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About the Author

 
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Tammy Brown Tammy Brown
Tammy Brown was a hurting teenager, burdened with guilt and shame from her past. But at the age of fifteen, she met a young man who would change her life: Rick Brown. Rick shared the gospel with Tammy, introducing her to a whole new world - telling her about heaven, hell and salvation through Jesus Christ. This once broken little girl became a woman of purpose and love. Rick and Tammy were married before Tammy's 20th birthday and will be celebrating their 28th wedding anniversary this May.

In 1993, the Lord called Rick and Tammy to move to Idaho Falls, beginning a new work in Calvary Chapel. It was in this season that Tammy was prompted to write the "Healed and Set Free" Bible study, borne out of her own journey of healing and triumph over the past. Little did she know that "Healed and Set Free" would blossom into a global ministry, moving women from long-standing, paralyzing pain into freedom in Christ, and allowing her to minister around the world as a women's speaker. Tammy has been blessed to speak in Turkey, India, Uganda, and across the United States, as well as being featured in many magazine, radio and television stories.

Yet Tammy has always been dedicated, first and foremost, to what she considers her most important ministry: her family. For the past twenty years, she focused on raising her children Caleb and Jessica, who are now starting lives of their own with their spouses Ashley and Christian who are a tremendous blessing to the Brown family. Rick and Tammy are very proud to see their children continue on the journey of passing on a strong spiritual heritage to the next generation.

In addition to her own ministry, Healed and Set Free, Tammy is busy being a helpmate to her husband at Calvary Chapel, Idaho Falls, where the Gospel is being preached all over the world. Rick and Tammy reside in Idaho Falls where they are committed to serving the community to impact lives for Christ.

Tammy is a perfect example of the Lord's ability to restore all that Satan wants to destroy.

"God doesn't change the past,
but He can change the meaning of the past."


Tammy's Story

Every night for years I watched the light of passing cars creep across my window. I laid in bed, wondering if my uncle was coming to get me, or even kill me. Scared to fall asleep, I would plan how to tell my mom. But my uncle's words haunted me: "I'll kill your parents if you ever tell. If they find out what a dirty little girl you are they'll be so ashamed of you." I was silenced by shame and fear.

My husband Rick led me to Christ during my senior year of high school. I hoped that becoming a Christian, and later being involved in Rick's ministry, would take away my crippling insecurity, bitterness and shame. But it didn't work. I would sing songs about how God heals, but they were empty words because I'd never experienced it. I tried to forget the pain by keeping it a secret, but anger and bitterness erupted out of me. The memories of repeated sexual abuse by my uncle and his sons, and being date-raped as a teenager continued to fester, and I realized that even though I kept the memories secret, I was a prisoner to my past.

Frustrated, I looked to God's Word, which said that before I could forget and forgive, I first had to see the condition of my bitter heart (Hebrews 12:15). Once I faced my bitterness, I wondered, "Now what?" The answer was to repent: to be sorrowful enough to change my thinking (2 Corinthians 7:10). I thought I was justified to hate; surely God hated my abusers too. I wrestled, wept and questioned: How could the sin of hatred be equal to the sin of abuse in God's eyes? But I realized that just reading God's instruction to forgive is not enough-you have to purposely obey, then you experience true healing.

We live in a fallen world where sin abounds. Satan continually tries to get us to hate, not forgive. But God's Word helps us grow and move away from the destruction Satan desires. Again the Word showed me that, after seeing what was in my heart and repenting, I must forgive (Mark 11:25). When we choose forgiveness, we are choosing God's way and showing that we trust Him. Forgiveness releases you from the past and opens the door for His healing and restoration.

The final step to healing is to forget. In Philippians 3:13, Paul says to forget those things that are behind and put our minds on the higher calling of Jesus. Having dealt with the pain from my past, forgiving those who hurt me, I could now move forward-my past no longer controls me.

