Tag Archive | physicalabuse


I was beginning this post on Facebook but God spoke to me and said do it on the blog. So I complied! 

I’m really glad I did for a couple of reasons:

Everything that I need to share about this Anniversary date of March 1 deserves more space.

When I got to the website/blog, I found there was an undesirable comment. The enemy is still busy with what he does best.

Today, March 1 will forever be etched in my mind, my spirit and my heart for the remainder of my days. 

On this day 42 years ago, I left my mother’s care to begin a new life at the tender age of 21. I married a man who I KNOW loved me. He not only told me every day but he showed me every day. I HONOR his memory and legacy today!

Did we have a perfect marriage? No, no one does.
Was he a perfect man?  No, but he was perfect for me.
God had me in mind when He made him. We could not have had a better life. I am SO grateful for him for our life together.

I know he was tailor made for me because – silly me – I told him I could have made the biggest mistake of my life. I didn’t even get to hear him preach before we married! We often laughed at that. But that’s how I know he was tailor made and everything about him was perfect for me.

Were it not for him, I would never know what true love, devotion, care, concern, trust, security, compassion, friendship, forgiveness, gentleness and respect is in a relationship. This is what the Bible says in Ephesians 5:25-29:

“25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.[a] 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church,……..”

He was the epitome of those verses.
Everything that went left in my life happened after he transitioned. Even in that, I am so grateful to God because He has shown me, without a shadow of a doubt, that when we go through trials and tribulations, they are for our good and for His glory.

On this same day two years ago, God allowed me to begin a trip across this country to begin a new chapter in my life. God allowed me to travel safely without incident while I absolutely enjoyed the journey! 

So, questions might arise about what happened?!

You may remember me saying that God sent my Chapter 2 to me. The fact is, God allowed my Chapter 2 to be a lesson for me so I can help others.

While I shared my glorious story about how God restored everything that I had lost in three years, I was the little child who said, “God you didn’t restore everything! You can’t restore my husband nor the love that we shared because he’s not coming back”. I remember saying those words so clearly. God and I would have these spats after I lost my husband. I’m so very sure at the moment I said those words, that God had to sigh. He knew what I was feeling and He was already prepared for what was to take place next.

The issue is, not only did I say those words and God heard those words, but so did the enemy! This is why it is so true that your words have power and the power of life and death is in the tongue.

There seems to be agreement among those who teach the Word of God that the enemy cannot read the thoughts in our minds. But one observes that the devil doesn’t have to read our thoughts because he put most of them in there.

However, although the enemy may not know what we are thinking, he can hear what we say, read what we write, and observe what we do.

Our negative words and actions give the enemy a legal standing in the court of heaven to use our own words and actions against us. So the enemy tempts us, entices us, lures us, waiting and watching for us to go for the bait. When we do, just like the slewfoot devil he is, he goes before God and accuses us in an attempt to gain permission to inflict misery upon us.

What I do know is that God is in control and the enemy has to seek His permission to touch his servants. As with most spiritual issues, it’s up to us to choose to partner with God. There is a part that we must do first, before God will do the part that only He can do. We have to know the ways of the enemy, and equip ourselves with the “Sword of the Spirit, the Word of God.”

So, yes I failed miserably but God cleaned it up and protected and provided for me. See, He knew even when I traveling here what I was going to encounter for 14 months but He stayed right there with me.

The enemy tried to desecrate my wedding anniversary and get me to leave God’s side, His plan for my life and the blessings He has for me. 

The enemy only needs a crack or a door to slip into and he did just that by those words I spoke. I opened the door and let him right in but God closed that door!

You all know who I am. Some of you have known me for 50 years and many have known me for over 30 years. I’ve grown but I haven’t changed much.

I was talking to a group of high school friends yesterday. One of them I knew since we were in the 4th grade. I mentioned something to her about who I am and she had to admit, yea, that’s true. My heart is still my heart. This is the heart that God gave me even before I learned to trust Him completely. I don’t have an on/off switch on my heart. You can mistreat me and I will still love you. People ask how I can love when I’ve been mistreated. You would have to ask God that question.

For 14 months in the sunny state of Nevada, I went through physical, emotional, verbal, spiritual and financial abuse. This was supposed to be my Chapter 2 with someone who said he loved and cherished me. Instead, it was a lesson.

How can a person say they love another but fail to do what the Word teaches? This is a person who says that they are “walking with God…with peace and pleasure”. So, shouldn’t I have been loved as he loves himself? No man has hated his own flesh. 

I have a degree in psychology and I missed the signs. There are people who have narcissistic traits and I missed them.
I learned what those traits are in school but I had never experienced them. I had the theory but not the practice. God has allowed me to do so much research since 2020, gain my 2020 vision and align the theory with the practice. It was also my year of victory. It actually turned out to be a year of victory! I spoke those words at the beginning of 2020 and God fulfilled them.

Look for my book coming out later this year dealing with the life I lived.

We must have a battle plan to counterattack strategies used by the enemy to keep us defeated. If you ever served in the military, you know they would never think about going to war without a battle plan. You need the same with the enemy. You need strategies to exploit the enemy’s weaknesses and maximize your strengths so you can win. We all have a spiritual enemy and he has waged war against us.

Kenneth Copeland has said this:

“As Christians, we know Jesus has already defeated Satan for us (Colossians 2:15), but that doesn’t mean Satan isn’t going to use certain strategies to try and trick us into believing otherwise. His strategies are intended to keep us defeated and to take everything that is rightfully ours.

