My name is Cassie. I am a woman who has endured great suffering. To simply say that I have suffered a lot in my 46 years of life would be the ultimate understatement. I have been to hell and back more times than I can count, lost everything (and I mean everything) I own with one fell swoop—I mean, my life came down around me like a row of dominoes—and my present life is one of great restriction.
The entire sum of my earthly possessions consists of a bed, a few changes of clothes, a handful of Christian books, a few DVDs, and about twenty pictures that I managed to save. I have one quarter to my name.
I was homeless for two years, living on the streets with a debilitating illness (CFS) and severe chronic pain that never ended. (The only reason I was able to endure it was simply because I was breathing and I had no choice. I was imprisoned within my body for four years without strength nor rest and was bedridden 23 hours per day, every day for eight months.
In the year 2010, my beloved husband of thirteen years left me penniless in a motel room with nowhere to go and I was 2,000 miles away from my nearest relative. He didn’t say good-bye. He didn’t say, “I’m leaving you.” He didn’t say, “I don’t love you anymore.” He was simply gone. I didn’t even see him drive away. He was my best friend and we had the kind of love story that would rival the greatest in history. Losing our jobs, our house, all of our possessions, me being so sick, and being homeless took a toll my husband, but it was me who pushed him over the brink and caused him to run for his life. He said to me, “Who you are is destroying me.” Those words pierced my soul. For, you see, my husband has literally been through hell and back both with me and for me throughout those thirteen years. I suffered from severe depression and anxiety, lived with severe chronic pain which coursed through my entire body (there wasn’t one part of my physical body that was not in excruciating pain). I had panic attacks that lasted from the time I woke up until the time I fell asleep that stemmed from a childhood of horror and abuse.
Twice, because the pain was so bad that I did not think that I could physically endure it for one more second, I told my husband that I was going to kill myself and he had me committed to our mental institution in order to protect me. Our beloved baby kitten of sixteen years died while I was in the hospital and I never got the chance to say good-bye. My husband had to bury him all alone.
Jeff did not leave me because he did not love me. On the contrary, he did everything in his power to ease my suffering, but the sheer enormity of my suffering finally broke him and he literally ran for his life. In these past five years, I have not heard one word from him or his family and I have not seen him since. I do not know whether he is alive or dead. Our 19th anniversary is in three days. It has been six years since I have been in his arms.
I have not even scratched the surface of my suffering. I have not spoken of my son, who was stolen away from me by my father when I was thirty and he was ten and I didn’t see him for eight years. I didn’t mention the rape, nor the nine years of molestation I endured at the hands of my mother’s boyfriend from the time I was seven until I was sixteen. I haven’t said a word about the lifetime of bullying and torment I suffered during my school years. I have not told you about the day my mind broke into a million pieces and I could literally feel its breaking like chards of glass in my head. I have not spoken of the endless beatings with extension cords and wooden paddles with holes I got when I was a teenager. (I’ll never forget the night I was beaten out of bed in the dark while I was in a sound sleep. It would be difficult to put into words the feeling of terror I experienced during those moments.)
My life has been one trauma after calamity after tragedy and I still suffer today. But, as I sit back and reflect upon my life, I can only shake my head in great wonder and laugh my head off, because I discovered that the cup of suffering that I had been forced to drink from since birth has been the victor’s cup all along. Why do I say that, you ask? Because the Almighty wise God, the Father, has used suffering to literally deliver me from every single addiction, affliction, fear, and worry that I have ever had and I experience a life a complete freedom and a peace that I cannot describe. For my entire life, there raged an internal conflict within my mind—it was like a constant hurricane of stress and pressure in my head—that I thought that I was not going to experience any relief from until I got to heaven. But Jesus stilled the storm. He rebuked the winds of torment that lived inside me and said, “Peace, be still.” Now there is only a blessed quietness and a joy that reside within. All of my giants are dead.
I have an unshakeable faith and confidence in God. I literally rest in complete serenity and security under the shadow of the Almighty. His presence surrounds me and I am daily empowered by His grace and His strength.
I was healed from the CFS in 2012. The severe chronic pain is now gone. In one week, it will have been one year since the Lord delivered me from the slavery of cigarettes. And God did it all using the vehicles of tribulation and suffering.
There is not a soul on earth that can tell me that suffering has no meaning. Because I am a living witness and proof positive that it means everything.
I am finally and fully free.
Blessed be the Name of the Lord