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Your Past Doesn't Disqualify Your Destiny

Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson, co-host of The 700 Club Canada and author, will share her story of how she thought she'd never recover from her past of devastation and brokenness. Read Transcript


[THEME MUSIC]

Well, the program that you're watching

is just one of many 700 Clubs from around the world, really.

In the Philippines, there's "700 Club Asia."

In Latin America, you can watch "Club 700 Hoy."

And one of the most popular versions of this program

is produced by our neighbors to the north.

It's "700 Club Canada."

And it's co-hosted by Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson.

Here's her story.

NARRATOR: For years, Laura-Lynn Tyler Thompson

believed she would never recover from her failures

and past mistakes.

Then, she learned God had a different plan.

One night while folding laundry, she

felt God called her to television.

She answered the call and began her media career.

Today, she's the co-host of "The 700 Club

Canada" and an inspirational and comedic speaker.

In her book "Relentless Redemption," Laura-Lynn talks

about her difficult past to help bring healing and hope

to others.

Laura-Lynn is here with us now.

And we welcome her back to "The 700 Club" here in the United

States.

It's good to have you here.

Oh, what a privilege.

Oh, we call this the Mother Ship.

OK.

So I have been traveling to the Mother Ship.

And it's so exciting, Terry, what you and Pat and Gordon

are doing.

It's an honor that we are part of it.

Well, we're all doing it together.

Yes, we are.

As we link hands around the world.

I want to mention your book "Relentless Redemption."

You know, when you do what you do,

you're in a very public position.

People recognize you.

People assume your life is all together,

and everything's tied up with a pretty bow.

In "Relentless Redemption," you share really openly

and candidly some of the failures

that you faced in your life, some of the losses,

some of the humiliations that you've gone through.

What made you decide to do that?

Well, the Lord compelled me.

When He called me to television in 1999, when

I was folding laundry, and He brought me out

of disastrous circumstances.

I told Him, well, this is good.

So we're going to put that chapter behind us.

And we're going to go forward.

And I'll be-- yes, I'll be your girl on TV,

and I'll do whatever you want, God.

Thank You that You've forgiven me.

We'll move on.

And He-- and we don't ever need to talk about that stuff again.

And He said, no.

He said, I have called you to this place

that My glory might be made beautiful

through your disasters.

And that is what God does.

He takes our disasters, and He shows us

how He can fix anything.

And I really needed to be fixed.

Beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning.

Yes.

You were the child of missionaries.

You grew up with missionary parents in Uganda.

Yes.

When did your life begin to move away

from the values you grew up with?

You know, I was born a small white child in Uganda, East

Africa, to beautiful parents.

And I think that's what was so hard, is sometimes

we don't have a good set-up.

Some people don't get it all.

I had it all.

I had parents who believed in a powerful God.

But by the time that I was in my 18, 19 years of age,

I was in a sort of rebellious period.

And I thought, you know, I know-- you know what I mean,

Terry.

Yes.

Like all of our kids kind of go through this--

It's a common story.

Yes, it is.

It's a common story.

But my story led me to just saying,

I'm going to do it my way for just a little while.

I think I can handle this.

And I don't know if it was pure out and out rebellion,

but it was a strong hold in my life

that says I'll do what I want.

And I ended up marrying a fellow that nobody thought, you know,

was a good idea.

And they certainly didn't think it at the age I was at,

21 years old.

I mean, I am immature for my age now.

And so it was extremely difficult for my parents

to be looking at this girl and thinking,

she's going to get married, like she can't cook lasagna.

And so this is a problem.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: When it's frozen, right.

Even when it's frozen, it's a problem.

And so I headed into this.

And I made a calculated decision that came out very, very wrong.

And I didn't calculate it enough is really what happened.

And it really led you into, later on,

as that marriage became what everyone thought it would,

which was unstable and uncertain and filled with, I guess,

just a lot of doubt.

Then, a man came into your life, through the church,

we should mention, because that can happen.

Yes.

And it became not just an affair,

but almost an obsession, that went on for years.

Absolutely.

My first marriage did not have the kind of chemistry

that the great people talk about with romance, you know.

There was just a lack of chemistry.

And I did not see it.

When I was walking down the aisle

to get married the first time, what I actually

was thinking, as I was heading down that aisle, was,

who is that man?

TERRY MEEUWSEN: That's a little scary.

Why did I decide to get married?

And so when you're a Christian girl, you've done it all right.

