These are unsolicited testimonials from some of the cards and letters of Wings of Hope clients. They are posted here with each client's permission, and exactly how they were written. Initials are used to protect clients' identity.
"I hate to think of where I might be today without your help. You've guided me to freedom from a very dark place and for that I'll always be greatly indebted to you. Blessed are those who quit pretending. Matthew 5:3"
"This Thanksgiving, I am most thankful that God used you in my life to see truth. You have empowered me to be who God created me to be. There is NO turning back. Other than my salvation experience, this has been the most pivotal time of my life. Your impact is far reaching. What I have learned through you affects every relationship I have. Thank you for being obedient to the Lord. Thank you! Thank you! Praise God.
"Thank you for helping me discover myself. I have learned so much these past few days and God's plan unfolded right before my eyes. Thank you for your wisdom, your insight, and your spiritual guidance through this whole process. Thank you for allowing the Holy Spirit to work through you to bring about a radical transformation in my life. You are not only an amazing counselor but also a strong woman of God with the gifts of compassion, empathy, kindness, and encouragement. Thank you for helping me accept reality even though it was painful. Thank you for helping me start over and begin a new life in Christ."
"I just wanted to say "thanks" again for all of your help and encouragement for over several years now. I doubt you even realize the huge impact you have... but you were so instrumental in the healing journey God has me on. You're an amazing lady, the best counselor I've ever known, and very gifted with compassion, grace, and personal experience. Your ministry is perfectly named, because your life and your ministry have put hope back into many lives... certainly mine."
"What You Have Taught Me: You validated the severity of the trauma I experienced. I am having normal reactions because of what happened to me. New neuro-pathways in my brain can be created. I've expanded my support network with Godly people. Look past the behavior/trigger to the belief. Challenge the unhealthy belief. Creating art can heal my brain. Self care is vital to my life. Healing and freedom are possible for me. I promise to: "Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you - guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us."
2 Timothy 1:4
"Thank you so much for the time, energy, patience, processing and encouragement you dedicated to me over this past week. I'm so incredibly grateful for all that you did for me and all that I was able to get out of our intensive sessions. I feel like my mind, heart, soul and spirit have been completely renewed and empowered. I know for a fact I wouldn't have reached this point of clarity and peace without God being able to work through you to help me get there. I've been so blessed through this experience. I can't thank you enough for your time and wisdom during this time of healing and discovery. You are truly a God-send!"
"You truly have an anointed gift for what you do with such a genuine heart of compassion. The fact that you remembered details of my stories from two years ago completely blew me away! I believe God hand-picked you out to specifically use you in my life at the perfect time. I am so excited with a renewed hope for what is yet to come! When I think of you, Proverbs 31:26 comes to mind. It states, "She speaks wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue." Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your wisdom, for your Godly counsel, your compassion, support and prayers. I am one blessed woman to have you in my life as my counselor."
"We pulled many splinters out of our hurting marriage during our Intensive. We can now work on moving past the pain into the healing! We are so thankful for God's servant, Julie. He has blessed her with the very best attributes of a counselor. We strongly urge couples to commit to one of her Intensives."
D. and N.
"I was at the end of my rope, and God revealed His hope through you. What a blessing it is that you know God, know His Gospel and are obedient to proclaim Truth through the ministry that just happens to be your job. Many thanks."
"We just wanted to thank you for an awesome week! It was as thorough and productive as it could possibly be. We didn't have one argument on the long drive home — I don't think we could have done that when we were dating and we know now what we need to do, both individually and as a couple."
G. & K.
"God blessed us the past four days in a powerful way through our intensive with you. My wife and I now pray for each other each morning. We are now sensitive to the emotional triggers that have shaped our earlier lives and now walk in faith with God's Spirit knowing He will continue to guide our re-committed lives."
D. & L.
"On Saturday we ended our session at 6 pm and my wife and I were emotionally flooded, yet very peaceful. Julie worked till 11 pm that same night ensuring our last day of the intensive was complete and that we had a plan to adhere to for the years to come."
P. & S.
"Thank you again for giving up your day off for our intensive. It meant a lot. Your sacrificial giving will be returned 10fold. Galatians 6:9 and Hebrews 12:3."
D. and N.
"While praying tonight, I felt grateful and proud to be under your spiritual authority as my counselor. By doing recovery and doing this work we are changing the lives and spiritual situation for our own children not to mention the ripple effect it has in every direction generationally. I felt strongly in my spirit that the work you are doing (living authentically, confronting where you feel led, trusting the promptings of the Holy Spirit, making hard decisions, etc) you are changing my life and all those you counsel. So thank you for choosing to do what you do and I want to tell you humbly I am PROUD and so grateful to be under your authority as one of the leaders in my life."
Click/tap the image of the letter below to enlarge.
This client addressed the letter below to the (unknown identity to her) next client doing an intensive.
