Can God be good when life is not? In this episode, Deborah shares her story of connecting with God while living in an abusive marriage. She is now helping other women find hope and connection when they find themselves in a similar place.
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Transcripts are auto-generated.
[00:00:01] Denisha: Can God be good when life is not? In this episode, Deborah Murphy shares her story of connecting with God while living in an abusive marriage. She is now helping other women find hope and connection when they find themselves in a similar place. We love sharing stories of restoration and redemption. If you are helping women in a way that brings healing to their stories, we would love to get to know you.
[00:00:28] Denisha: Email firstname.lastname@example.org. Now we hope you enjoyed this episode with Deborah Murphy. Welcome to Living the Reclaimed Life podcast. I'm Danisha. We're glad you're here for conversations that revive hope, inspire healing, and encourage you to live a vibrant life with Christ. So grab a cup of coffee as we chat with today's
[00:00:51] Deborah: guest.
[00:00:54] Deborah: These last
[00:00:55] Denisha: couple of weeks we have been talking about who is God. [00:01:00] God is blank. And there are so many ways that we can fill in that word. And one of the most common is God is good. And so today, Deborah, I am so excited to have you back on the podcast. If you've been listening for a while, Deborah was on, I think it's season one a couple of years ago.
[00:01:18] Denisha: I think
[00:01:18] Deborah: Yeah. , we
[00:01:20] Denisha: are so excited to have you back on. When Valor and I were looking over the weeks and we knew we were gonna cover, when we feel hopeless that God is merciful, when we feel fearful that he is trustworthy, when we feel unloved, that he is loved. And then Valor and I looked at each other and we were like, when life is.
[00:01:39] Denisha: God is good. Like we need to cover that. And we both looked at each other and we were like Deborah. So Deborah is the founder of a nonprofit organization that helps mentor and provide practical needs for women who find themselves in domestic violence situations. And she has also been a worship leader for the past 20 years.
[00:01:59] Denisha: And you [00:02:00] guys, she has the. Of an angel. And I'm gonna say that is not in her bio . Oh my God. Cause the voice of an angel. And I absolutely love listening to her during worship. And so today that's what we're gonna talk about. We are gonna talk about that when life is hard, God is good. And Deborah has some very practical parts of her story that have demonstrated the goodness of God when things are hard.
[00:02:24] Denisha: And I wanna talk about intended hope more and what you guys do as a ministry because it's so
[00:02:29] Deborah: amazing. Thank you, Danisha. You were instrumental in all of that. And so I just thank you so much for all you've done for me and for just allowing me the opportunity to be on this podcast. It's
[00:02:41] Denisha: not by coincidence that you founded a ministry intended hope that helps women in domestic violence situation.
[00:02:49] Denisha: So I don't know if you wanna share a little bit about your story in that, because you had to find a good God and a hard situation there.
[00:02:57] Deborah: Yeah. Yeah, it's very [00:03:00] true. A little bit of my testimony, just the things that I've been through, I was raised in a Christian home, but and I just was really that girl that always wanted to do things the right way and do everything the way that, that God wanted to.
[00:03:11] Deborah: I found him at a very young age, and I was a worshiper. I was. I just always have been. And so raised in the church all those things. Always wanted to find that person that God had for me and just live happily ever after. But after high school, I got married about four months of marriage.
[00:03:33] Deborah: I found myself in a domestic violent relationship being threatened and different things. I won't get into all the details of that, but I stayed in that relationship for 12 years. 12 years of a marriage that you thought, I thought, everything was supposed to be good because I was serving the Lord and I was walking with him.
[00:03:53] Deborah: And so the more I trusted that to come to this 12 after 12 years [00:04:00] where the relationship is ending, finding myself there as a single mom, raising two kids, and just. Just broken in every way. Like, how am I gonna do this financially, physically, emotionally, mentally? How am I gonna make it through this stage of my life?
[00:04:20] Deborah: And I'll never forget, I was laying in the fetal position in the living room, right where I'm sitting right now and, I was just crying, asking God please give me five minutes of numb. I don't wanna feel this anymore. And I tell you, God arrested my heart and said Deborah. You. I'm not gonna give you numb, but I want you to understand this is where people are.
[00:04:47] Deborah: Whenever they reach out to drugs or alcohol, they want that five minutes of numb. And I don't ever want you to judge them. I want you to look for them. I want you to help them in any way you can, and I'm not gonna give you numb. I'm [00:05:00] gonna meet you right where you are. and I want you to take notes and I want you to feel this.
