A Wilderness Voice Testimony by: Cindi Gilland
Part 1: Rescued
Many of us in this movement have had a relationship with God for some time now. Many of us were brought up in the church, and fed a bunch of doctrine that deceived us. But many of us cannot deny that the hand of God still moved in our lives, and that His love for us was revealed way before the lies were. This is the beginning of my life that I saw Abba’s love for me. My 2nd testimony is in another blog I wrote called “Broken”.
When I was little, 5 and under, my family was heavily involved in ministry. My father and mother had been radically saved as newlyweds, and started to witness to a lot of their family in Utah who were mostly Mormon. They saw many leave Mormonism and come to mainstream Christianity. I remember my dad helping the youth group and teaching in our church. My mom would be in the kitchen every morning with her coffee and her bible. We were not rich, and a Habitat for Humanity type of service built our first house for us. I had an older sister, Candy, and a younger brother, Justin.
I am not sure what happened but eventually we lost the house and moved to California to live with our Grandma. Things started spinning out of control then. My parents started fighting, my mom started smoking, bill collectors seemed to always be after us. We moved so many times that I counted that from Kindergarten to 6th grade, I had been to over 10 different elementary schools in 3 different states. My mother started to have nervous breakdowns, and became very unstable. She was very sick and for days would stay in the closet smoking cigarettes and afraid of the light.
My parents eventually divorced and the nightmare kept coming. We moved back to Utah with our mom, while our dad was left behind in California. When I was around 10 yrs old my mother met a truck driver, Wade, her boyfriend. We didn’t get a long from the start. Through it all, I held on to the bible and remembered my God, even though it seemed my mom and dad had all but forgotten him.
Eventually we moved in with Wade and later my mom married him. Before they were married though, my 14 yr old rebellious sister was kicked out of the house and living on the streets, and I was forbidden to see or talk to her. My step father then proceeded to be very abusive to me. One time he took me into my sisters old bedroom, shut the blinds and took his belt and started whipping me across the tops of my legs, until I admitted what I had done. I had no idea what he was accusing me of, and so it went on for an hour before he got bored and gave up. One day he dragged me across the kitchen by my hair to the bathroom, and another time made me do the dishes while he pinched the back of my neck that made me have an excruciating headache.
By the time I was 11, I was depressed and hopeless. I hadn’t been allowed to speak to my father either. I remember looking for his little red car every day at recess at school waiting for him to come and take me away. One day while confined to my room, I tried to hang myself with my jump rope, and couldn’t succeed, Thank You YHWH!
I was growing fast and needed some clothes as my pants were all too short. I asked my mom and Wade for some new ones, even used. Wade told me that if I needed clothes I needed to get a job. His brother managed a small hotel in Moab, Ut where we lived. I worked weekends there as a maid, and made about 5 dollars a week. One day after I had walked my little brother to his soccer game, I was supposed to go to work. As I was walking, I saw a girl walking towards me far down the street with nothing but a long t-shirt on. She was crying and using her socks to wipe her tears. As I kept approaching her, I realized it was my big sister, who I had not seen in months. As soon as we recognized each other we ran to each other and held each other while crying. We left the street in fear of being seen together. We walked over a little creek in the middle of town, and talked.
She had told me that she had nowhere to go late last night and decided to go to our grandma’s house to sleep. Somehow that morning, our stepfather had found out she was there. He came to my grandma’s house, beat her up and threw her off the porch, and she was running away from that when I had found her. I was so angry, that I decided to skip work and spend the day with her. Later in the evening my sister didn’t want me to be out and told me I should go home. I was scared, but I did.
When I got home, my mother was working a late shift that night, so it was just me, my little brother, and Wade. For some reason his brother never called to tell him I didn’t show up for work that day. I didn’t say anything about it while we were eating dinner. But as I started to do the dishes, Wade asked me how much I made today because I worked an extra-long day. I have always been a very truthful person, so I told him, that I didn’t go to work that day. When he asked me where I was, I told him that I had been with my sister all day. And then it began.
