RENOVATION HOUSE FOR WOMEN
"And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying:
“Now have come the salvation and the power
and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ.
For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down—
he who accuses them day and night before our God.
They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony;
and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death."
Rev. Deby's Story
My name is Deby Laughlin. If there is one thing I know, it is that God is REAL and that Jesus has the power to SAVE, heal, deliver, and make you whole no matter what your situation looks like. There was a time I thought I would never find freedom. One of my deadliest addictions was darkness (the occult) and it almost killed me. Movies, tv shows, and fiction novels make "white" witchcraft look so fun and innocent - cue Harry Potter - but the truth is: the unseen world DOES exist but it is unmerciful and unforgiving. There is no such thing as "white witchcraft. It's all 100% destructive, and malicious. We have an enemy who roams the earth seeking whom he may devour - his mission is to kill, steal and destroy - but this foul demon is really good at appearing as an angel of light. I was drawn to an unseen world and sucked in by the idea of manipulating its power through
witchcraft, but I had to learn the hard way that this isn't how it works! You don't control it, IT controls YOU.
It didn't seem destructive when I started out down this path, but it didn't stay "innocent" for long. As a result of giving demonic spirits access to my life, I was increasingly tortured for 6 years until I was being tormented daily with depression, "bipolar disorder", panic attacks, rages, strong urges to self mutilate, and paranoia attacks. I couldn't sleep at night due to spirits of fear and torment - I was seeing things and hearing things that no one else could and I felt like I was going certifiably insane. On top of that, I was being eaten alive by rage and hatred. Things got scary.
I wanted out! It wasn't fun or intriguing anymore - it was terrifying and traumatizing. But I was trapped. I tried everything I could to end this addiction, stop the torment, and ease the depression but nothing worked: no amount of medication, counseling, or hospitalization helped. I felt like a slave and more than anything, I just wanted to die to make it stop. I decided then that I was going to end my life.
BUT AS POWERFUL AS THE ENEMY WANTS US TO THINK HE IS, he is less than a gnat up against an elephant... and I met the Elephant! (That's Jesus if you aren't tracking with me).
I had an amazing encounter with God where I realized just how REAL and POWERFUL and AMAZING He really is. When I surrendered my life to Jesus, I gave Him ALL of me and that's when my life truly began. Jesus gave me LIFE in so many ways - eternal life and physical life, but He also caused me to truly LIVE, not as a zombie, but as a daughter of the KING and one who carries authority, joy, and peace. I let go of my offense toward God, the church, and myself and learned how to LOVE. God taught me who He REALLY is and who I really am. He taught me how to walk in the authority He has given me - how to walk in victory over sin and addiction.
That was several years ago. It was a process and God not ONCE ever gave up on me! Even when I was being difficult and frustrating, He was my faithful Father. I stand here today set free completely from the occult and all the repercussions of opening those doors. I am free from rage and depression. I am free from cutting and the desire to die because now I am truly alive! I am free from all that demonic oppression and torment and I walk in authority over the enemy. And the most exciting thing of all - I have a very close and personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe! You can't beat that!
God has not wasted ANYTHING I have been through. What the enemy meant for evil, God is using for GOOD. He uses my story to help set others free - to build others up and encourage them! Make no mistake - whatever your story, nothing is too hard for God and nothing is greater or more powerful than His is.
Hello, my name is Elizabeth Fortner. Before coming to the Renovation House, I was struggling with day to day life. I felt like things were coming at me from all directions. I was full of brokenness and anger from things that had or were happening in my life. I was not sure where to get help. Instead of dealing with the hurt and problems, I found myself stuffing the problems: hiding them like they never happened. Or like they weren't there. Needless to say, that doesn't work. Then I found myself turning to unhealthy relationships, drugs, and alcohol, which none of that worked! Endless times of wrong choices landed me with even more consequences. Also, feelings of being unworthy, devalued, and unloved caused me to have low self-esteem. It just added more fuel to the fire.
Since coming to the Renovation House 8 months ago (August 2018), I have seen myself change and grow with God over this time. I can feel His presence working in me and though me. My prayer to God now is to change me and use me for His Kingdom. The way that I perceive myself and others are different now! In multiple classes that we attend here, we have learned more and more of the Word of God. That has made a transformation in my life. Since coming here to the Renovation House, all old habits have gone out the window. No withdrawals! No worry! We can truly quit things with the strength of God. Since being here I have recommitted myself to the Lord. Submitted in all things. I'm walking proud in His will for me. The path with Him is much better than my path. I was re-baptized on October 1st, 2018. On March 3rd, I became a member of a church. There is no looking back now. My future looks much brighter because of God's light in this world. Thank you God for your forgiveness of our sins! I can't thank God enough for saving me and placing me in the path of the ladies that got me to the Renovation House.