[00:05:05] Deborah: I want you to feel all of these things. I want you to take notes and I want you to sh to realize and see how I'm showing up for you so that you can share that hope with other people. And I'm gonna start bringing people into your life and I'm going to. To give you opportunities to tell them about what I'm doing for you.
[00:05:25] Deborah: And I was like, surely not me. And surely not right now. There's no way. And the Lord just really told my heart. But right then Nope, you've made it through the first day of this, and there's someone who's on hour one and they need to make it through the first day. And so you can look at them and you can try to find them and you can give them help for their first day.
[00:05:44] Deborah: And man, that's just been something that really sunk into my heart that day. And I just thought, you know what, I can always look for people who are encountering the same kinds of things that I can give the hope of what God is doing and how he's doing it. [00:06:00] And , that's been the last nine years of my life.
[00:06:03] Deborah: Just really looking out for those people that God brings that has been so
[00:06:07] Denisha: faithful to bring so many women into your life who have come out of domestic violence. If it's okay, I'd love to just take you back for a moment to sitting on that floor in the middle of your living room. . And when you're saying, God, gimme five minutes of.
[00:06:22] Denisha: what were the feelings that you were wanting to escape in that moment?
[00:06:26] Deborah: It was exhausting to just have this I'm mom of two kids and I'm trying to protect them and be, show up for them in the best way I can. I'm trying to do all of this and in fear of my life and my safety and my, all the things that I was struggling through and just realizing I just want a.
[00:06:47] Deborah: I want five minutes where I don't have to feel this way anymore. I just am like at the end of my rope. I don't know what to do. I just need, I need five minutes where I don't have to feel this fear and feel this [00:07:00] sadness, and feel this loneliness and feel this grief and all these emotions that are just flooding in.
[00:07:06] Deborah: And. Realizing that, there are things in the world that's a natural thing to want to feel like I just don't wanna feel this anymore. And that there are things in this world that are the counterfeit of what God does for us that come and numb us and make us feel that. Five minutes, alcohol, drugs, all these different things that are trauma responses that we reach out to.
[00:07:31] Deborah: and it does give us that for a little while, and the Lord was just really impressing on my heart. I don't want you to reach out to any of that stuff. I want you to realize that I'm not gonna numb you. I'm gonna show up. I'm gonna sit here in the floor with you, and I'm gonna be with you, and I'm gonna walk next to you in a way that you can see me and you can feel me, and I'm gonna help you.
[00:07:59] Deborah: [00:08:00] help other people find that. And so that's just the journey he started me on and I'm so thankful for it. , what
[00:08:07] Denisha: did your days and weeks after that moment when the Lord said, I'm not gonna let you numb. I'm gonna have you feel this, but I'm gonna be right here with you in the middle of it. What did your days and weeks look like? How did he encourage you and step into the realness that was going on for. .
[00:08:23] Deborah: So he started me with a few little things. One of them was just treasure hunting. I would get up in the day and I would say, okay, God, I'm gonna look for you. I'm gonna look for you in this.
[00:08:34] Deborah: I'm gonna look for the treasure in today. I'm, and so I would just start looking for that, like looking for treasure where I could find treasure. And then I would look for, I would say, okay, God, today's your, and you're gonna, you're. You're gonna schedule my day however you want it to, in whatever way it takes.
[00:08:56] Deborah: It goes sideways to the right or to the left. I'm just gonna accept it.[00:09:00] If I get canceled on this thing or whatever it is, okay, I'm gonna accept it. If I'm stuck in traffic, I'm just gonna trust that you're protecting me from, and those are the treasures that I would start to look for. But then also to look for people, if I'm at the grocery store, I'm being brought to the grocery store to meet certain people.
[00:09:18] Deborah: When he brings that person, be real mindful of this person that's standing right in front of me, and look and just see do I see hurt in them? Do I see pain in them? And really just try to look out and see, okay, what do I see externally? Because the temptation is always to go inward, right?
[00:09:37] Deborah: Our temptation is to be like, I'm alone. I c I'm I. I don't have any ability to help anybody. I don't have any ability to, and those are all the wise of the enemy, of course. But that's the temptation that's there. And so just to push past that, to do some treasure hunting, to do some looking outward and say, okay, what can I [00:10:00] offer?
[00:10:00] Deborah: Like how what strength do I have today that I could be that for somebody else? , and that, that was just really, and I had to really slow down. Like I didn't look forward to months from now or weeks from now. It was a lot about today I have today and today is a gift, and today is my chance to get healing, to get.
