Saturday, July 16, 2016

The Inner Views of Robin McCarter

"But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, 
to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive."
Genesis 50:20

The sweet lady you are going to read about today has overcome incredible odds.
When she first told me her story, I was completely amazed at all God has brought her through,
and I couldn't wait to share her testimony with you here.
How blessed I felt when she agreed!
Her gentle spirit, courage, and faith in God have been an enormous encouragement to me,
and I know you will also be inspired and abundantly blessed by reading her story.
Parts of her story discuss the details of her abuse and are intended for mature readers.
You may want to have tissues handy as you read this painful-turned-triumphant testimony of a life redeemed by God's amazing grace.

Child of God, Wife, Mother of Two, Abuse Overcomer,
Robin McCarter.

Cheryl:  Please tell us about your childhood. 

Robin:  I was brought up in a Catholic family.  I was raised in a Catholic school until the 6th grade. Throughout my childhood and my adult life, my mother has always been sick.  This sickness has been physical, but also mental.  My mother battled with depression and anorexia. Growing up she did not have to work, and my father always provided for our needs. It was not until we moved to Florida that my father began to molest me.  This behavior would usually follow a night of drinking, but not always.  I have three sisters, all which are younger, two original (current ages 38 and 35) and one (age 25) from my mother’s second marriage. 

Cheryl:  We would love to hear your Christian testimony.  When did you get saved?  How has that decision impacted the rest of your life? 

Robin:  During the year I turned 13, I realized that Jesus was the only [way] and got saved and baptized.  Jesus was the only way to survive this life. My family had moved to Florida, where my dad accepted a new job.  Although, this move brought about many hardships for my family, the decision to accept Christ generated a lifetime change.  God’s path for me began to develop and opportunities became available.  I was very active in the youth group, participating in everything, mainly so I could stay away from home.

Cheryl:  Has there been a particular person who has most influenced you in your walk with Jesus? Is there a prayer warrior in your life who has prayed you through the rough spots?  Who would you say is your spiritual mentor, and why?

Robin:  Once we moved to Florida, I began to attend church, through the invitation of a neighbor.  I met the youth leader and his wife, Steve and Kathleen Steff.  They did not have any children of their own, and, in a way, took me in.  They became such a huge part of my life.  Kathleen was a mother figure that taught me many valuable lessons.  Up to this point in my life, I had not seen a Godly example of how a family should be.  They were a loving couple and put God first in their lives.  She would pray with me and offer advice for all of life’s troubles that a young, teenage girl experiences.  Although, not until recently have I shared with them the molestation that occurred in my life.  We have not seen each other in over 20 years, until most recently.  God has brought us back together.  I am so thankful for women that are Godly examples to young girls.  Also, my mother-in-law, Debbie Starnes.  This woman has an amazing testimony.  God uses her daily, she has been an example to me and has encouraged me so many times.  She has been like a mother to me, and I am so thankful that God has allowed me to be a part of a family that has so much love.

Cheryl:  For years, you endured the horrors of sexual abuse by the man who should have loved, shielded, and protected you most.  What were the circumstances surrounding the beginning and duration of this abuse?

Robin:  My family moved to Florida during the summer of my sixth grade year when my father was offered a job.  My father thought that this may be a good change for our family, a fresh start so to speak.  Within a year’s time my mother was back in the [mental] hospital.  Although my mother had spent time in mental hospitals, her diagnosis was not made know to us children.  We would visit her there and spend time with her.  When she was releasedm she did not call my father to pick her up, but, instead, a friend of my father's.  My dad did not have much to say about this.  He took us to visit her, and it was then that I knew she would not be coming back.  She gave me her wedding rings, and I can remember holding them in my hand all evening.  I remember going to Pizza Hut and holding them in my hand the entire time.  When we got back home, I gave them to my father.