We had one of those old wood burning stoves that had two brass knobs on the top for decorations. He made me bend over and put my nose on one of the knobs. He started whipping me with his belt, it seemed like forever. He would take breaks and go sit down and watch tv, but would not allow me to stand straight, I had to keep my nose on the brass knob. I started sobbing because of the pain in my back and legs. He would then come and laugh at me and make fun of me, and then would start whipping me again. My brother started to get scared and started crying too, and so Wade shut him in his room and wouldn’t allow him to come out. It went on like this for over an hour. I finally couldn’t take it anymore and started to run away from him. I remember asking him why he liked to hit me so much and his exact words were, “because its entertaining”. I told him I hated him, and he said he never liked me much either. We went on and on for hours, him chasing me around the house hitting me with the belt.
I finally made it to my room and somehow wedged myself under the bed, folding my body in half. He tried pulling me out by my belt loop, but I held myself and almost wonder if I had a little help from above. My belt loop broke as he tried, and he finally left me alone around 11pm at night. I closed my door and destroyed my room in rage. I started to pack what little clothes that still fit me, and my barbies in my back pack, because I knew I couldn’t continue living with this man. I was going to run away that night, but was too afraid of the dark.
At about midnight my mother came home from work, and I met her in the kitchen with my backpack and told her I was going to leave. I told her how Wade had beat me all night, and she didn’t believe me, she said, if you are being abused show me the marks, so I asked her to come to my room so I could show her all the welts that were forming all over the backside of my body. She refused and said the most hurtful words I had ever heard from her, “well, you deserved it”. I was so compelled to run out that door that moment, but again my fear of the dark stopped me. I went to my room and cried myself to sleep.
The next morning, I woke up, put my back pack on and told my mom I was leaving. She woke Wade up and he came and grabbed me by my shirt up against a wall, and told me not to upset my mother. He then took me outside and made me destroy a little clubhouse I had made in our backyard. I needed an outlet and started to break it down with my bare hands. As I was doing that, my stepfather came out, and told me some very crude things about my female anatomy and how I would need to develop more to be profitable to live on the streets(nicer words words used by me), and then he turned around and went back to the house. Right then, I knew I had to go. I ran through our backyard over through our neighbors back yard and hid under a car for several minutes. Then I proceeded to run to a friend’s house.
From there I called my grandma, and she told me to come to her house. I stayed with her, and then my sister came to be with me. I didn’t know what to do. I spent the whole day with her walking around town, but trying to stay off roads. Finally the evening came again and my sister told me to go home. I desperately was afraid, but had no other choice.
They were calm when I came home. We ate dinner and didn’t talk much. As I was doing the dishes, my mom came to me and told me that she had bought a train ticket for me to move to California to be with my father. She gave me the phone to call my grandma who lived in LA that I would be coming, but when a man answered the phone, I got nervous and hung up. My mother was angry and told me, well when you get there find a policeman in LA and give him my grandmas address, and that they would make sure I got to her.
The next day, no one knew I was leaving, I didn’t get to say goodbye to my little brother, grandmas, aunts or uncles, even my friends at school. We left in the morning for the train station, I was scared to death, but I tried not to show it, because I knew I couldn’t live like that anymore. The train station is about 20 miles outside of town on I-70, its really only a truck stop and train station stop. There was no one even working at the station, it was totally empty, my mom hugged me, handed me the $20 I had saved up from being a maid, and told me to use that money for food when I needed it. My train wasn’t to leave until 4 or 5pm, they left me there at 10am.
As they drove away, and I was left alone in that empty train station, I fell to the floor and sobbed for quite a while. After I could cry no more, I saw that the truck stop had a cafe attached to it, and decided to take my backpack(with only a few clothes and barbies in it) over there to clean up and maybe try to call my grandma again. I went to the bathroom and cleaned my face and then went to call my grandma again. The payphone was right in the middle of the cafe. There were truck drivers eating their breakfasts and a whole table of little old ladies drinking coffee and visiting with each other. I tried calling my grandma, but there was no answer, so I started to call my aunt who lives in LA, too, I just wanted someone to know where I was, and that I was coming.
