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Monday
Oct032011

God's Pursuit of Patty Murray

Charis Bible School-Plymouth second-year student Patty Murray and her husband Tom.
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Growing up, Patty did not know her biological father, and her mother was re-married three times during her childhood. She recalls some fighting and violence in her home, often the result of alcohol abuse. Patty grew to fear her step-fathers and men in general. Her mother was excommunicated from their church because she was divorced; however, Patty had attended enough services to pick up on the guilt and shame aspects of religion. Patty determined that her Heavenly Father was no different than her earthly ones—scary and unloving.

Throughout her time at school, Patty struggled with reading and comprehension; sitting still and paying attention were quite challenging for her. Patty and Tom with their son Tom Jr. and their daughter Katie.
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Being extremely shy and withdrawn, Patty slipped through the proverbial cracks and never received the help or encouragement that she needed to overcome her learning difficulties. Patty dropped out of school after ninth grade.

As an adult, Patty married and had her own children, but she continued to struggle in many areas of her life. She suffered from severe sleep issues and multiple back problems, for which she took prescription pain medications regularly. Patty remained extremely shy and fearful of people.

Patty (in blue) took a bold step and registered for classes at CBS-Plymouth in August of 2010. (Click to enlarge)In 2010, Patty learned that her friend, and former Woman’s Group leader, Judi Appleton, and her husband, George, would be opening a Charis Bible College extension school in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Despite the many hindrances in her life, Patty felt an urge to attend. The first time she discussed it with her husband, he didn’t think it was a good idea. He pointed out that finances were tight, Patty still had her attention issues, her back pain would hinder her from sitting all morning, the school was an hour away, and they only had one car.

Patty’s husband made a good case against going to school, but she was sure Satan hadn’t put the idea of Bible College in her head. Instead of letting the idea slip away, she decided to take a huge leap of faith and go for it—Patty and several first-year students sit with CBS Co-Director, Judi Appleton (in red) after registering for classes in 2010. (Click to enlarge)even though she didn’t know how to make it all happen.

When Patty found the courage to tell her husband that she really felt like God was leading her to Charis Bible School-Plymouth he responded, “Go with God.” That was Patty’s first confirmation. She filled out the registration form and brought it to the post office right away. While she was there, Patty looked down and saw a dime on the floor. She picked it up and read the words, “In God We Trust.” She took this as a second confirmation because she made a habit out of asking herself the same question each time she found money on the ground, “Am I trusting God?” She determined that she was and that she would continue trusting.

Patty receiving prayer at the opening rally in 2010.
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The same day that Patty mailed her registration to CBS-Plymouth, she received an unexpected check in the mail for $100—the exact amount of her registration fee. The check was from a man who had vandalized her car months before. Patty had witnessed the perpetrator smashing her car, and immediately reported the vandalism. Unbeknownst to her, the man had been caught, convicted and ordered to pay her a certain amount each month for the damage he had done to her property. This was yet another confirmation for Patty.

The following week was a rough one; Patty struggled, internally, with her decision to go. The enemy whispered lies and Patty lost sleep. On Sunday, when she and her husband pulled into their parking spot at church, Patty’s husband said, “Let’s pray.” This was so out of the ordinary for him that Patty was taken aback. She was further surprised when her husband began to pray, as it was usually Patty who led them in prayer. That morning, they listened to the sermon with amazement. As Patty made her way through first year, she began to experience true freedom in Christ. Here she volunteered with classmate Wilda O'Brien-Arauz at CBS's coffee house outreach.
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Each issue they had been struggling with, and every concern Patty’s husband had prayed about, was addressed in the message that morning. “We both knew I was going to school!” Patty exclaimed.

After the couple determined that Patty would go, the provision began to flow. Patty continued to receive her payments for the vandalism, which “coincidentally” continued each month until the end of the school year. The two also received a check from their insurance agency for an overpayment they had made, their mortgage payment decreased through no effort of their own, and they found a second car for less than a thousand dollars. They were thrilled.

Patty is able to sit through the class sessions. (Click to enlarge)When school first began, Patty found that sitting for long periods of time was tough; however, she noticed right away that she could listen and comprehend in class. Patty felt like directors made the teachings very personal and intimate. “It was like sitting in my living room, relaxing, while we they were teaching me,” Patty said. Then, on September 15, Patty experienced being in the presence of God for the first time. Instead of running away in fear, she felt His tender love for her. She found she wasn’t afraid of Him anymore. What a glorious victory!

“I’ve begun to learn how much I’m loved,” Patty said, I’m still learning, but I’ve gained confidence in my life.”The Murray family including Katie's fiance, Colin. (Click to enlarge)

Patty once felt condemnation because she dreaded reading her Bible. However today she says, “The Bible came alive for me at Charis, Plymouth.” Patty has finished reading the King James Version of the Bible all the way through for the first time, and has enjoyed her time in the Word very much.

When Patty started school, she would turn scarlet red and cry if asked to speak or read in class, but today it’s difficult to keep her quiet. “The encouragement from George and Judi was incredible,” Patty emphasized.

Patty has seen a major improvement in her back pain and is overjoyed to see growth and restoration in her family members. She is especially pleased to have experienced growth in her marriage; she now feels more connected than ever to her husband.

Patty ended up carpooling with several other ladies who attended Bible school for the year and today she calls them her best friends. “Every step of the way, God just showed up,” Patty said.

By the grace of God, Patty ended up being one of the top students during her first year at CBS. She is filled with confidence and joy today thanks to the revelation she has received from the teaching of grace and faith. “He is my Confidence, my Daddy, my Everything,” Patty said. Amen.

Reader Comments (3)

Good for you Patty. You GO girl. So glad to have read your testimony to see how far God has brought you. Keep up the good work. God is doing a beautiful work in you. We serve an awesome GOD! Blessings, Phyllis Dangora

October 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPhyllis Dangora

Patty, your story gets more and more encouraging every time I hear it. I am so glad I get to bump into every week at school, because you still continue to inspire me - and those around you.
love, bets

October 14, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBetsy Ryan

The Word of God is just so true and right. It says that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the Word of their testimony. I am in the process of enrolling at Charis Bible School in Colorado. It is a big step of faith but I am so excited to do it. It will be the first time I have ever been truly out on my own, totally and completely trusting in God. I have two children and I have been recently divorced. We are trusting God for EVERYTHING - tuition, housing, my work situation, my children's school, just absolutely everything. All I can do is work the Word and believe and trust that it will all work out and this testimony is so very encouraging! I just keep moving forward with plans to move even though I have nothing visible to make it happen - God has to make it happen. I thank you for sharing this story. It helps keep my faith stoked. I can't wait to share my testimony of God's love and provision. It is truly in the making.

May 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAdenike

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