"Going into the intensive I was anxious. I had no idea what to expect and wondered if I'd 'get anything out of it.' My desire was healing but I doubted the possibility. How can a sexual anorexic married to a recovering porn addict have a chance at true intimacy and healing? Julie had a way to make me feel comfortable and safe from the beginning. This allowed me to be open and honest with myself and face many feelings I hid for years. She did the disclosure the first day which helped ease my anxiety and I was able to process the emotions with her help. That was more difficult for me than I anticipated. Because of all the emotions the disclosure brought, the first day was the most emotional and tiring for me. We had homework after each session to continue working on areas we struggled.
This was also stress-free but I wanted to complete it to learn as much as I could about myself and my spouse. Although we didn't cover everything, the Holy Spirit was present and Julie did what we needed instead of a set structure. From absolutely dreading the intensive to leaving with a sense of hope, I'm feeling more confident in my personal recovery and our marriage. Being in prayer and taking time to focus on only the intensive allowed us to grow immensely. It was clear, despite my skepticism, God met me where I was and provided comfort in the face of doubt. I feel the intensive equipped me with the tools I need to continue to heal and to strive to live a healthy life. God blessed us with Julie and her ability to show us truth in a time of uncertainty."
This is an email Julie received in 2015 from a past client she saw in 2004:
I am writing because you have been on my mind now for several years. I wonder if, in your profession, you ever have those "I wonder what became of ___?" moments. Not that my story/situation should have necessarily stood out among the hundreds of people that you have helped.
My name is (left out for confidentiality) and I was one of your clients in Jan 2004. I sought Christian counseling out of desperation because I wanted to understand the dynamics behind domestic violence and what perpetuates it. I was a mom of six young children (age 8 to newborn) in a dreadfully abusive marriage.
Whether any of this rings a bell, I don't know. What I do know is that I need to thank you.
Thank you for being available and accessible, compassionate and wise. "Available" because I desperately wanted help. "Accessible" because I didn't have insurance or money when I so needed that help. "Compassionate" because (I didn't realize this at the time) I needed my circumstances & concerns to be validated/legitimized. And "wise" because you very delicately introduced some key concepts to me that I had never known. Had you been impassioned or forceful at all in suggesting to me what I should think or do in my situation, I would have bolted – because (I later figured out) denial was my chief coping mechanism at the time.
There are three things I'll never forget. First of all, I will never forget your suggestion that I look up Battered Woman's Syndrome. I remember the gut-level, sinking feeling I had when I read the words describing each of the four levels and thinking, "OMG, I'm at the worst level." I also remember being completely surprised when you suggested that my then-husband would likely abuse me again (even though it had happened many times before). You then explained the Cycle of Violence and just *suggested* that I watch for it. And lastly, you recommended the book, Boundaries.
It's difficult to nutshell the long, arduous journey that has spanned then until now – but I'll remain brief. I finally mustered the resolve to call the police (2004). That year was littered with restraining orders, apologies, separation, trying to get back together, etc. By Jan 2005, the children and I left again to stay with my parents – not realizing at the time that it would be my last time to leave. By March, my then-husband had closed all our bank accounts, taken all of our money, cancelled credit cards, cut off my cell phone, and said that he wouldn't pay "one more red cent unless we were living under his roof." By April, I had experienced the humiliation of signing up for government assistance & was agonizing over what to do and how to support us all. By May, I had signed up for my first college class ever. (I had graduated high school 16 years prior.) Talk about fear & trepidation! By the end of that first summer class, it became clear that I needed to file for divorce.
By August 2006, I had a 4.0 GPA and began nursing school. I cannot begin to say how difficult this time was. (It was during this time that I had to get a judge's order to allow me to repossess our belongings that had been held hostage.) Later, I realized that going to school was also therapeutic in the sense that it required me to focus. (Plus, I had determined to do any research papers on domestic violence.) By July 2007, the dreadfully long divorce ordeal was finally finalized. By May 2008, I graduated at the top of my class – a Registered Nurse.
Also by then (and to my great surprise), God brought my now-husband into our lives. (Husband's name left out for confidentiality) has truly been the greatest gift ever. But that's another story..:)
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to thank you. For years I have wanted to do this, but I couldn't remember your last name & didn't know how to reach you. Then yesterday, as I was going through one of the "dreaded boxes," I happened upon a receipt that had your name. I was able to Google you today & learned not only where you are now – but read about your various accomplishments thus far. Wow! I'm really happy for you.
Thank you again for allowing God to use you to nudge me toward the path of healing. Had I known how hard it would be on the outset, I doubt I would've had the courage to take the plunge. On the other hand, I know I wouldn't have lived through it had I stayed. Ultimately, I did what I did for the sake of my kids – and found the beginnings of healing myself.
With sincere gratefulness,"
(client from 2004)