Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler

Tammy Toney-Butler's Personal Testimony of Faith and Freedom from Childhood Trauma

October 01, 2023 Tammy Toney-Butler Season 1 Episode 1
Reflective Hour with Tammy Toney-Butler
Tammy Toney-Butler's Personal Testimony of Faith and Freedom from Childhood Trauma
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Show Notes Transcript

My testimony of faith and freedom found in Christ. I was transformed by His marvelous light and set free. Freedom from childhood rape, freedom from the loss of a father through suicide as a teenager, freedom from food addiction, and freedom from the trauma cascade of shame, fear, regret, self-loathing, guilt, and inability to sleep. You can be set free, too.

I found hope in Christ. I am no longer drowning from the weight of the trauma. The shame, fear, regret, self-loathing, self-sabotage, imposter syndrome, negative self-talk, and the "icky" are all gone, replaced with a peace I have never known, a love unlike anything ever experienced.  

My transformative healing journey as a survivor of child sex trafficking began several years ago, and I am still working on the "junk in my trunk." Freedom, peace, empowering grace, and healing are all found in Jesus. You can be set free to live a life of joy and hope. I have found the answer, the way.  

Walk with me as we heal together, process the hurt together, and break free into who we were always supposed to be before that day when it all changed and the "icky" came to try to destroy us, our God-given purpose for living. 

I refused to be broken and consumed by the darkness; instead, I fought to find the light. Keep fighting, believing, and trusting; it happened to me and can happen to you.

 I am a sinner, set free by God's mercy and grace. 

Join me, join the movement of transformative healing, and step into a life-producing destiny. 

Blessings,

Tammy Toney-Butler

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Please check out Tammy Toney-Butler's blog and prophetic healing ministry working directly with survivors of human trafficking, sexual assault, childhood trauma, intimate partner violence, and more at www.reflectivespacesministry.com.


Hello, everyone.  I'm Tammy Toney-Butler. I come to you today to deliver another word, a little Bible study, my testimony because I am the living, breathing example of walking in the Word and walking in the promises of the Word of God and the miracles in the making, the things that he's done in my life to set me free.

Set free from childhood trauma, childhood sexual assault, familial human trafficking, and launch me into places I never imagined or dreamed of, only because I said yes, and I followed Him and His will for my life. 

Holy Spirit, I just invite you into everything that I do. This is your Word. This is your message. This is Your truth, Holy Spirit, and as I seek You and I seek Your presence, I ask that You just flood anyone who's listening to this with Your peace that surpasses all understanding, with Your joy, with the realization that there is hope, there is healing at the foot of the Cross. It happened to me, and it can happen to you.

Don't be afraid to reach out for help; like the man with the withered hand, he had to stretch it out. Don't be afraid. And if you don't know how, sometimes you can't even utter a word. The Lord knows. He knows what you need. If you whisper Jesus, if you whisper it, He'll come. He's always coming. He's always coming. There were times I didn't see Him because I felt so shameful and dirty. There's no way I could reach out to Him. 

Did He see what I did last night? Did He know all the things I'd done? I felt just so dirty and so alone. I was alive, but I was dead. Dead inside for years. I'm 50-something years old now, I forget. It was only a few years ago that I started truly living. I only merely existed before. I threw myself into Being an E. R. Nurse for years and thought if I healed everybody else, I'd heal my pain or at least keep anybody from seeing the hell that I was enduring on the inside. Some people thought I had it all together, that I was a strong force to be reckoned with in the emergency room and also in Washington, DC, and in other places, but what they didn't see was a little girl who struggled to be set free,
set free from that yoking of childhood trauma, that yoking with the darkness. When you were forced to trade sexual favors for individuals that were placed in your life by your mother and by those that were supposed to protect you. It's not a choice. You were a child as I was, and I had to endure. 

Many times I would be huddled in the bathroom with a door locked in our trailer; a small trailer with duct tape on the windows. I remember many of us were in this trailer; it was such a dark place. There was a wooden door in the bathroom, a  cheap wooden door, I remember. I would sit in there huddled, trying to get just a moment of peace, and reading brought me peace. I was always the bookworm academician, searching for truth or trying to escape my reality.  I'd sit in there huddled reading a Bible, and I would get lost in the scriptures, the Psalms, and many of them. I was just a little girl.  I begged God to save me, take me from here, put me anywhere else. I knew I was an imposter in my own family. I didn't belong there. I knew that my mother couldn't protect me. It's crazy how I knew that at a young age, but I knew that she was struggling with her childhood trauma and her issues. She loved me the best she could, and she was a good mother. She tried to provide for us, but sadly, she compromised who she was for the love of a man.