We live in a world where hurt is part of life. We can become bitter and offended in a split second, even by other Christians. I'm so thankful the things in the past don't define us. It's not what happens to you that matters most, it's what happens IN you. He is a good God who wants to heal the world, and He is the only true Healer.
-Adapted from "God’s Healing and Restoration" by Margot Bass



God’s Healing and Restoration

First as a child, then as a new Christian, and later as a pastor’s wife, a young woman tried to forget the pain too deep for words … until she turned it over to God.

Tammy Brown, wife of Pastor Rick Brown, CC Idaho Falls, ID, sobbed uncontrollably at the kitchen table as Rick wrapped his arms around her. This was the first time that she had unlocked 20 years’ worth of memories from her secret past.

“Every night for years I would watch passing car lights creep past my window. I would lie there and wonder if my uncle was coming to get me, or even kill me,” Tammy said. “I lay in bed at the age of seven, scared to fall asleep, and planned over and over how I would tell my mom about my secret.

“But my planning was always stopped by the haunting words of my uncle: ‘I’ll kill your parents if you ever tell. If they find out what a dirty little girl you are they’ll be so ashamed of you.’ I was silenced by shame and fear. Each time my uncle would come near me I would run as fast as I could from him thinking, Get away from me!

“From that moment, I tried to forget those unspeakable memories. First as a child, then as a new Christian, and later as a pastor’s wife, I tried to forget the pain, but the memories kept me angry and bitter. As I recalled the repeated sexual abuse by my uncle and his sons, and later being date-raped as a teenager, I was kept prisoner to my past. I was good at keeping the memories a secret.”

But abuses and secrets left deposits on her heart which were not easily removed. Tammy’s future husband, Rick, led her to Christ during her senior year of high school. She hoped that becoming a Christian, and later being involved in her husband’s ministry, would take away her crippling insecurities, bitterness, and shame. It didn’t work.

“I would sing songs about how God heals, but they were empty words because I’d never experienced it,” she said.

Tammy is thankful that those ugly deposits are gone after God tenderly led her on a journey of healing and forgiveness. Tammy described herself as “a selfdestructive woman going nowhere in life.”

Frustration led her to God’s Word, which showed that before she could forget the abuse and forgive her abusers, she first had to see the condition of her embittered heart so she wouldn’t remain defiled (Hebrews 12:15). However, Tammy warned, “simply reading God’s Word is not enough—you have to purposely obey, then you experience true healing.” She admitted, “There were times I didn’t want to obey. I wrestled, wept, and questioned, ‘How could the sin of hatred be equal to the sin of abuse in God’s eyes?’ I thought I was justified. Surely God hated [my abusers] too.”

When she realized her bitterness, she wondered, “Now what am I supposed to do?” The answer was to give it to Christ in repentance. She had to be deeply sorrowful about her bitter response, enough to change her thinking (2 Corinthians 7:10).

“It’s completely opposite of how we think humanly,” she noted. “Repentance cleans out the sin in our hearts.” Tammy was quick to add that taking this step did not justify the abuse or betrayal. We live in a fallen world where sin abounds and hurts from others can affect our lives. Satan continually tries to get us to hate, not forgive. But God’s Word helps us grow and move away from the destruction Satan desires to do.

Forgiveness was finally possible, but she needed the Lord to show her how. Again the Word showed her that when we pray, we must forgive others (Mark 11:25). By choosing forgiveness, we are choosing God’s way and showing that we trust Him. Forgiveness releases you from the past and opens the door for His healing and restoration.

The final step to healing was to forget, now possible by her repentance and forgiveness. In Philippians 3:13, Paul tells us to fully forget those things that are behind and put our minds on the higher calling of Jesus. “We live in a world where hurt is part of life. We can become bitter and offended in a split second even by other Christians,” Tammy said. “I’m so thankful those things in the past don’t define us. It’s not what happens to you that matters most, it’s what happens in you.

“It’s an amazing opportunity when unfair things happen in our lives,” Tammy added “because the Lord can be glorified. He is a good God who wants to heal the world, and He is the only true Healer.”
-Reprint from Calvary Magazine