Charlotte Cole: Emotionally Bound, Radically Set Free
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
Charlotte Cole was just five years old when her parents divorced. At first, she didn’t understand what that meant.
“I remember being told my parents were getting divorced,” she tells The 700 Club, “and I looked around the room. Everyone was crying, so I cried.”
As she grew up, the pain of living in a broken home took its toll.
“I began to start a path of life that was really full of self-destruction, and it just caused me to feel dirty and shameful,” she says. “My relationships were not healthy. I had an eating disorder. I suffered bulimia and some really awful things that can go along with the pain of being a teenager. I didn’t have any self-respect. I didn’t have any desire to care for my body.”
Charlotte attended religious schools and went to church often.
“I thought I was a Christian because of all the things that I did, but I knew I didn’t want to be born again. I didn’t know what it was; it was just weird and that’s all I knew.”
She continues, “Everything I sought to feel good or to fill that void in my life always ended up empty and just adding more and more shame, regret, and guilt in my life no matter what it was I did.”
In her twenties, Charlotte married Tom, whom she met at a party. She hoped the hurt would go away.
“I had married the man of my dreams and had the wedding of my dreams and had children. [I] had all these wonderful things, but I just hurt. Those didn’t satisfy what I needed. I just kept thinking this will go away with the next baby or this will go away when I lose this weight. And it didn’t. I didn’t know how to get free from that pain, and it just seemed like every avenue I took to avoid it or flee it actually brought more.”
That all changed one night while watching television with her husband.
“He’d turn The 700 Club on. Pat Robertson would pray, and where I went to church, we didn’t do that. We would say recited prayers out of a book, so I generally would just change the channel.
“One night we were getting ready for bed, and we were watching The 700 Club. Pat Robertson started to pray, and this one particular night, I joined him in prayer. I bowed my head, and I thought I was just praying a regular prayer. I didn’t know what I was doing at all honestly. I felt the hand of the Lord literally reaching into my chest and grab a handful of pain. It just left my body. I couldn’t believe what was happening. I don’t know what was happening. I just sat there and wept tears of joy. I was like a prisoner who had been set free, and I didn’t even know I’d been in prison. I’ve never felt that pain again.”
Charlotte didn’t tell Tom right away about her experience. She hid it from him, unsure of what had just happened.
“I kept going back to The 700 Club over and over to see what happened to me, and as I watched it, I began to realize that I was born again. It was such a weird experience, because it was the one thing I never ever wanted to be a part of. Yet, it was the most awesome thing that I ever had in my whole life.”
When she eventually told Tom what she had done, she was thrilled to hear that he too prayed to become a Christian while watching The 700 Club. Since that day they have never looked back.
“He came and met me in the bottom of the barrel, in the bottom of the valley. He lifted me out, not because of anything I’d ever done, but because of who He is. He convinced me that He loves me.”
Charlotte regularly blogs about her new life in Christ and creates Bible studies to encourage women in their spiritual life. She says, “I have a brand new life. The Bible says that ‘if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has died and the new has come’ and that is me.”
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