to loose everything including my children but instead I got probation and community service. I was so thankful. I knew I needed to just focus on my children and providing for them. In 2001 I met a man that I thought was great. He told me he loved me and would do anything for me..... key word "me"! At first things were great between us. We moved in together and I later got pregnant. That was the real start of my HELL again. He accused me of cheating and getting pregnant by another man. The baby was not his! He wished me and the baby would die. Well when I was almost 7 months pregnant I lost my baby boy Jalan. I again became very depressed and angry with him and God. He had convinced me that he loved me and my children and that he was sorry and he was going to change. He felt I did not need to return to my job with CPS that I just needed to stay home with my children and be a mom. He would take care of us. I became pregnant again shortly after loosing Jalan. In July of 2003 I gave birth to our daughter and it was at that time that I developed an eating disorder that lasted for the next 7 years. I thought that if I lost weight he would love me more. But all that did was give him reason to believe I was cheating on him. One night, the abuse was so bad that I called his mother to come and get me and the baby. I told him it was over between us. I left but several weeks later I was back with him. He promised he would never hit me again and that he wanted to make things work. He would go to counseling and do whatever it takes to change. Well we went one time! We were all living with his mother so he bought us a nice 5 bedroom house in New Caney in 2004 and said things will be different now. I love you and the children. However, it was then that I really started to see a different side of him. My children feared and hated him. He became even more jealous when I went to work for a company in Houston in 2005. He was always accusing me of cheating. Thing is that hurt me more than the physical abuse because I had been trying since 1998 to repair my reputation and self-esteem I had surely destroyed in 1997. Well I lived this life until I filed for divorce in 2007. What self esteem I had been stripped away and I felt like my life had no meaning. I left him and the thing is he never even knew one part of my past because I never felt I could share that part of my life with him. The divorce was final but as soon as it was I was in the arms of another man ready to marry him, which I did in October 2007 and again divorced in February 2008. I just knew God had given up on me and that my life was destined to be pain and heartache, I would never find "LOVE"! ........Love was not God's plan for me! So again, I went right back into the arms of the man I had just got away from. I knew this was my life. He was my comfort. One night after partying and drinking he hit me again. We made up and he apologized and I stayed with him until June 24, 2008 when for some reason I called him at work and told him that I was leaving him because I could not continue to raise my children in this life style of arguing and fighting. I did not want my son to grow up thinking this is how he is to treat women and I did not want my girls to think this is how men are to treat them. They deserved better! I had court the next day June 25, 2008 in Livingston with the Attorney Generals Office after 10 years for my son. On June 25, 2008, my life started to change. I see my son's father in court after almost 8 years of not ever seeing or speaking to him. We start talking and he starts telling me about his mother and how she was not expected to live much longer. I then was able to share with him my experience of loosing my mother. I could truly relate. Ten years apart my son's father and I were immediately drawn to one another just as we were in 1997. We talked throughout that week about our past and what we both wanted for our future. Even though both our lives had went on, throughout the years we both felt empty and always searching for something or someone to make us feel complete and never understanding why we couldn't ever feel like we were a whole person. We both have taken many different, challenging and painful paths. When we were together we felt complete. We have been together ever since that day. Although we have had some really hard times we have managed to work it out. I remember in September of 2008. He hit me while drinking. I had told myself I would not do this again no matter how much the guy told me he loved me. So I went to his father's house where he was so that I could drop off some of his things. When he seen the bruises and hurt in my eyes he knew he had lost me for good. He was lost and did not know where to turn. He decided to call his mother's Pastor. My husband was not a religious man and had never received God's Salvation. He did that day on his father's front porch. I knew I felt so empty, even though I said I would never be with a man that hit me I had to forgive and ask God to show me his will. He did and things were great again for us and our families.......or so HE thought. I was still holding onto my distrust, anger and bitterness, shame and guilt even when I smiled and said I love you. One day (10/14/09) he had enough and even though he loved me more than anything he told me he could not take my controlling and distrusting ways. He had asked God to forgive him and he did and so he did not understand why I could not forgive him for what he had done. I told him..........SEE YA! Later that night I headed straight back to my comfort zone.......THE BARS! I was going to start DJ’ing for extra money. I needed the money since he would not be living with me anymore and helping pay the bills. When I left the bar after talking to the owner and drinking three beers (I had to fit in..I was going to be their DJ) It had been raining and a lot of construction work. What once was a wide shoulder was no longer a shoulder but a six foot drop off and ditch. I was stuck! I sat there for over five hours. Every passing car tried to help me pull my car out of the ditch but no luck so finally I called a wrecker with the wrecker came the police. “Again” God intervened and at