Brooke Donnelly: The Choice That Changed It All
By Kara Lavengood
The 700 Club
“I had this dirty secret, and I had this guilt and this shame of what was happening to me.”
When Brooke Donnelly was just eight years old, her innocence was ripped away.
“There were some neighborhood boys that began to sexually abuse me from the 3rd grade until I was in 7th grade," she tells The 700 Club. "It was more than just sexual abuse. A lot of it was bullying and emotional abuse. They threatened me, and told me if I ever told anyone that they would kill me.”
Brooke was raised in a Christian home and had an early understanding of God’s love, but she didn’t understand why this was happening to her.
“I remember, you know, even praying at times for it to end. So even though the abuse continued for as long as it did, I still knew that Jesus was real.”
She didn’t blame God for what was happening to her, yet over time she grew away from the Lord.
“I believe that from the sexual abuse that it really caused a lot of inward anger. I just became a two-faced person. I would go to church, and I’d go to youth group, and I would put on my face. Then I would go to school and I would do drugs.”
After high school, Brooke moved away from home, and even further away from God. She became friends with her neighbor who introduced her to the punk rock scene.
“She was a bouncer in a punk club. But I think what drew me into that punk club was the hardness of music and the fact that I could express the anger that was inside of me. That’s where I got harder and meaner. That’s really when I think when I stepped into real darkness.”
She was also entranced by her new friend.
“She was a witch. At the time I met her I didn’t know that. She had a magnetism to her that just drew me.”
The two became lovers and eventually moved from Michigan to Hollywood, where they hoped to become stars.
“It was really her dream that I went along with.”
By this point, Brooke was a long way from the little girl who’d been baptized in the 5th grade. Her appearance, now altered, reflected the condition of her heart.
“I had pierced a nose, so I had a ring in my nose. I had gotten some tattoos. I had shaved my head. I looked like a crazy nut. When I would look in the mirror sometimes at myself, I would actually get scared when I looked in my own eyes. When I decided to embrace lesbianism, I literally took the truth of God, and I traded what I knew to be the truth and I traded it for that lie.”
Brooke and her girlfriend were somewhat successful in their quest for fame. They landed bit parts on TV and in movies. But they found real celebrity on the nightclub circuit where they gained a cult following.
“We’d go to the nightclubs every single night. That to me became like a job. I didn’t like it. So I’d have to drink a lot to actually function in the clubs.”
One day, Brooke was uncomfortable about going out to a particular nightclub with her girlfriend.
“She said, ‘Well, let’s just sit on the fence about it.’ The only time I’d ever heard ‘sit on the fence’ was in church. You don’t sit on the fence. You’re either hot or you’re cold. But you’re not lukewarm. When those words came out of her mouth, I just felt this quickening within me like all of a sudden it felt like something entered the room. My heart started pounding. I said, ‘Do you feel that?’ And she’s like, ‘No, I don’t feel anything.’ I’m like, ‘You don’t feel it?’ She’s like, ‘You don’t actually think there’s such a thing as a devil, do you?’ At that point, I knew I could not trust her anymore.”
Brooke called out to Jesus, and her girlfriend jumped up and left.
"I was like, ‘Okay God, okay, I don’t know what You want me to do, but I’m asking You to help me.’ As soon as I prayed that, another presence came into my apartment and this was just like this urgency like, ‘C’mon! C’mon! Let’s go! Let’s go!’”
She left her apartment and started walking. She says she felt like the Lord was guiding her steps.
“I heard the Lord. He said, ‘Brooke, fear not, for I am the Lord your God.’ He said. ‘Even though you may walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you shall not fear evil. For My rod and My staff, they will comfort you.’ There was this breeze that passed by. I knew I was dealing with the Lord. Then I heard in my heart, ‘Love is the most powerful source in the universe.’ I just started crying, and I said, 'Okay, God, love is the most powerful source in the universe. What about my lover?' And he said, ‘No!’ I just heard a really loud ‘no’. When I heard that ‘no’, God opened my deceptive mind for a moment in time to be able to have clear thinking and to make a choice. He gave me a choice, ‘It’s either Me or her. Who’s it going to be?’”
She knew she had to make a decision.
“I felt like there was a man with a knife standing behind me. I was terrified. I tried to reach behind me and see if someone was really standing behind me. Nobody was standing behind me. I felt like I was going crazy. I knew I had to make this choice. And when I chose Jesus, the presence behind me left.”
Brooke made her choice, but now she had to take action.
“I came back to my apartment, and my girlfriend was standing at our altar that we had. I didn’t know what to do next. But when I saw her, I did not want her. God met me right where I was. He helped me right in that decision. When I chose with all of my heart to follow Jesus, God changed my heart. I was just broken. I had nothing to show for 26 years of my life except a broken heart. I had Jesus. I had made a decision for Jesus.”
Brooke moved back to her parents’ house. She needed to heal.
“I didn’t want to live. I laid on my bed waiting to die. I didn’t have my right mind, I couldn’t think clearly.”
After six months at home, Brooke went forward for prayer at a women’s Bible study.
“I felt like the woman who reached out to grab Jesus’ garment, and I just felt like I was grabbing it and saying, ‘I’m not letting go until You help me. You’ve gotta help me!’ So I believe that Jesus delivered me that day from witchcraft or from demonic spirit or whatever I had opened myself up to. It left.”
It has been a long journey, but the pain Brooke held since childhood has been replaced by the love of God.
“What the Lord did was He took a broken heart and He put it back together with Himself entwined now in my heart. He’s filled all those broken places inside of me with Himself. I was able to emotionally heal. I was able to go through the memories of what had taken place and face those memories with Jesus this time forgive each one that did this to me. I believe that it’s through forgiveness that I’ve been set free.”
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