PR Director turned Pastor, Jo Naughton is an international speaker and author. Sharing with great personal honesty, she is used by God to bring truth and healing into many lives. Together with her husband Paul, Jo pastors Harvest Church in London. They have two children, Benjamin and Abigail.
Evelyn was bullied from when she was just seven years of age. She wasn’t as academic as other children so was regularly sent out of the class for extra help. Every time the tutor came to pick her up, Evelyn would be overcome with embarrassment. She had few friends.
Although Evelyn grew up in a stable home, her mom had been raised in a very abusive environment. Hurt people inevitably hurt people so Evelyn’s mom would often tear her to pieces with cutting remarks. She told her daughter that she was chubby, selfish and spoiled, and she criticised everything her little girl did and said.
Something about the mix of bullying at school and rejection at home made Evelyn crave approval. She was desperate to be accepted by her peers and longed for affirmation from her mom. As a teenager, Evelyn’s fear of man escalated. She couldn’t sleep and would become physically sick. The bullying continued but Evelyn suffered in silence, pretending not to mind as cruel words cut her apart.
Evelyn got saved at college, married the son of a pastor and became a successful school teacher. However, one thing still bound her. Evelyn continued to be preoccupied with people’s opinions. She was terrified of upsetting her in-laws who she loved very much. Evelyn even had a panic attack in the middle of church one day before she was due to sing in the worship team. Fear literally gripped her.
At Healed for Life, the cruel, cutting words that had been spoken to Evelyn during her childhood came flooding back. She had buried them so deep down that she had almost forgotten how badly they had hurt her. Evelyn poured out her pain in the presence of God as He healed her heart and restored her brokenness. Afterwards, Evelyn felt an extraordinary joy and freedom, like she was a little girl again!
“When I returned to work, my colleagues said I looked different and that my face glowed!” Evelyn explained, “When I see people that I once feared, I look at them with joy. Even the children seemed to notice the difference! The best of all is that my relationship with God better than ever. I found a wonderful new intimacy with Him. It is amazingly liberating to have my eyes on Jesus and not on the people around me! I can honestly say that since Healed for Life, my life is a joy and happiness!”