“Living with the lies that I was damaged goods and that my Salvation was earned by my works and good behavior, I found my value in excelling in school, jobs, people-pleasing, and eventually as a teacher and mother,” said Cindy Stubbs. “I was hiding a deep secret of my sexual abuse as a child for years.
“I thought I needed to work hard and be good to get into Heaven, and in seventh grade, I accepted Christ as my Lord and Savior. I thought that was what I was supposed to do. I grew up in a Christian home and attended church regularly, but I never truly understood the gospel or what having a relationship with Jesus meant.
“While the Lord has done many things in my life, there are two main seasons where I saw the Lord move in transformative ways. The first was in 2007 when my husband, Mike, became very sick while out of town and was in a coma for twelve days. This is where I truly began hanging on to God and His promises.
“He was in the hospital for 14 days, and the Lord kept showing up in different ways. At different times during our stay, our friends and pastor at the time were also in the area for travel but made efforts to help us and pray over us, a traveling nurse sublet her apartment to me across the street from the hospital so I would have a place to stay other than a hotel, and new friends, made through ICU, offered to drive me to the grocery store during an unexpected spring snow storm because I did not have a car. It was all too coincidental. I knew these things were not of man, but from God alone (Hebrews 10:36). The Lord showed His provisions for us in that time in ways we could not have imagined. Mike thankfully recovered and was able to return home a month later.
“The Lord had even more redemptive plans for us back in Dallas, specifically at Watermark.
“Mike had a perfect view from his office of the church as it was being built. Out of curiosity, we decided to visit when it was finished and services started. He immediately jumped in. Mike became very passionate about the Lord and completely changed how he lived his life.
“This was such a different Mike than I had ever seen, and the quick transformation scared me at first. It felt disorienting, and I was ready to turn away from my faith. But God had other plans for me (Jeremiah 29:11-13).
“I asked for a meeting at Watermark to get some questions answered about the church and its beliefs. I still had reservations, but I started to get more involved. I watched as God completely transformed not only my heart but my husband’s. This was the Lord nudging me to trust His plan (2 Peter 3:9). I began serving on Frontlines, participating in Women’s Bible Study, participating in Courageous Hope, Watermark’s sexual abuse recovery ministry for women, and Re|engage, Watermark’s marriage ministry – all while reading and studying God’s Word for the first time.
“God’s love for me has allowed me to have the strength to forgive my abuser. I’ve felt God softening my heart to pray in many ways. For so long, I hid my abuse because I thought I was damaged goods – I sought comfort from anything other than the Lord.
“I was being discipled and encouraged through the people of this church and continued to learn more about the Lord. Even my children, who are believers themselves, were big encouragements to me and my journey. I wanted to fully commit my life to Christ and, for myself, accept Him as my Lord and Savior.
“Now, I get to learn and walk with other women through Scripture as I lead in Women’s Bible Study. I was able to talk to both of my parents about trusting in Christ before they passed away, and now I have a granddaughter I get to share God’s love with! That just makes my heart sing!
“While I still struggle with people-pleasing, thinking I have to work and be good to get into Heaven, I know in my heart, without a doubt, it is nothing that I do but everything that Christ did for me on the cross. He took all of my sins – past, present, and future, and I now have the assurance of eternal life with Him. God is so rich in His mercy and grace, and I now confidently claim that I am a daughter of the King (Ephesians 2:4-9). It is so freeing to know and believe that it’s not what I do; Christ promises me eternal life with Him without me having to do anything but have faith in Him.”