My father would now be left to raise three girls.  My father through all of this was not innocent.  He had a drinking problem that mainly stayed outside of the home; however, he came home drunk.  Just before my mother left, I remember during the middle of the night her waking me and sending me to her room, while she slept in my bed.  This is when the molestation began. My mother was gone for good and returned to take my sisters, leaving me there alone. From the time I was 13 until the age of 17, my father was sexually molesting me.  I was scared and did not feel that I could tell anyone.  We were in a place where we did not have any family or close friends.  Night time is what I feared the most, especially after a night of drinking; my father would come into my room and lie in my bed.  Although intercourse did not occur, touching, rubbing, and kissing did.  I knew then that this was not normal behavior for a father /daughter relationship.  I would immediately get up and lock myself in the bathroom.  I felt alone and that there was not anyone that I could share this with. 

My mother returned one of my sisters and I felt the need to be a “mother” to her.  I did not tell her about what was happening, as I was scared and thought, if I tell this they will take us away, and where would we go? My senior year in high school, my mother decided that she wanted to see us.  She had found a new man that she wanted to marry.  This is only after years of seeing other men and staying away from us.  She thought that my sister was acting a little strange, and this is when it all came out.  I said, "I think she is fine, but it is me that is having a problem."  Immediately, my mother contacted the police department.  During the 90’s, I do not think that children reporting abuse was taken as seriously as it is now.  I reported to the police department after they had arrested and interrogated my father.  I failed (2) lie detector tests. There I was, a 17 year old girl, and two detectives telling me that he did not do this.  My father was released because he claimed he had done nothing wrong, and many people said he would never do this.  Letters were sent, and phone calls made.  The police department advised that I should live with my mother from now on.  

Cheryl:  How was it possible for you to ever forgive your father for what he has done to you?  How have you found peace and been able to get past the pain of such betrayal and hurt?  

Robin:  God is the only way that anyone will find peace and be able to forgive anyone.  To this day, my father does not accept what he has done, but I cannot allow his actions to hinder what God has for me.   I have forgiven him and pray for him.  His life has become much more difficult now.  He is serving a 25 year sentence for his actions against his 8 year old stepdaughter.

Cheryl:  The fact that your mother left you vulnerable to this molestation is almost incomprehensible.  How have you found it in your heart to forgive her, the one who should have nurtured and gone to any length to keep you away from such abuse and violation?

Robin:  To be completely honest, I do not know if she even knows or realizes that this took place.  I hid so many things out of fear...fear that Child Protective Services would come and take my sisters and me away.  Once again, it is only by God’s grace that I have been able to forgive.  When I think about how God forgives us, who am I not to forgive?

Cheryl:  I can only imagine the amount of courage it took for you to let anyone know about the hidden torment and agony you were going through.  How did it make you feel when the authorities and those around you trampled that courage by refusing to believe that you were being sexually abused?

Robin:  These situations have come a long way, as a matter of fact, today, these situations are handled with a seriousness that did not exist 25 years ago.  6 years ago, my father was arrested for molesting his 8 year old stepdaughter.  He is now serving 25 years for this.  I reported this act when I was 17. It was not until I was 35 that the authorities finally believed me.  I then felt an obligation to stand up for her.

Cheryl:  How many years did it take for your truthfulness to be validated?  How did you feel when you realized God had vindicated you and allowed your integrity to be proven?  How did you get through the years in between when those who knew you did not believe you were telling the truth?  Has it been difficult to forgive them for not believing you and intervening on your behalf?

Robin:  It was 18 years before the truth of what happened came out.  God is the only way that any of us can live through this life.  I believe that I have not experienced many of the hardships that a lot of women face, because of my trust in the Lord.  God is the GREAT PHYSICIAN.  He cares for us more than we can imagine.

Cheryl:  How did the truth of your father’s abuse come to light?  What was your reaction when you thought you may have to face your father in a courtroom after so many years?