[00:10:33] Deborah: More victory over today to help somebody today. So it's a lot of that now I've started looking forward a lot more, but I feel like that was a gift too, to just really be living in the moment. Of I have today. Let's seize this
[00:10:49] Denisha: day. And that's interesting that just taking that one day at a time gives you that intentionality.
[00:10:55] Denisha: It sounds like you can stop for the one person. You can allow a holy disruption in [00:11:00] your day without allowing it to completely derail
[00:11:02] Deborah: you. Oh my goodness. Aren't those the best? I love them so much. I love it whenever God just steps in and he like cancels something or does like, because you know that something else is coming too.
[00:11:15] Deborah: Like you can look around the corner and say, okay, God, like where's the treasure? Find the treasure. And I love that. I love that about it. Like I'm weird. I know probably but when people are like, I'm sorry, I have to cancel. I'm sorry, I, I. No need to be sorry. Here. I'm looking for God here.
[00:11:32] Deborah: Like he's gonna show up somewhere, so it's good. It's all good. .
[00:11:37] Denisha: That right there is such a great lesson to learn from you, . Oh,
[00:11:42] Deborah: oh.
[00:11:43] Denisha: If someone if you were to meet Deborah today, and you were to get to know her, you would think, oh, she is like relentlessly optimistic, and you might think she has everything together, everything's great.
[00:11:55] Denisha: But when you hear her testimony and you hear that it's walking with God one [00:12:00] day at a time. Allowing him to show up and meet her in that one day to give her hope for the next. There's just such a beautiful, there's such a beautiful relationship that you have with the Lord that is so active and vibrant in your day-to-day life.
[00:12:14] Denisha: And we could look at you now and think, oh, things, things are going great and you're so optimistic and, but there was a path that you went on in order to be who
[00:12:23] Deborah: Deborah is today. . And that's it. I don't, I, it's I just appreciate that God does not throw away anything. He doesn't waste anything.
[00:12:34] Deborah: He is such a, I just love how he doesn't waste it. He doesn't waste our weaknesses. He doesn't waste our struggles. And let me tell you, I have so many struggles, so many weaknesses. The Lord, he. He is so faithful to show me that he doesn't junk anything. He doesn't, he just uses it all. He [00:13:00] uses it all. And I'm so thankful for that cuz my goodness, I would be the first one that I'm telling you.
[00:13:06] Deborah: It's just amazing how he does that. He just, he doesn't waste anything and I'm so thankful for that. And that is something that I, I think that he. Purpose in my heart early on to just really try to search him out and find him and understand how amazing he is and that he will show up. And so I just started I did, I took different little things that, that I could say, okay, I'm going to.
[00:13:42] Deborah: I'm, I need you to show up and I need to see you. And so one of the things that I will share because it's just a huge thing for me is that early on I just said, you know what, Lord, I need to know that you're with me like at all times. And sleep is such a big thing for me. [00:14:00] And so I just thought, you know what what would it look like if I just allowed him to be my alarm clock and.
[00:14:10] Deborah: I did I purposed that at that kind of, at that time that I'm just like, you know what, Lord, you can wake me up whenever you wanna wake me up, and you know what time I have to be up. And I'll tell him like, Lord, I have to be up at five o'clock in the morning, wake me up. And I'm telling you, over the years now, he, every single appointment I've ever had to be at, , I am there.
[00:14:30] Deborah: He wakes me up on time. I have to be there at five o'clock. He'll wake me up at five o'clock and I, it's just something that it's my faith. But what I'm saying is whenever the Lord will show up for you if you give him the room to show up. And if you don't know how to do that, Find something in your life where you can say, okay, God, I know you are.
[00:14:53] Deborah: It's like you wake up with this miracle already happening. I needed to wake up at five o'clock and I woke up at [00:15:00] five o'clock. How is that not God? Like he's amazing and the first thought in your mind is wow. Look it, you did it again. I need to wake up at four 30 and what time do I wake up? Four 30 or 4 29 or 4 28.
[00:15:14] Deborah: I mean it. How is that not him? Yeah. I just love that
[00:15:18] Denisha: interaction between the two of you and everybody's relationship with him is just so personal. . And so I love that. Like I'd sleep till noon and they'd be like, you forgot to wake me up. It's cuz I'm a deep sleeper, right? I'm out.
