“It doesn’t matter where you’re from, what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you. God can redeem anything and He can heal anyone,” said Rebecca Reiff, host of the Healing for the Brokenhearted online ministry. “I am someone who has been through a lot of things, seen the darker side of life, both having done to me, and having done it as well. I have suffered shame and been redeemed. Now I just want to share a message of hope.”
“I had a lot of abusive people in my life. There was a core belief that the Lord would get me out of my abusive family and my situation, and [when that didn’t happen] I believed that God didn’t like me. I didn’t have hardly any people in my life that had a tenderness for me, so I developed a strong will, and that seemed to get me through the wicked words spoken to my heart, that I would never amount to anything and that I was worthless. Deep in my heart I had to develop a will that said ‘I’m not those things,’ ‘I am going to be somebody,’ and that I would not be the terrible things people told me I would be. For a long time, in a dysfunctional atmosphere, that strong will saved me. In trying to walk the Christian walk, it’s not so good,” said Rebecca. “I had a strong will. I just didn’t know how to use it properly.”
When she was very young, Rebecca saw a group of kids from her Phoenix neighborhood standing on the corner waiting for a church bus to come and take them to see puppet shows, hear stories and sing songs about Jesus. “I never heard His name before, but I knew who He was. The minute they said they were going to get on a bus with Jesus, I said, ‘I gotta get on that bus!’” she recalled. “They asked us if we wanted to have Jesus in our lives, and I accepted Him. In doing that, I had an encounter with Him, and I knew I had Jesus in my heart. So going through a lot of abuse–physical, sexual, spiritual, mental and verbal abuse–I knew that the Lord was with me and gave me the strength to get through. Even though He didn’t take me out of that life, I always had a hope in me that God was with me.”
Even with her new-found hope, life was hard. “I was a teenaged pregnant girl back in the day when that was shunned. I was put in the Life Crisis program, I had my daughter, I got married, but I didn’t seek the Lord’s face. About 22 years into my marriage, I went through some family tragedies, and because I didn’t have a good foundation, I fell on my face. I stumbled in the darkness for quite some time. I was an intravenous meth addict, a junkie, in an abusive relationship, in and out of prison and rehab; I abandoned my daughter and granddaughter. I was in a terrible place. When things got truly dark and desolate, I remembered my Savior. One night I cried out to God and begged him to take the evil thing away from me, and He did. He delivered me from being a junkie. He plucked me, in the most powerful way, from the depths of hell and the doorsteps of death. It was a huge turning point,” Rebecca said.
“God had to do a work in me. I had a heart of stone. I just didn’t care. I didn’t trust anybody, I didn’t like anybody, I didn’t want to be around anybody; I judged everybody and I pointed my finger at everyone. Talk about being in a dark, desolate, dry place!” Rebecca said. “Then about five years ago, God started giving me a heart of flesh. At first, I didn’t like it. All of a sudden, I began to feel compassion and empathy. I felt my own pain and other peoples’ pain; it took some getting used to! Now I truly love people and I genuinely care. Truly, God can heal anything. He can take the hardest of hearts and the most broken of hearts and put it back together. It’s a process, but very worth going through.”
“I’m in the process right now of growing through some truths that God is showing me in different ways. God has given me a hunger for His Word. He is shining His truth by the power of His Word in the dark corners of my heart. It’s a difficult process to go through. He’s showing me things about myself that I didn’t even know were there,” Rebecca said. “How can I start changing my behaviors unless I know that they’re there? How can I even begin to work with Him if I don’t know what they look like? I need the Lord to shine His light of truth in my mind and my heart in order for me to do something about it. I can work with the Lord once I know the truth about what’s going on. Sometimes, how I’m feeling is not what it is at all. It’s a process; it’s not overnight. I want to change. I don’t want to be stuck as the person I’ve been. I want to be the woman God wants me to be.”
The need to be better led Rebecca to study Biblical Studies and Communications at Colorado Christian University, and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality through the Blake Foundation. “My desire to know more comes from making a lot of mistakes, and finally reaching a point where I don’t want the consequences any more. I have had so much pain and suffering. I have made a tremendous amount of mistakes and I have caused a lot of harm to the people I love. I don’t want to continue making mistakes any longer. I want to have the good life God wants me to have. I love people, and I want to see them have the good life and to know that God can help them, and can clean them up, and heal them, just like He did for me. He can pick us up right where we are and give us a whole new beginning.” she said.
To get the message out, Rebecca began her online ministry by creating YouTube videos that tell her story, show how God has always been there for her, and offer hope to people who are struggling. She began a Facebook page that is filled with Scripture verses, inspirational music, quotes, cartoons, and personal observations offering daily encouragement. She anticipates a Twitter and Instagram presence soon. “At this point, I am finally at the place where I want to serve the Lord, and the dream has started becoming a reality. I feel like I’m talking to everyone out there who needs to hear a message of hope. I have a desperate need to share the Lord with everybody and share the message of hope in hopes that someone else can find healing. If it can help one person not make the same mistakes I have, and help one person to know that it doesn’t matter what you’ve done or what’s been done to you… Truly, I believe that it is being in the presence of God that heals every broken heart. There is really no other way to receive the healing that we desperately need. Being in His presence, being in His Word and allowing HIm to transform us by the power of His love, that is our healing. The compassion He has for us is profound. I have never experienced anything else like it. That is why I continue to go back to Him. I can not find that love, compassion or mercy anywhere else.”