The power of prayer truly works! Because there were times of crying and prayer before God led me here so that I could heal. For your love, God takes care of us all. In my heart I would love to see so many more women come through this program. To experience this amazing change in their life to heal from their brokenness. If you suffer from addiction and brokenness and despair, trust in God and the Renovation House - they are the perfect pair that you need in your life. It has been a true blessing to be here. I would just like to end with a verse that touches my heart. "For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Ephesians 2:10
I’ve been battling my entire life in one form or another. It seemed like from a very young age, my life was being controlled by something sinister. I was abused, fought food addiction, and was bullied and neglected, all before I was even a teenager. Somehow, I thought, ‘God still sees me as His’, but I didn’t feel worthy of Him. I got married at 18 and had all of our three children within those first four years. I loved being a wife and mother, but I distanced myself from God. I started taking my kids to church when they were 3, 4, and 5… But for me, I was still “unworthy” of God’s love.
In the end of 2011, I was told I had 6 months to live because I was 450.5 lbs,
and they also had found cervical cancer, stage 3. As doctors took the next 18 months to help save my life, I blamed God. I eventually turned back to God in 2013 and I was saved on Halloween night of 2014.
In 2015, I became addicted to pain killers after being sexually assaulted. I didn’t want to think about it, but unless I numbed myself, that’s all I did. I couldn’t face my life, so for two years solid, I took these mind-numbing concoctions of pills nearly every single day. I was clean for 2 months when our youngest son was in a horrific car accident (August 2017) that would claim his life the very next day. I lost it. I didn’t understand why God NEEDED my son. He was so young… a gift God gave me! He was 21.5 years old. I pleaded for God to be wrong; for Him to send back our son to our family and allow me to take his place. But God’s silent answer was ‘no’ and I turned to the pills one more time.
I went to rehab in March of 2018 and come home on Easter. I was shaky but trusting God. In June, I had finally started feeling like I could breathe after our son’s death, and then the VERY NEXT NIGHT my husband of 24.5 years was killed in a hit-and-run accident half of a mile from our home. I was crushed and thought I could not take any more. I felt like an earthquake had sucked me up and dragged me to Hell. I dove so deep into the pills that I had been hospitalized for overdoses and a suicide attempt.
The last week of January 2019, I hit the lowest place I could go while I was on those pills. I prayed (when I finally knew who I was and what had happened), then I went to my pastor. We prayed together and even though, at first, I argued with him, saying that out-patient therapy and NA meetings would be fine, he told me I needed a radical change which meant listening to God this time, not the world. As soon as I agreed with him, things needing to be done to come to Renovation House for Women started falling into place and it did so very fast. Walking in the house [the women’s home], I felt weights lifting from me but I couldn’t explain to myself why.
During my time here, I have already stopped blaming God for circumstances I’ve been through and [have started] thanking Him instead, because these things are making me stronger. I am no longer on the pain pills I was so heavily addicted to. In 15 years of taking pain pills for the nerve damage I have, there has never been a length of time where I could say I was not on ANY pain pills… Not until I came here. I am calm, not numb. I am solid in my faith and growing in His grace daily. I know now that I am worthy of love and of God and that my past is just that, and it does not define me.
"Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me, yet not my will, but yours be done." Luke 22:42
Before I came to the renovation house, I was broken. I felt like I didn’t have any self-worth and I ran from all of my problems for three years. I was in relationships that were not pleasing to God and I put my relationship with God on the back burner. When problems arose that I couldn’t face, alcohol and drugs numbed the pain and, at the time, it made me feel better or feel nothing. A week before Christmas I was in a very physical encounter which made me realize I needed to come back home and I needed some kind of help. I was in the car with my uncle and he started talking to me about Renovation house and in my head, I was thinking, ‘that place isn’t for me’. It wasn’t until my uncle invited me to church that night and I heard Rev. John Earley speaking that I realized I really and truly needed to change my life.
When I got to the Renovation House I felt loved by everyone here and I felt anxiety and depression lift off my shoulders the instant I walked through the doors. I haven’t had the urge to want to drink or smoke or run from my problems. I want to face them. I didn’t think an opportunity like this would ever be possible for me. God is restoring my relationships with my family, and I am growing closer with Him every day. God has been showing me and teaching me that I am loved, I am valuable, I am not worthless. I don’t have to keep running anymore and I don’t have to try to fit in because I fit in with God. He has been teaching me James 1:19 – be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to become angry. I’ve been working on applying it every day and putting it into action. In the restoration of my relationship with God, I was baptized on June 23rd. My life has been drastically changed for the better since being at The Renovation House. I can’t wait to see what God has in store for the rest of my life. I’m forever grateful I got the chance to be at the Renovation House for Women.
© 2019 Youth Challenge of New York; Renovation House Ministries