[00:15:28] Denisha: Like it takes a lot, but I love that of just that. There's a trust of you did it again. You're gonna be there again tomorrow, you're gonna be there again. I just, I love that. Did you have any passages along the. Like bible passages you were holding onto that encouraged you as you walked through that journey with him.
[00:15:48] Deborah: Yeah, that one of, one of them was Jeremiah 29 11. For, I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you, not to harm you, plans to give you hope in a [00:16:00] future. And I clung to that one. Another one is Psalms 34, 8 that says, taste and see that the Lord is good and blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.
[00:16:11] Deborah: And that just tangible thing that says, okay, I'm gonna take refuge in him. I am gonna find his goodness in this moment. Like I can ta and I do make it real to me, it has to sink into me to be anything that's big. But I'm like, I think of chocolate, oh my goodness, you have to taste this.
[00:16:29] Deborah: You have to see this. You have to understand like how good this is. And if we're really in that, that, that mode where we're saying like, in that scripture like, oh, taste and see him. I want you to understand. He's so good. And so that really motivated me that like I can really find the goodness of him in all circumstances.
[00:16:49] Deborah: And then another one was Hebrews four 15 that says We I'm just gonna paraphrase it because it, it's, that's the way I it hits for me. It's [00:17:00] like we don't have a high priest that can't sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one that was in everything tested in at all points, tested, and yet he, he was without sin.
[00:17:12] Deborah: And so now we can boldly come before the throne of. And find with confidence and find mercy and grace and help in our time of need. We have this God who is sympathizing with our weaknesses. Like how it's amazing that he sympathizes with all of our weaknesses and is just ready to give us grace in the middle of our.
[00:17:38] Deborah: And help in our time of need. And it's, so those are things that I really did clinging onto and they really still sink into my heart. Just like we really can find that it really is here. And even in, in situations where we're facing sadness, like there is treasure in sadness, there is treasure and loneliness.
[00:17:58] Deborah: There is treasure and grief. [00:18:00] There's treasure in all these things that we can find in the Lord that he, he can show up for us. Yeah, those are major ones, , and as you've walked this out, as you
[00:18:12] Denisha: have found him in your own journey and you were able to get out of that 12 year relationship.
[00:18:21] Denisha: Fast forward a few years. Yeah. And now you find yourself helping women who were sitting in the middle of the living room floor, just as you were with that fear, that loneliness, that isolation. How do you, now you get to now show up for them, how is that going? Tell us about the ministry that he led you to start called Intended Hope.
[00:18:42] Deborah: Yeah. What a blessing. What a blessing it's been and what a journey it's been. I'm just so thankful that. He's allowed me to walk through what he's allowed me to walk through, to be able to show up for these situations. And intended hope was really [00:19:00] started because of that. As the Lord brought ladies into my life I was able to meet them where they are because I could, I.
[00:19:11] Deborah: just totally sympathize and empathize. And I heard myself actually speaking a lot of the things that they would say. And so I would say, this is what I did. And it's that principle of, I'm just one beggar trying to show another beggar where to find some bread. This is where I found hope, and this is where I found freedom.
[00:19:29] Deborah: And we came up with the intended hope from that scripture that says, In Genesis that says, for you intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is being done now, the saving of many lives. And we really took that word intended because God has that intentional. Hope for us, that when we are in the middle of struggle, that he's gonna flip that over, turn it to good, and he is gonna use it for many things in our lives.
[00:19:59] Deborah: [00:20:00] So we came up with intended hope with, the, that word intended from that scripture. And then of course, hope God is the hope that we can face in those circumstances. And as we. As we mentored through, in life, just mentored through with some of these ladies, we just decided that, man, we really do need.
[00:20:18] Deborah: be able to have some more resources for them and some more just tangible things because I really needed those things at that time. And I realized that, and I realized what the girls were needing as I would. And I say women, but there are men too. Like I, I don't discount that I have dealt with a lot of women.
[00:20:36] Deborah: I have dealt with some men as well. I've had encounters with them and, but in these situations, there's a lot of help that's needed. And so that's what intended hope. Just it came about from, we decided to just follow the Lord and strap our seatbelt on and buckle in because the ride is
[00:20:56] Deborah: It's a fun ride, . So yeah, that's where it [00:21:00] started from.
[00:21:00] Denisha: What is the day, if an intended in the life of intended hope? Look, .
[00:21:06] Deborah: Some days are quiet and other days are very . It's, there's a lot of, it can be chaos. Given day. I'll just give you an idea of one. I got up in the morning, got my kids off to school, everything was, just a normal day.
