Danny Wallace: Freedom from an Abusive Past
By Robert Hull
The 700 Club
Original Air Date: December 2, 2010
Danny Wallace grew up wanting his father’s love and attention. At the age of five he got the attention when his father raped him in his woodshop.
“He had finished with me sexually, he eyeball to eyeball told me, ‘If you ever speak of this I’ll take your life. I’ll bury you somewhere on this property and they won’t find you for years.’”
Physical and sexual abuse continued the next few years, driving Danny deep into personal and sexual confusion.
“It destroyed my vision of who I was instantly. I would be whatever it took to not have to deal with what my father’s actions had said that I was and that was nothing, that I was nothing.”
For years Danny tried to earn his father’s love, but when he was ten his father lured him into an old barn where a group of men paid his father for sex with Danny.
“From five until ten I went to bed every night thinking, ‘If I can get it right, my dad will love me.’ But one of those men in that circle that afternoon said to my dad, ‘What are we going to do if we kill him?’ And my dad said, ‘We’re going to get rid of him.’
“I remember it as clearly as if it were yesterday. I stood in the middle of that barn and I said to myself, ‘That old man is never going to love me. There is nothing I can do. There’s nothing I can say. He is never going to love me.’”
When he was 11, Danny went to a church service with his aunt and uncle. He heard a message about a Father in heaven that loves him.
“I remember that man kneeling beside me and putting his arms around me and said, ‘Would you like to know this Father?’ I remember thinking, ‘If there is a Father who loves me, who can see what I am and yet He will accept me and love me, then oh yea, I want to know him.’ In that little country church altar I distinctly remember the voice of God whispering to my heart, ‘Danny, you have finally found a Father who will never leave you or forsake you. Wherever you go, highest mountain, lowest valley, I will be there.’”
Danny gave his life to God and for the first time in a long time felt love and hope. Still, sexual abuse continued until he was 17. When he married his girlfriend Lynn, he took his secrets with him including homosexual tendencies.
“I knew I loved her with all of my heart, but I also knew I can’t ever let her see me without my Danny Wallace mask on. She cannot know who I am. She can’t know what I’ve been through. If you see how broken I am, if you see that my father hates me, you won’t love me either. So I had that secret. That secret just carried on through all of my teen years and even into my young adulthood.”
For years Danny lived a double life. He was a devoted husband and father and active in his church, but secretly he had several homosexual relationships. His pastor knew something was not right and lovingly confronted Danny.
“He discerned my issue. He came to my home, and with all the love that a father would say to you, he said, ‘This is what I see. This is what I think is happening. We want to pay for counseling. We want to get you all the help you need. We don’t care how long it takes. We do not want to lose you. I will not let you go. Whatever it takes, whatever you choose, you just know that I love you and that we’re here for you.’ I made the decision that day that if there is freedom to be found from this stronghold I want it. I want to be free.”
Danny’s wife Lynn shares, “I just knew that I loved him and I knew I wanted him free of whatever was tearing him apart. Because he loved us, and I knew he loved me.”
With the support of his family he worked with a Christian counselor at uncovering the root of his issues.
“Where a stronghold has come into your life, there is a specific door that’s opened. I often tell people, ‘If you can identify that door that led you into your stronghold, it will be the door that leads you back out.’ He took me to that place of freedom that is found in absolute transparency, where I began to peel away those masks.
“Freedom comes from stepping to a place where the enemy can no longer follow you. The enemy is darkness and he abides in darkness. What he really hopes will not happen is that you will find the courage to step from the shadows into the light of the truth of Jesus Christ. If you step there you will now walk to a place where I can no longer follow you.”
One of the final steps he took towards freedom was to forgive his dad before he passed away.
“I said, ‘I will not drag this ball and chain any further. I will not go to bed hating you anymore. I will not get up with the memories of the past defining my day. I’m going to lay this down here.’ What forgiveness had done to me was lift me up out of the pain of those old waters and place me on a dry bridge of love and forgiveness for my dad.”
Today Danny is eager to share his story about God’s love and forgiveness. He wants others to find the same freedom he has experienced with his heavenly Father.
“How desperately would you like to be free? If you would like to be free, freedom can only come from stepping into absolute transparency with Jesus Christ. My Lord, my Father who spoke to me at 11 years old and said ‘I’ll never leave you or forsake you’ is careful to tell us in the depth of our despair, ‘I’ll take you as you are. I do not condemn you. I did not come here to condemn you. I came to set you free.’”
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