the same time Howard was praying for me not to return to the bar life and for God to give him peace in his heart that I did not need him and that I was not part of God's plan for him he received a phone call from me and my words were "I need you"! I was going to jail for DWI 3rd offense felony. I had never been in “jail” before although I only stayed 2 days it seemed like forever. While in there I had plenty of time to think about my life and where I was, where I had been and where I wanted to go. I prayed to God that he would not allow my children to be taken from me and that he would help me to understand why I was the way I was, why horrible things always happened to me. Why was I even born? Why didn’t He let me die when I was in my mother’s womb? It would have saved me a lot of heartache and pain. I did not want live anymore! GOD IF YOU ARE REAL PLEASE SPEAK TO ME!!!! I left the jail and went to see a lawyer and he told me it was going to be $5000 plus another $1500 which would have to be paid that day in order for him to represent me. I paid the $1500 and then stressed about how I would pay the rest. I guess I would have to sell some of MY things......My 4 wheelers, My boat, My (extra) Truck or My travel trailer? Again I was getting angry with God for doing this to me so...... I got up Sunday morning to go to church and while getting ready I turned on my TV and was watching Joel Olsteen, well guess what his sermon was on?.....Letting go of your past and accepting the blessings that God has in store for you and has been trying to give you. I was in shock.....When that ended Kerry Shook came on and guess what his sermon was on?......Excepting God's plan for you and letting go of your past. By this time I'm in tears trying to get my clothes on. I kept thinking ....God are you trying to tell me something? By this time I was running late for church so I did not have time to go to the church I had been visiting off and on for the past 6 months or so I went to the church next to my house (Faith Family). And guess what his sermon was about LETTING GO! I then knew God was speaking to me but my worldly mind still needed confirmation so I told God that if He was real then prove it! When they had their offering call……I knew what one of my biggest problems was, it was the LOVE of MY MONEY. So, I said God if you want me to believe you are trying to speak to me and you have something better for me then prove it!! Show me! I then took every penny I had in my purse ($25cash) and laid it on the alter and said “God this is all I have with me and I'm giving it to you”, please accept it and know that this time it is truly coming from my heart because I want love for you in my heart NOT the love for money. I want to BELIEVE and TRUST in YOU! There has to be more about life than this. After church the Pastor came up to me ask if I had time to speak with him, I told him yes and that my fiancé was in the restroom but that I would stop by his office when he got out. He told me “no” my wife and I are not needing to speak to your fiancé, we need to speak to you. (I thought that was kinda weird) I went into the office and he told me he has never really done this before but he felt God telling him to speak to me and to give me a cd of one of his sermons. That’s when he handed me a cd named “Get Over It”. (I still have it) I knew then God was truly trying to speak to me and that it was time for me to let my past abuse go. BUT HOW? WHAT NOW? Well on my way home I stopped by and checked my mail and there was a check for $3,185.81 in my mail box. It was from the insurance company that that had told me a year ago that I could not get refunded for damages done to my home by Hurricane Ike. God once again showed me he hears my every word and I should trust in him. He told me “I had the blessing there for you before you even asked for it and you would have known that if you would have taken the time to seek instead of focusing on yourself and your problems”. On Monday morning I had to go to Adult Community Supervision in Conroe. I met a lady there that I was so drawn to and didn’t know why but God laid it on my heart to tell her almost everything about my life. She invited me to her church (Cornerstone Church of Cleveland). That was on a Monday and so we visited there on that Wednesday. When we returned for Sunday services I met another lady that came up to me and told me that God has told her 3 different times to come speak to me. She didn't know why but she gave me her phone # and told me that she was fixing to start a ladies bible study and if I wanted to attend please call her. I called her Monday morning and told her that I was interested. She told me that it started Tuesday @ 7pm and she gave me the directions and said if when I got there I thought that it was not for me then I didn't have to return. Well by my surprise the name of the study was "Get a Life"! Every single issue I had ever dealt with in my life was going to be covered. The women there even had the same issues, Men, Money, Controlling Ways, Abuse, and Molested by father, Rape, Addiction and Christianity off and on. It was a life changing experience and through this experience I was able to empty my tank from all the worldly trash and fill it with the Holy Spirit of God. I rededicated my life to God on November 1, 2009 and was later baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in the little town where my life first began, I was reborn. This time "MY FATHER" was with me and I was in his house. My slate was wiped clean and I was pure again. Thank you Father God! I have grown so spiritually close to God that sometimes it seems overwhelming how much God speaks to me and shows me He loves me and wants what is best for me. All He wants is for us to call upon Him and have FAITH and TRUST in Him not just a little or sometimes but 100% all the time no matter what the situation is. Empty your worldly way of thinking and start thinking with a Christ like mind. Loving with the heart of Christ and seeing with His eyes. We have been BLESSED everyday since October 14, 2009 the different between the blessings we are receiving now and the ones we received our entire lives is that now we can see them