 How many of us are doing the same? How many of us are compromising who we are to get that love we never had? I lost my dad to suicide. But before that, I'd lost him to trauma. He went off to Vietnam. He came back. He wasn't the same. He divorced my mother and became an alcoholic. He was a police officer who threw himself into his work. We buried him on Father's Day when I was about 15. He died by his hand; he shot himself. 

A piece of me died when my father died. But to be truthful, I died long before that day. I died after my dad left. I felt such a sense of abandonment. I don't even think I knew how to put it into words. I mean, I was a kid. I was a toddler, and then men came into my mother's life because she too, was searching for that love that she lost. She was searching for more, to erase what had happened to her as a child, that generational trauma; her father was an alcoholic. She never uttered all the words of the things he did to her, but she told me on her death bed that if you can keep this from happening to anyone else, then speak my truth. Speak about me because I said, Mom, I need permission to talk about you, and it may not be favorable to you, but know that I will always let them know you did the best you could, that you were a good mother, that I loved you then and I love you now. She permitted me because she did not want the trauma to destroy one more family, not one more. 

People don't understand what trauma does. They don't understand addiction. They don't understand that you cope with the weight of the trauma through drugs, sex,  relationships, idols in your life, and material possessions. You know, we try to seek pleasure, seek comfort in anything that we can, and we make those things idols in our lives. I made men an idol in my life for a long time. I slept my way, trying to sleep around to happiness. Sometimes, I even thought, you know, I might as well charge for sex because I'm sleeping around anyway. I'm dirty. I'm ashamed. You might as well get paid for it. It will help me. It'll help me pay the rent. It'll help me do certain things, but I, I couldn't, I can never, I can never do that because that would have been selling my soul to the darkness, and I refuse to let the darkness consume me. I refuse even then to give in. I refused to be broken in spirit and truth. Oh, they tried. They tried to beat it out of me. They tried to groom it out of me. They tried to destroy me, but it did not work. And here I am today speaking His truth, His words, His words of hope, His words of hanging on. 

Don't give in. You are worthy, fearfully, beautifully, and wonderfully made—daughters and sons of the King. You walk in His light. You walk in His strength. You walk in His truth. And you let nobody define your worth but God, but Christ who's in us. You lay those burdens at the foot of the Cross, as I did, that shame, that guilt, that fear, that regret, those things that you took on after you were sexually assaulted as a child, betrayed by your mother or your father, by society, by the world, but you choose hope. You choose joy. You choose love. There is nothing that God's love won't help. He loves us. That love of a father that you never, that true love that will never leave or forsake you. There can be no other idols in your life. No other gods, as it says in his word in Exodus 20 Exodus 23, thou shalt have no other gods before me. People don't realize we make things gods in our lives. Our homes, our cars, the next shiny object, because we're searching, longing for something to fill that deep crevice, that hole inside us. That needs filling up. Why not fill it up with the Wellspring of Living Water? Why not fill it up with His truth? Why not fill it up with His Word? Why not choose the light instead of the dark?

 I  did, and it's been miraculous. I laid down my victim, that little girl; I left her on the grounds of Ave Maria. I'll post about it in my blog. That fateful day, the Holy Spirit led me to Ave Maria and showed me how to deliver his people out of bondage, and it started with me. It started with my story. It started with my truth, the things I had to face. He told me that I could not go where I was going, where He was sending me, if I refused to shed the lies of the past or lay down my victim. But that's all I've ever known, I said, Father. How do I choose light? All I've known is darkness, destruction, chaos, drama. How do I choose life? How do you do that? I was victimized, and mine started probably in the womb. I was shaped and molded in a womb of trauma. How do I break free of that? I said. And He showed me most gloriously. He took me to a book sitting in the pews of Ave Maria in their, um, what do you call that thing? I'm not Catholic, but maybe it's their cathedral. I'm not sure what you call that. Sanctuary. I don't know. And I was sitting there, and He showed me the truth. And the book talked about Jesus and it put victim, the word victim there. And I thought I was horribly victimized by many on my journey. People in the church victimized me. I was victimized by people in law enforcement, school, my mother, and so many ways I was let down. But He said none of that matters. 