[00:21:22] Deborah: , we have a thrift store that we take the take items, needed items and we sell those items for money, for intended hope to be able to fund helping these ladies or to be able to provide the needs. They can come, they can shop at our store and get the needed items because a lot of these ladies are leaving with just the clothes on their back.
[00:21:44] Deborah: So I went to the store, opened the store. I was turning on the on sign and I got a call from the police station that said, Hey, Deborah, we have a situation. We need you to come to this case. I need, I have a girl that needs help and so I showed [00:22:00] up and on the scene and her and her little baby Were just in need and gonna be on the street.
[00:22:09] Deborah: And so we took them in took them to a safe place. We have a safe house actually that we take them to a lot of intake and different things like that. But it can go from zero to a hundred real quick to complete chaos. But being able to be that anchor and be being able to.
[00:22:28] Deborah: Sit down and say, okay, invite God into it and really be open with them and say Hey, you guys I don't know what the answer is right now, but let's just reach out to the one that does have the wisdom and the answer and let's see what he can do for us. If he can provide and every single time he shows up, God really does just show up.
[00:22:47] Deborah: and so we're able to just mentor with them. Sometimes it's phone calls that are coming in that we're needing to walk through. Sometimes it's just, a struggle. Sometimes it's midnight and [00:23:00] we're getting a call sometimes. I've been woken up at, three o'clock in the morning, the police station again saying, Hey, I need you to come.
[00:23:07] Deborah: But one of the biggest things really is just saying, okay, God, I'm available. I'm available. You have my day and everything that every appointment that I make in a day, I make it in the sand and I say, Lord, have your way with it. Whatever you wanna do. And so that's what our day starts.
[00:23:26] Deborah: Lord, have your way with today. Whatever you have for me, whoever you have for me, just help me to, , point them towards you and show them the hope that we have.
[00:23:38] Denisha: And there's such a need for what you guys are doing.
[00:23:40] Deborah: Also, statistics say that women go back five to seven times, and so that's something about intended hope too.
[00:23:49] Deborah: We cycle with people when they're in their relationship as. , we don't withdraw care or mentoring or anything like that whenever they go back in because we understand that [00:24:00] is the nature of everything. I know I went back so many times in my own relationship and I really feel like that's part of what we are supposed to do.
[00:24:11] Deborah: We are called to do, is just to walk alongside and be that beacon of hope in the middle of the turmoil. and where whatever that looks like, yeah. Oh,
[00:24:23] Denisha: I've heard that same statistic actually for sex trafficking. That women will touch a safe place and then go back five to seven times before they finally make the decision.
[00:24:33] Denisha: They come out if they've been a victim. That's interesting that runs true for domestic violence as. . Wow. Debra, what a gift your ministry is. What a gift your heart is. I always love hearing your perspective on things. It always challenges me a little bit more. I am a get the Sharpie out and the paper and write my schedule in that and I get a little deterrent when things go wrong.
[00:24:57] Denisha: So I love right in the sand. Let the Lord [00:25:00] lead your day . When I planned it a week ago, he had full access to it. I don't understand , so that's always such a good reminder for me just to stay flexible. Allow God to move and that God doesn't waste anything. So Deborah, as people, how can they follow your journey and your ministry?
[00:25:20] Denisha: Where can we find you outside of this
[00:25:22] Deborah: episode? Yeah, so we have intended hope.com. We are on Instagram as well with our r thrift stores called Old Things New. So that's our Instagram. . And I have people that take care of that stuff. I am not that person I'm probably, those are two. Those are two places.
[00:25:44] Deborah: But even on there, we have if people are needing help at the bottom we have a place where you can reach out my cell phone number, my contact information is in there. Thank you
[00:25:53] Denisha: for all the encouragement and equipping that you're serving women with as well.
[00:25:58] Deborah: Thank you, tan. [00:26:00] You're awesome. I love your ministry.
[00:26:03] Denisha: Thanks for listening. I pray you found hope in today's conversation and maybe even feel a little less alone in your story. Stay connected with us on Facebook and Instagram at Reclaimed Story. Wanna learn more about living a reclaimed life and how you can be a part of our growing community of reclaimers?
[00:26:22] Denisha: Check out our website at reclaimed story dot. All of those links and more will be in the show notes. And if you enjoy this inspirational podcast, be sure to subscribe, rate and review. Not only will you be the first one to know when new content comes out, but it is also a huge help in helping us reach more people to live the reclaimed life.[00:27:00]