Robin:   Two years ago, I received a call from the police department with an apology for not believing me, as my father had abused his step daughter, an 8 year old girl.  The police had asked for my help.  They had arrested my father and spent hours interrogating him.  I was contacted by the state attorney’s office, and a deposition was scheduled.  I would face the possibility of having to go to court and face my father after all of these years.  The day before the deposition was scheduled, my father accepted a plea of guilty and a sentence of 25 years.  After this, I received calls from family members that did not believe my story and now understand and now believe that, yes, he could do this.  For a couple of years now, my father sends letters, asking how I could do this to him, and that he has done nothing wrong.  He has stated that I should question my Christianity, as children do not do this to their parents.  I trust in the Lord to see me through this time.  I have not responded to the letters, as any response could be used for his appeal process. The thought of seeing him again after all of these years presented a nervous feeling for me.  I knew, though, that what I was doing was the right thing.  An 8 year old little girl had been the victim of this terrible crime and someone needed to believe her, to stand up for her.

Cheryl:  Please describe your relationship with your father and your mother, individually, today.

Robin:  My mother and I speak and have a relationship, although it feels strained at times, because she continues to deal with illnesses.  I feel that I sometimes still fall into the “mother” role.  My relationship with my father exists only in letters that accuse me of putting him in prison.  

Cheryl:  If you were sitting down, having a cup of coffee with a person who has been sexually abused in the past, what would you say to him or her?  How would you tell them to find hope?  How can they overcome their past?

Robin:  Talking with someone that has experienced the same abuse, I would have to encourage them to trust in the Lord.  The only way to overcome the past is to forgive and not allow those things to hinder what God has for them.  Oftentimes, women allow abuse to guide their entire lives, hindering them from marriage, children and relationships, even with God.  You simply must let the “bad” things in life become a part of who you are and your testimony.  God can take what was meant for bad and use it for good, Genesis 50:20.

Cheryl:  What about the young person who may be reading this who is currently being abused…what advice can you offer them?

Robin:  A young person that may be experiencing abuse, must find someone to talk to.  This behavior is not normal and is certainly not their fault.  It must be reported.  The only way to remedy this type of behavior is to stop it.  Our telling may keep this from happening to someone else.

Cheryl:  How did you meet your husband, and how has your marriage and becoming the mother of 2 children helped you to heal?  How has the pain and hurt of your past influenced your parenting?

Robin:  My husband and I met at North Greenville University in 1993.  I know that this was a God thing.  My getting into college was all God, I have never taken an entrance test, and my husband had not considered North Greenville, even though it is a few miles from home.  I believe that God certainly put us together.  As a parent, both my husband and I decided we will not raise our children in the same environments that we were brought up in.  His father had some addictions, and my husband also comes from a broken home.

Cheryl:  Both your daughter and your husband suffer from an illness. How you have found strength to walk this difficult journey?  How has your faith in God and the strength you have gleaned from your own painful childhood sustained you and helped you minister to your daughter and husband?

Robin:  God has worked miracles in the life of my 18 year old daughter.  She was diagnosed with colitis, a disease that can destroy your colon.  For 3 years the medication kept her body stable, until she would begin to experience a “flare up”. We did not realize that this would lead to the removal of her colon, which would take 3 surgeries.  The Lord has taught us through this trial to trust in Him.  God has used this trial to strengthen my life as well as hers. 
God continues day by day to send blessings.  

Most recently my husband had surgery, it is a very scary time when your body starts to get sick or get older.  He had 3 ½ of the 4 parathyroid glands that we have removed because his calcium was too high.  After this surgery, all pathology reports were good, no cancer.  However, after the trip back to the endocrinologist for release, she felt that he was too young to have this, so she ordered additional blood tests.  Of course, you are sent home with worry about what the tests will tell.  Once again, God’s blessings poured down, all tests were normal.

We can attribute God’s blessings to His love, mercy, and faith, on our parts.  It is not always easy to simply drop all worries at His feet, we tend to carry them all with us.  God loves us, He is our Father, and fathers care and love their children.  Continuously being in a state of prayer and seeking God’s will can keep our minds on the right path.

God has not left us to walk through life's struggles alone, but He is right there, carrying us all the way.  When you have a child with an illness, it is very scary.  Placing our trust in God is the only way to find strength.  It is sad, but we tend to seek God more when there are difficult times.  I try to be thankful, certainly for the good times, but also thanking God for the bad times.  It is the bad times that teach us lessons and teach us how to place our complete trust in God.  I cannot control even one piece of my life, but I know the One that does.