God made me see that Jesus was a victim. He was a victim. He was beaten. He bled out. He was ridiculed, chastised, whipped, striped, you know, hurt, chastised. And he did all that for us. Jesus showed me by saying, " I did that so you could be set free. I did that so you don't have to not sleep at night. You don't have to take Ambien and try to sleep and wash it down with a bottle of wine. You don't have to search for love in all the wrong places and sleep with all these men and do all these things."You don't have to do all; you don't have to reach for fentanyl, Xanax, or a drug. You reach for Me, the Cross, Jesus, the Light. You're never too dirty to reach for me. You're never too full of shame. That is a lie.  I want you to reach out your hand. I want you to reach out to Me. Reach out. I'm waiting. 

Come to Me, all those who are weary, and I will give you rest. He showed me that day when I read that, and I went outside, and I thought Jesus was a victim. I don't know if I believe that. So I started, you know, Google searching and looking, and something struck me. It said He could have been considered a victim, but when He died on the cross, He rose again. He was victorious, not a victim. He was victorious over sin, victorious over shame, regret, and fear. I didn't have to live that way because He set me free when He died. So I had to nail all my stuff to my cross. I had to pick up my cross and follow Him. It made perfect sense. But I said I don't know how to do that. How do I give up control? How do I surrender? Everybody's always hurt me when I gave up control. When I was, how do I do that? What do I do? 

And He showed me, I prayed a prayer, and I invited the Holy Spirit to come in. I repented of all my sins. And I said, I surrender. I will no longer be a victim. I will not have panic attacks. I will not have anxiety. I will be set free from the chains that bound me for years. From the moment I was yoked with bondage, I'm unyoking now, breaking off the chains. I choose truth. I choose life. I chose to be a warrior for Christ and rose victorious from that bench. I left that little girl that all that happened to it at Ave Maria, and I rose and said, I give my life to You, Lord Jesus, I will follow You.   I sold everything I owned. I followed Him. I sold my sailboat. I even sold my FJ Cruiser, my truck. I had to pay for the well water system. He moved us onto a 10-acre parcel of land, and Psalm 23 has come alive. He leadeth me beside still waters, the green pastures. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He restored us. I am that living, breathing example. 

When you give your life to Christ, you are transformed. He took it from me, the addictions. The only God I serve is Him. He set me free with the Truth. The Truth of His Word.The truth of His redemption. His blood on the cross. The blood of Jesus cleanses us. That heals us. Will you let it heal you like it did me?  Will you let it do that? Trust. Walk free. This day, as I did. You are Victorious. He died so we could be set free. Don't carry that shame, guilt, and worry with you. The other things will leave you that used to cope. I used food to cope for so many years, and now I've lost about 60 to 65 pounds and gained victory over that, too. So much to be grateful for, to praise Him for. There is so much to be thankful for, so much joy, so much peace. In some circles, I'm the poorest I've ever been, but I'm the richest because I have His peace, and that's priceless. I'm able to sleep through the night; that's priceless. I do not have the "icky" anymore. Let Him do the same. Let Him save you as He did me. I think that sums it up.

 Holy Spirit, I always start with You and end, but I'm walking in You, and You're working in and through me because I am You, and You are me. We are one in Christ, that threefold cord that won't be broken. Join me, warriors. Find me. Seek His truth. Be set free. Like I was set free. This is a message of hope. That was what this is. I wasn't sure what it was. He just told me to go live, get on here in the Zoom thing, and speak His truth. He gave me Psalm 47 and Exodus 20, and I was just tying it all together, and then it ended with this: Psalm 47: 8 says, God reigneth over the heathen. God sitteth upon the throne, of His holiness: 47:3 said, he shall subdue the people under us and the nations under our feet. He's sovereign. He's God. He's our God of goodness. He's our God of Truth. He is our only God. 

He can set us all free. If we repent and turn to Him, even as a nation and the world, He'll watch over us, keep us safe, and tuck us under His wing, as He did for me in a category-five hurricane. Jesus and I rode it out in the shed. It was great. Had the cats in there, too. And I wasn't afraid. Isn't that crazy? I had no fear because He was with me. He was in my boat. He took that fear away, and He can do the same. Walk free this day. Free of shame, free of guilt. Walk in the freedom; walk in the light of Christ. 

I'm Tammy Toney-Butler. Have a glorious day.