The 700 Club with Pat Robertson


Christine Thiel: A Mom Free from Hurt

By Cynthia Savage
The 700 Club

CBN.comChristine Thiel’s earliest memories are filled with her mom’s bitterness.

“My mom would say I’m trying to ruin her life," Christine Thiel says. "I never thought that she loved me. She and my father had gotten pregnant in college, and so they got married. I wasn’t in the plans and [there was] kind of a constant feeling of resentment.”

Her parents divorced when Christine was five. That’s when a new man came into their home.

“He immediately set the ground rules for us to be in our rooms at all times.  Never to be seen or heard. He wanted our mother, but he didn’t want us."

For days, weeks, years, Christine was a prisoner in her home. She was allowed to leave only for food, the bathroom and school.

“Absolutely no human contact and isolation, nobody to talk to," she says. "The silence was deafening. “

As she grew older, Christine rebelled against her mom and stepfather’s strict rules. 

“I figured I’m grounded all the time anyway, and it doesn’t matter what I do.  I can’t do anything right.  So what difference does it make? I had come home five minutes late. My stepfather held me and my mother beat me. After that, I was afraid they might accidentally kill me.”

At 13, a judge placed Christine in her birth father’s care.  Her mother’s words at the custody hearing cut like a knife.

“The judge wanted my mother to speak, and so she said that all I’d done is ruin her life. She wished I’d never been born.”

She had more freedom in her dad’s home, but life was still hard.  Christine had heated arguments with her stepmother and was eventually kicked out.

“He was like my hero. This was it.  My dad said he wished he never had a daughter.  So that was it the last person on earth that loved me.” 

When she was 16, Christine was on her own. She worked three jobs just to make ends meet while finishing high school.  She was miserable and suicide seemed like the only answer.   She believed that death was a place of rest and finding God.

“I was so depressed and very alone. I was thinking how can I do this to where it doesn’t hurt. For some reason, I got up. I went to my closet, turned on the light and there on the wall was in red crayon a cross. It was circled, and there was my name written underneath. Then it was crossed out. I just stood there in disbelief.

“It was a sudden awareness that this was not going to end my suffering. The idea of never seeing God, being with God, heaven, that was not going to happen if I did this."

This incredible experience encouraged her to go to church, but before long Christina gave up trying to be good. After graduating high school, she moved to Florida and needed work.

“My friend suggested that I try working at a dance club. That would be fast cash. Just to get us back on our feet. I walked in. I couldn’t believe my eyes. There were women standing there talking to men naked.

“You gradually start doing everything that they do. It feeds on itself. You drink more, you smoke, do drugs, think maybe even more distorted, perverted ways of having sex.

“You can make yourself look as perfect as you possibly can, but it’s never enough.”

After six years at the strip club, she couldn’t escape the emptiness inside.

“Working at the club, to me, became my own personal hell," she says. “I was desperately searching for that thing that would fill that place. I filled it with sex, drugs, alcohol, people. Nothing would give me any sense of purpose. I started seeking God again.

"I called out to Him and asked Him to please. I don’t want to live like this anymore. [I] asked Him to help me get out of this situation.”

That’s when Christine got a job cleaning houses. One of her customers invited her to church, and she was more than ready to go.

“When I surrendered to the Lord, finally, really surrendered and let go of everything, I felt so light and so free.”

In the healing process, Christine learned how to forgive those that abused her. She says, “As I cleaned houses, He was cleaning [my] house. As I spent time with the Lord, He helped me let go of hurts and pains and unforgiveness. The more honest and open I was with Him, the more he came in. Like when it came with my stepparents, my mother and father, I would find myself [saying], 'I can’t.' Then He would help me see them the way He sees them. I was able to love them the way He loves them, which I find just amazing."

Today, Christine has moved on to establish a family of her own.  Greg and Christine Thiel have three children that all benefit from a mom free from the hurt and shame of her past.

“The Bible is a love story. It wasn’t anything that I had to strive to do anymore, to try to achieve. He was doing it just by loving me and forgive me.

"The best thing of all is that you actually can have a relationship with the Lord now. You don’t have to wait until you die. You can actually talk to Him now, and He will never, ever turn from you. An unconditional, loving relationship. He’s everything to me.”

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