Cheryl:  God has redeemed your story in so many amazing ways.  Tell us about your work with North Greenville University your educational accomplishments, and the wonderful opportunities He has opened for you through Christian Worldview.

Robin:   I graduated from high school, with no direction in life.  I had never take the SAT test, never thought about college, much less applied anywhere.  It was that summer that God showed me that He is control.  In Florida, there was a youth conference that met every summer.  I had been to this conference for 6 years.  North Greenville University had a table set up, and I filled out a card for more information.  I had been involved in the theater my entire life, and I put that I was interested in more information.  Within a week’s time, I received a call that someone was impressed with me, and they wanted me to come and visit North Greenville.  My mother and stepfather brought me to South Carolina.  During that day, I took entrance tests, and financial aid was possible, covering the tuition and board.  This opportunity was incredible.  By August, 1992, I was at North Greenville, and I was able to participate in Act II, a theater group geared towards ministry and missions.  The Lord opened the doors for a better life.  My work in the Christian Worldview Center at North Greenville University has been a wonderful opportunity.  God has provided ways for me to share my testimony and encourage others along the way.  I pray daily for God to provide opportunities. As long as we are faithful, He will provide them. 

It is now that God has impressed upon me to begin a ministry that may help other women, young and old, understand how you can only go through this trial with the Lord.  My husband and I have been married for almost 22 years now and have two children.  I have watched God at work and seen Him answer prayers.  God is always there. It is a question of whether or not we choose to see Him and live for Him.  God does not leave us alone to ourselves, He guides and is there when we stumble and fall.  Our lives are not perfect and I believe that He allows us to experience certain struggles in an effort to help someone else. 

I have been praying that the Lord would open the doors of opportunity for me to share [my] this story.  My relationship with the Lord has made it possible for me to forgive my mother and father.  You never forget [although forgetting can be a long term result of forgiving others that have hurt us] the trials you face in your life, I believe that God brings us through our struggles to help others.  We don’t know who around us may be struggling with the same struggles we are. In the case of testifying about my own molestation, I was able to save [help] a little girl and I don’t how many others.  Today, the Lord is opening doors for me to be able to share this story.  Throughout my life, I see God at work.  God’s healing power is the only way to make it through this type of abuse.

I did not finish my associate’s degree until 5 years ago, when the Lord opened the door for me to work at North Greenville.  I had applied numerous times for a job there. In the Lord’s time, He opened the door, when I least expected it.  Now, I have completed my Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degrees.  Through God all things are possible.  We must remain faithful, God has not left us here to fend for ourselves, and we must learn to trust in Him.  

Cheryl:  What does a typical day in your life look like, at this point in time?

Robin:  My oldest daughter has recently graduated college and gotten married.  We are raising our 14 year old daughter, going into the 10th grade.  I, of course, am working full time, continuing to go to school, working on a doctoral degree, volunteering for fundraisers, keeping up with my daughter’s volleyball schedule and hugging my husband as much as possible.  I continue to seek God’s will for my life daily and pray for opportunities to share with others.

Cheryl:  We are living in very discouraging times, and many Christians are struggling to find hope for a brighter day.  Are there particular “go-to” Scriptures that keep you encouraged to press on for God in these dark days? 

Robin:  My favorite scripture is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."  God is the great provider, and His strength and love help us to persevere to run the race.  His love for us is more than we can ever imagine, His care for us is far greater than we can fathom.

Cheryl:  How can we pray for you in this season of life?  Are there particular needs and burdens you bear that we can help lift to the Father on your behalf?

Robin:  I have recently reunited with my sisters, after more than 20 years, to find out that one of them has been diagnosed with Stage IV breast cancer.  The cancer has spread to her liver and her bones.  I have been traveling back and forth to Florida to help her with her doctor visits and plan for treatment.  She has 3 children and is a 38 year old, single mother.  Her name is Chrissy.  Please pray for her and her family.  