You haven't had sex before you're married.

You know, I have never been drunk.

I hadn't smoked.

I hadn't done all these things.

But I'm now walking down an aisle

to marry a man that no one thought was a real good idea,

you know, based on my age.

And I'm in this.

And so five years later, we had been to counselors.

We had been to pastors.

There was, like, God, would you heal this?

It wasn't like you didn't try.

I really tried.

There was just something that was so wrong intrinsically

in that marriage.

And the enemy sets a trap for our soul.

You see, he is intimately aware and familiar with who we are.

And so a trap was set for my soul.

And I, in error, walked into it.

And it was the most devastating decision and season of life

that I had ever walked into.

Well, one of the things that happens,

when we step off the cliff into a bad decision,

is there are other bad decisions that follow it.

And pretty soon, we're up to our neck

in things that we never thought would be a part of our lives.

You came to a place where you had done that

so deeply that you wondered if God could forgive you.

I did, Terry.

I thought I was the most disqualified girl that

ever walked this planet.

I was so broken and so messed up.

I had left my first marriage.

I'd lost my reputation.

I'd wounded my parents.

I'd hurt their reputation.

I was shattered and broken.

And I didn't know how I would ever put all the pieces back

together.

And in fact, I thought, I will live out the rest of my days

in this broken place.

Every dream that I'd ever had that I hoped I

would be something great for God.

When my dad would preach when I was a little girl,

I'd have tears streaming down my face.

And I'd be, like, Jesus, I want to do something great for you.

But by the time the enemy had wreaked his havoc on my life,

and we are-- we are full of depravity in our own sin.

TERRY MEEUWSEN: Well, and he's the father of lies.

Yes, the liar.

He's the father of lies.

You're right.

So then, we begin in our weakness

to buy those lies, to believe those things.

Right.

But the truth is--

Yes.

God is truth itself.

Right, and after three years of depression, the Lord, you know,

had been trying to speak to me.

But I got to a church service, Terry,

and this night changed my life.

And that was when the pastor had brought in a life-sized cross.

And he wanted us all to write our sins down

and to go and nail our sins to the cross.

And I said, God, I don't want to write my sins down.

These sins have debilitated me.

I looked at all the perfect people in the church.

You know, it always seems like everyone else is so perfect.

Right.

I did not belong.

These are the perfect people.

All their kids are, you know, going to Bible school.

And I am the failure of my family.

I don't want to write my sins down.

But I was compelled to.

Otherwise, I'd be the only one sitting in the seats

because everyone started writing their sins down and heading

for that cross.

And they started singing, "Oh, the blood of Jesus

that washes white as snow."

And tears began coming down my face.

And then, they sang, "on a hill far away stood

an old rugged cross, the emblem of suffering and shame."

And I looked to heaven, and I said, I'm the emblem of shame.

I'm the one who has caused such disaster.

God, I'll never be OK.

I'll never be OK.

Terry, my-- my shoulders started heaving with the pain,

you know the kind of pain that just gets unleashed

after years of the debauchery and the sinfulness

and the stupid mistakes I did not know how to overcome.

And as I headed towards that cross,

it was at that moment-- this is what

changed my life-- the Holy Spirit whispered

this in my ear.

"Laura-Lynn, was what Jesus did on that cross"--

and I looked up at that life-sized cross.

And I could almost see Him there, bloodied, bruised,

beaten beyond recognition, spit on, mocked, all for me.

"Was what He did not enough for you?

Must He die again so that you would

receive the freedom that he's already

paid the price to give you?"

And in that moment, I grasped something

that, in all my missionary years of knowing the Bible

and being pretty smart about the ways of God in my head,

I had never truly understood that unless I

receive this freedom by faith, I will

remain shackled in my pain.

Jesus set me free that day.

And I've never been the same.

Well, He's-- ahem-- a redeemer.

And the story that you share in "Relentless Redemption"

is the story of someone who felt unworthy,

incapable of being forgiven, and today,

stands in front of a camera and shares the goodness of God

with millions of people.

For our American viewers, I want you

to know you can see Laura-Lynn by going to 700club.ca.

The book, "Relentless Redemption," and you

can find out how to get a copy on cbn.com.

Laura-Lynn, thank you so much for being with us.

Thank you for what you do.

It's been an honor.

It's great to have you be part of the team here.

Thank you.

You're a hero in my life, Terry.

You're nice.

God bless you.

Thank you.

You, too.

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