Strangely enough, my aunt who is usually at work that day had to come home to do an unexpected errand, and when I called she picked up. At the sound of her voice I started crying, she started crying, and I had a hard time telling her what had happened and it unfortunately was very loud through my sobbing. My Aunt told me not to get on that train, and that the reason I couldn’t get a hold of my grandma, was because she was in Utah visiting her brother only a few hundred miles away. She told me to wait right there and she would call my grandma, and that she would come and get me.
As I waited the people in the cafe had overheard me. The owner made me a free breakfast and called the police. The policeman came and interviewed me, and pretty much said there was nothing he could do, and that I just needed to stay away from my stepfather. After that the little old ladies all gathered around me and each handed me $20 bills. It was around $100 in total. I was blown away.
Then of all things a gentlemen, who was a truck driver, heard from the women there about why I was there. He came to me and said “little girl, do you have a bible?” I pulled out my little bible, and he showed me Deut 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”, and, Pslam 27:10
Though my father and mother forsake me, the LORD will receive me.
He showed me many verses on how much God loved me. He also gave me his name and his phone number and told me that if I ever found myself in this situation to call the number and tell his wife that you were the little girl at the train station, and that I would always have a place there. I knew right then I had seen the love of God through this man. I lost his name and address, and to this day would love to find him and thank him for the impact he had on me that day. I had hope once again in my life.
Several hours later my grandma came and thanked the women at the cafe for taking care of me. I told her how my sister had nowhere to go, so we went back to town to get her. We also tried to see if we could get our little brother out, but they said since there have been no complaints that he had been abused that we could not take him and it would be considered kidnapping. So with sad hearts we left my little brother in Wade’s hands. My grandma had told me that my father didn’t live in LA anymore and that he had moved to Iowa to marry his girlfriend whom he met in LA, but she was from Ottumwa, IA and wanted to return there for the wedding. My grandma drove us halfway to Iowa and my dad met us in the middle and we moved to Iowa that day. 1 year later we were able to get my brother as he was beaten by our stepfather with a rope, and his friends mother reported it.
Even this is a shortened form of all the things I had been through as a child, I have left many things out. But through it all the Father had his hand on me, and I held on to him like nothing else. It took me years, but I forgave my mother and stepfather. Amazingly enough the Father totally restored my mom and I, and we are closer than ever. We talk every day, and pray for each other continually. Our Messiah Yeshua, will never leave us, nor forsake us! HalleluYAH!
Broken, I have been broken so many times in my life. But now I realize I was broken so that Abba could fix me. Today, I am awake and alive and love knowing my father is making me into who I should be. About 12 years ago as a young newlywed the father opened my eyes to the scripture to who I really am as Israel. This Pentecostal indoctrinated, worship leader girl, who had been on fire for God since she was 14, laid face first on the ground in her apt. begging God for his truth, and that his knowledge would fill my life, whatever the cost. And I felt a tugging that said, “this is big, what I am going to tell you will change your world and how you see it”, it was a warning that the walls were going to be torn down, and that I would never be the same.
As I learned all the history and the lies that I had been taught, it caused major division in my marriage. My husband also grew up in the Pentecostal church, and would not listen to anything I said. I didn’t celebrate Christmas that year, and I was utterly alone. My husband told me that he would never allow me to have children if I believed this way. For years I struggled to learn torch on my own, but I had made a mistake, I was so scared of being led astray by man again that I would not allow myself to learn or hear from anyone but the Father and I. I isolated myself and became like a wasteland.
My husband wanted me to go back to church with him, and I did, but begrudgingly. I had stopped singing, all my joy had left me, but as I started to open my mouth in praise and worship to him, he started to heal my broken heart. Then my Abba started to speak to me again, and I realized that he did not want me to leave my friends in the church, but that I was supposed to go to them, and tell them the things he taught me, because if I didn’t, who would tell them? He wanted me to be obedient to my husband and live the way my husband wanted me to for a while, and that through my life and time he would bring my husband to the knowledge of Torah.