A BIG thank you, Robin, for being willing to transparently share from the heart with us here.
I can't imagine the amount of courage it took to open up like this,
and the help and encouragement your testimony will bring to others is immeasurable.
May the dear Lord abundantly bless and reward you for being obedient to His call upon your life.

Robin is a motivational speaker, and she would love to come to your church or ladies' meeting to share what God places upon her heart.
You may contact Robin at or to schedule
her to speak at your upcoming event.
Please add Robin, her two daughters, husband, and sister, Chrissy, to your prayer lists, dear friends.
Surely there is nothing too hard for our God, 
and Robin's testimony proves that He is absolutely able to do exceeding abundantly above
ALL we can ask or think.  (Ephesians 3:20)

To read previous


  1. What a fascinating testimony, from someone who has lived through things no child should be exposed to.

    1. How very true! It breaks my heart to think of all Robin went through, and it is a true testimony to the redeeming power of God to see where He has brought her from. I am so thankful for your visit and grateful Robin's testimony ministered to you, Elizabeth. God bless you, my friend!

  2. Thank you, Cheryl, for sharing Robin's testimony of God's faithfulness, His grace and even a taste of his justice for wrongdoing. Her love of Jesus inspires me and her call to forgive in the hardest of times shows true Christian strength of character. I admire her courage and imagine many will be helped by her story. I am praying for a miracle of healing for Chrissy.

    1. And, thank you, Mary, for reading and for your sweet, encouraging comment! I so admire Robin's courage, too. God is going to use this dear lady and her testimony in amazing ways! Sending you much love and many blessings!

  3. What a wonderful testimony of how God can bring healing and restoration to someone like Robin. Praise God for how He works, and thank you, Robin, for sharing your story. And thank you, Cheryl, for sharing this interview with us! Hugs!

    1. And, thank you, sweet Cheryl, for reading and for your dear, kind words! It is always a blessing to see that you have stopped by. God bless you abundantly!

  4. Praying for everyone involved in this touching testimony.

    God bless.

    1. Thank you, Victor! God bless you abundantly. :)

  5. Thank you for this indepth interview -- and for the reminder that the grace of God can redeem the years of brokenness.

    1. Thank you, Michele, so very much for stopping, reading, and commenting. I am so thankful you were blessed!

  6. Wow... Robin, you are the heart and mind of our Savior. I can only imagine how God's going to continue to use you with your heart of forgiveness and wisdom. Praying for you and your entire family.

    1. So true, Floyd. Thank you so much for reading and for your support and encouragement!

  7. Thank you for sharing this powerful testamony on God's love and have to us. Blessings

    1. I meant love and grace, sorry...

    2. Thank you so much for reading and for commenting, Terri. It was so nice to see that you came by! God bless you, my friend. :)

  8. Oh, my heart.
    Sometimes the most brilliant smiles are from those who have experienced the darkest of times.

    Such a brave soul. So inspiring.

    Thanks for sharing her story and I'm sure so many people have been blessed.
    Keep spreading hope.

    1. Thank you, dear Lux, for your sweet visit and kind words. God bless you!

  9. What a powerful testimony of the hope that we have in Christ! On Christ the solid rock I stand, all other ground is sinking sand. What meant the most to me in this post was the fact that Robin allowed the Lord to heal her heart and she was able to go on with her life, not being kept in captivity by the horrible experience in her past. Thank you for sharing another powerful testimony to the hope that we have in Christ, and despite the most horrible and wicked circumstances, it is only in HIM that we can continue on with the journey of life! Hugs to you today dear Cheryl :)

    1. Thank you so much for your dear words of encouragement! Sending big hugs right back to you, sweet friend!

  10. Thank you Cheryl for sharing Robin's story with us here at Tell me a Story. There are many young girls with similar stories that Robin's story can help them know they are not alone. Forgiveness is so important on the part of the victim, even if the other person does not acknowledge their sin.

    1. It always helps to know that we are not alone in our battles, doesn't it? Such a comfort to know that someone else went through it and overcame, by God's amazing grace. Thank you for your encouragement and visit, Hazel!