and know exactly where they are coming from. I'm not saying Howard and I now live the "Perfect Life" and do not have any troubles because we do but now we know "Who" to seek for help and we pray and ask ourselves "What Would Jesus Do"? "How Would He Handle This Situation"? You see all those years of pain, anger, hatred, and shame, self destruction have now left me. God had to allow me to be broken down so he could move in completely. He no longer wanted to be a visitor in my life and in my heart; He wanted to be a PERMANENT resident. Now, I could start a new FREE/PURE life with him. I still sense that still small voice speak to my heart, telling me, "I know my plans for you LaNora. This isn't the end, but the beginning. Your best days are still yet to come." Hope lightened my heart. I recognized in that sacred moment that I had been blessed with some sort of miracle—a private encounter deep within my heart with the Lord, God Almighty. Whatever God had done within my soul, my entire outlook was different, changed in a divine instant. I believe God spent a lot of time with me throughout those years of abuse, heartache and depression, because, in fact, he did love me so. I know some of you are probably saying, "But why would he permit you to go through all that abuse?" Sometimes God allows us to go through terrible trials like these to expose Himself to us. Through them he reveals to us how much we need him, so that we will call upon him. I had a fear of letting my feelings be seen, so although I never stopped talking to the Lord, I continued to keep Him and everyone else on the outside of "The Wall." I know within my heart that the Lord was watching and waiting for me to turn to Him and lay everything at His feet. Yet, even still I could not break through "The Wall" I had erected around my heart. Another purpose is so we can be a testimony and a comfort to others in the future. Who better to testify to others than someone who has gone through similar circumstances? Those of us who have suffered can relate to others who are suffering. We can understand what they are feeling and going through. We can bring comfort and share how God changed our lives and our circumstances There is no sin that God won't forgive. God will always help us get through our trials. Sometimes it's not as quickly as we would like, or the way we would like it to happen, but God knows what he is doing. Everything he does is to prepare us for our destiny, God's plan. We just need to trust in Him. This is why I know God has given me the vision of Heaven’s Army of Resources & Recreation Center and said “There are many who are professing to be of Me but they are not. They are not leading my people to Me but away from Me. Go speak the truth of My Words and let them know I’m alive and will return.” Heaven’s Army of Resources & Recreation Center is a 501c3 non-profit community outreach ministry that is devoted to empowering families with the truth of God’s word. We strive to laminate our streets with the love of Christ. This ministry is undoubtedly a God-given task; therefore it is impossible for me to handle this without His help and guidance. He has blessed me with a staff made entirely of volunteers, and a budget solely dependant on donations. God has provided me with the determination and drive, and it is only being built upon since I took my first step of faith, on April 7, 2010, when I had $0 in the bank and signed a $1600 a month lease contract for a building I knew God told me was the one. I had just been raided by the police for illegal gambling. It was a mess but God told me not to worry He was going to take care of it. I was not tax exempt and everyone kept telling me, there is no way this could ever be used for a ministry. Since then, we have had over $30k in materials (not money) donated from individuals & small businesses for renovations and we were not 501c3 tax exempt at that time. He has supplied us with EVERYTHING since our step of faith. We have also had over 250 individuals join HARRC and become soldiers for Christ. Our members come from as far as Humble and Shepherd, Texas. God has brought us this far, and He has equipped us to channel our personal achievements and abilities to minister to the hurting souls surrounding us. We offer free services such as bible studies, Christian counseling, and variety of support groups to minister to and strengthen the hearts, minds, and souls of families. This is our main priority, as we know that our society has come to lead lives of abuse, neglect, addiction, poverty, and depression. Therefore we condone activities free from drugs, crime and violence. We also host many extra-curricular functions, including Dance, Karate, Cheerleading, and Reading Programs, Life Skill Training, Food Pantry, Exercise Programs, ESL, Spanish, Childcare & Tutoring. These enjoyable activities are for people of all ages and offered free to everyone no matter income or residency. We are God’s resource center by that I mean that God has given everyone a passion and gift so HARRC is a place where you can come and share it with others. You have a place to start your own ministry for God. This is a way to share God’s love and let them know He is alive. All members are informed that this center is not a hand out but a hand up. God wants better for them and they must be willing to participate in a small group Bible study offered by Heaven’s Army of Resources & other local churches and ministries of the same faith. Since stepping out in faith and completely relying on God to provide for His ministry I along with several others have seen and been witnessed to many miracles! SUPERNATURAL MIRALCES that could only be from GOD! I would love to share them all with you, so please feel free to contact me anytime. He wants His Army of TRUE BELIEVERS to put on His Armor and get His people ready for His presence! www.heavensarmyofresources.com I would love to speak to someone about my testimony. I have soooo much to share. I have never heard of your ministry until last night when I was searching for something and came across your name...so today when I got to the office I looked up your ministry & to my surprise I was in TOTAL SHOCK!!...I'm not alone!