It wasn’t an easy time for me, and I struggled with what I knew was right, and what my husband refused to see. We finally did have children and then I started leading worship in our church again. I was teaching all about Ephraim & Judah as I led bible studies, praying that my friends could see, they all found it interesting, but ultimately most are still blinded by the doctrines of man that have so permeated the church. Still praying that in the future they will be able to see.
I had a heart for my family, and wished them to come to know the Father again, as most of them had known Him, but then turned away. While I was a teenager, I remember being in intercession for my mom and sister. I prayed that if God could use me in any way to lead them back to Him, then I prayed he would. I had no idea the way he was going to use me.
So, as I led worship at the church and taught at the bible studies, my husband had grown increasingly absent in my life. He worked 3 jobs(and not because he needed to), and I felt like a single mom. I did everything on my own it felt. Our marriage was hanging by a thread, and I desperately felt unloved by him. I started losing weight rapidly, and insomnia set in. I was so desperate for my husband to see the Word for what it really said, and was dying to live Torah as a family. I became erratic, paranoid, and frankly lost my mind.
I was admitted to the hospital and stayed for 4 days. I remember sitting at his feet begging him to listen to me, but he was as hard as stone. I came home again, and my husband had grown desperate because he did not know how to deal with me, and what he was supposed to do with our children who were 2 and 6. So we called my mom to come and help. When she came I was again admitted to the hospital. I stepped down as worship leader, which broke my heart. And then I lost all hope, I let go of YHWH, and stayed in state of near death depression for over a year. My husband found me one day with all my pills in my mouth and dug them out with his fingers. I thought of death constantly and wanted to die, but again was afraid of death, because I knew what that meant for me since I had turned my back on YHWH. So I was dead, but alive, the worst state ever. I learned later that what I was going through was similar to what those who had post pardom psychosis had gone through.
Through it all, and I didn’t even understand it, the week my mom came to be with me, the Father brought her back to fellowship with him. She started praying again and seeking his face. She had not been for over 20 years. My mother had gone through something similar to what I did when she was my age, but never came back to Messiah until my breakdown. My husband had grown so desperate to have his wife back, that he stayed home more, and helped around the house more than he had for years. I had been the spiritual leader in our home for years, but now I wasn’t standing anymore, and he rightfully took that place for the first time in our marriage. He still didn’t believe the way I had, but it was a start. He HAD to lean on God for strength through this situation. There was no other choice.
I was disgraced and ashamed, and held God as far back as I could, but always his Spirit called to me. So broken as I was, I knew I could not live without Him and His truth in my life. Several years passed as I slowly let YHWH back into my life, because I know that through Him is the only way to live for me.
That was 4 years ago. Today I am greatly blessed and have seen His faithfulness to me! Last Sept, I couldn’t hold it in any longer and told my mom that I had to talk to her and that she needed to listen. And as I poured out to her Genesis 48:19, Ezekiel 37, Hosea, and so many scriptures that have changed my life, on the Feast of Trumpets last Sept, my mom called me, and as we were speaking about these things, she said to me in awe “I can see!” , and I said “WHAT”? She said YHWH had opened her eyes to the scripture and that she knew she was Israel and to follow Torah! HOW BLESSED AM I!!!
So we prayed and prayed for my husband to see. And last November I started to share with him, and we watched Jim Staley’s Identity Crisis and Truth or Tradition and HE SEES! Hallelu YAH!! All the tears I’ve shed, and all the prayers I’ve prayed have been answered! We are seeking Torah together! THE PRAYER OF MY HEART HAS BEEN ANSWERED! And not only that, my sister, brother, father and mother are all believers in Yeshua and Torah observant!!! And the Father truly gives you the desires of your heart, but he changes your heart to want what He wants, and I am fine with that! Praise to YHWH my father, protector, and provider! Lead my family in the way of your Torah and living as our Messiah did! Baruch HaShem YHWH!
Pro 13:12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. I was so heart sick, but now I have been restored!