I Prayed have prayed
Lord Your word says that You test the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence Your soul hates (Psalm 11:5). Thank you for Anne Beiler's testimony of faith. Let it be an encouragement to those that are suffering from abuse.
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On paper, Anne Beiler, founder of Auntie Anne’s, looks like the quintessential achiever of American success. But the path to where she is now is one paved with great pain and deep heartache.

After surviving sexual and spiritual abuse at the hands of a minister following profound personal loss, it took Beiler years to find healing, which ultimately came through the power of confession — a profound story she chronicles in her forthcoming book, “The Secret Lies Within.”

The secret to her healing was speaking. “Please tell,” Beiler said during a phone interview with Faithwire, her voice filled with emotion. “You must tell to get better.”

Beiler, who grew up in an Amish community in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, was taught from an early age to believe God was wrathful and “harsh” to his people. So when she married her husband Jonas at just 19 years old, and the couple soon thereafter experienced the tragic death of their 18-month-old daughter, Angela, in 1975, Beiler’s world came crashing down around her.

“When Angie was killed, I found myself going into a deep, dark, and emotional and spiritual confusion in every way,” she recalled. “And my husband and I began to drift apart.”

Struggling to cope with her daughter’s death, which came as the result of a freak farming accident, Beiler did what many Christians do every single day: she turned to the pastor of her charismatic church for counsel.

What she needed, though, is not what she found. Beiler was soon seduced by her pastor — a well-liked member of the community — and told to stay quiet about his sexual advances.

“I decided when I left his office that I would never tell anyone,” Beiler said. “Because, No. 1, who would believe me? He was a loved man in the church and in the community. And No. 2, I would never know how to tell that kind of an experience. That secret kept me in an abusive relationship for over six years.”

She went on to describe that time as “the darkest, most despairing” season of her life, at one point weighing a mere 92 pounds and on the brink of suicide.

The only thing sustaining Beiler was prayer — and she was barely hanging on. Ultimately, she was able to find safety is speaking and healing in confession.

A big part of Beiler’s healing process was truly understanding the meaning behind James 5:16, in which the apostle wrote, “Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.”

“There’s only one way out, really, truly,” she said. “It’s through the power of confession. My freedom came about when God spoke to me and said, ‘Get up off your knees and go tell your husband what’s going on in your life.’”

As for Auntie Anne’s, Beiler and her husband started the famous soft pretzel company in 1988, when they bought a lone concession stand in a busy farmers’ market in Downingtown, Pennsylvania, and ultimately turned it into the largest hand-rolled soft pretzel franchise in the world.

Eager to give back, Beiler started the wildly successful business more than 30 years ago in order to fund Jonas’ dream of opening a free family counseling clinic for their community. And it worked.

Beiler sold Auntie Anne’s in 2005 and now spends her days telling people all around the world about leadership, sharing her faith, and preaching about the power of confession.

“I’m so grateful,” Beiler said.

(Excerpt from Faithwire. Article by Tre Goins-Phillips.)

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Sharon Smith
October 8, 2019

I agree with you all totally, although, I have only told certain people in my immediate family about what happened to me. My abuse was not by the clergy, however, it was as horrifying. My abuse was by my cousins and uncles from the age of 2 yrs to 12 yrs old. Jesus healed me by repairing and closing the rip in the veil of my soul, but it took until I was 25 yrs old. i praise God continually for that healing. God is the only one that could set me free.

October 4, 2019

Telling others what’s up in my life has been important to me too. Covering up only allows those who behave badly to continue, often without consequence.

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