This is where some Christians are deceived. They say, “The enemy is already defeated,” then lie down and take a whipping. If we had no responsibility to stand our ground against the devil’s schemes, then God would not have told us to “resist the devil” (James 4:7) or to use “the weapons of our warfare” (2 Corinthians 10:4, KJV), and He would have had no need to give us “authority over all the power of the enemy” (Luke 10:19).” 

So the enemy certainly visited me to steal, kill and destroy. Jesus told some unbelievers, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies”. Rather than bring life, he tried to bring death. Rather than give, he tried to steal. Rather than build up, he tried to destroy.

So, yes I failed. I know you have heard the saying that you tried to bury me but you didn’t know I was a seed.

I can take it a step further. I gave up my dreams and my life to become someone else’s dreams and life and mine were crushed to the ground. I lost myself and my soul. I was expected to die. But the dirt that was thrown on me is being used by God to help me to grow and rebuild. God is telling me to stand and not buckle under the weight and pressure of the dirt because He is lifting, raising and elevating me to levels I have never known before. And I won’t even look dirty!!! 

I am so sorry that many of you were so happy for what I was entering into by relocating to a new state. I bless your hearts for that! But God re-wrote my story, turned my pain into power, my tests into testimonies and my agony into aspiration!

Emily Dickinson said that March is a month of expectation.
In 1979, I received everything that was promised to me!
In 2019, forty years later, I received so much more than I ever bargained for – God’s grace, mercy, guidance, direction, provision, protection and unfailing love!


If you are looking for a speaker who will impact your audiences as she shares getting through their pain to their power, their tests to their testimonies and their agony to their aspirations, please think of The FIRST lady.

Visit the website for everything that we offer in Inner Healing:
1. Livestream and Clubhouse Teachings
2. Guest Podcasting
3. eBooks
4. Online Courses
5. Group Coaching
6. 1:1 Coaching

If you have experienced trauma and need coaching/counseling on releasing it, please join our Facebook group.
If you are looking for a second stream of income while helping ladies improve their self esteem, please join my VIP Group.

I can be reached at firstlady@firstladyministries.org or at 973-214-1136.

God bless you on your NEW journeys!


Denyse H. Turner, D.H.L., M.P.H., M.A., ACC
Certified Inner Healing Minister/Counselor/Coach
Certified Christian Family Counselor
Public Speaker/Author/Grantwriter/Ghostwriter/Trainer/Counselor/Faith-Based Travel Educator
First Lady and Chief Connector at Dr. Gregory C. Turner, Late Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church

First Lady helping others win!

I am picking up ministry where my husband left off!

From Masks to Smiles


I was having breakfast and lunch (we talked so long, breakfast turned into lunch) with a fellow Pastor’s widow/colleague and she said “did you notice how we go from wearing masks to wearing smiles”? I had to think about that for a minute. Yes!

Pastors’ Wives often wear masks, though we don’t like to admit it or don’t even realize it. We do not wear them to be “fake” but to protect our congregants and ourselves.

The culture of being a Pastor’s Wife creates the temptation to wear a mask. Ministry creates such stress for both the Pastor and his wife, that the wives are often not totally satisfied with their lives. They desire to create a positive impression and thus neglect their true life. We are there to serve: to serve our husbands in whatever he needs in ministry and to serve the congregation when they need us. In order to assist them fully, we must be in a positive position to do so. They don’t come to us to hear about our problems and issues – nor do I think many of them even care. They come to us for a spiritual resolution to their issues. So, no matter what goes on in our lives, we push it to the back and operate on “100”! We don’t ever want to respond to a congregant in a less than positive manner. Additionally, what we do reflects on our husbands.

But think about this, preserving your “image” WILL cause you to neglect your own spiritual reality. Philippians 2:12-13 tells us “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”.  You must off load your own personal sins, struggles and inner pain. That’s called “working it out”. When you shed the mask, you feel freer.


I believe people have good intentions when they try to comfort us. But there are many things that people say that just don’t help, such as: “he’s watching over you”, “he’s cheering you on”, “he’ll always be right beside you”, “don’t cry”, “God needed an angel”, “you have to be strong”, “get out, it will help you”, etc. Besides being scripturally unsound, those types of comments make it worse for the grieving person. In order to successfully pass through the grief journey, there are several stages we have to go through and there is no “normal” timetable for getting through the process.

What are better responses for the person attempting to comfort someone grieving?

  1. JUST BE THERE. Your presence means more than anything! You do not have to know what to say. You can even say “I don’t know how you’re feeling or what to say but I’m here to listen”.
  2. Help the person whenever you can. Many times, the grieving person goes through many situations they may not have encountered before. If they ask for finances, $20 is a big help and little becomes much when placed in the Master’s hands. They may be at a point when they can’t pray for themselves. Don’t just say “praying” but pray WITH them. Check on them often to find out if they’re ok. If they don’t answer or say they don’t feel like talking, try again later. Just don’t forget them!

So, those who are grieving get so many uncomfortable responses to them, the only thing to do is smile! Being in a fragile state, they try to be careful not to respond negatively – so they smile. That smile does NOT mean “I’m fine”. It means “I’m just smiling”.

So, we go from wearing masks to wearing smiles. I have had many inappropriate or hurtful responses to my grief. My response? I smile.

It may not be the time or the place to educate others on what’s appropriate or hurtful. Perhaps a note to the person later may help so they know how to respond in the future.

I continue on with my “new” life without the love of my life and as Kirk Franklin says “I smile”!

10896966_10205710842516350_314393234073763629_nDenyse H. Turner, L.H.D, M.P.H., M.A., ACC
First Lady who is out to help others win!
I am picking up ministry where my husband left off!
Public Speaker/Author/Trainer/Counselor/Faith-Based Travel Educator
First Lady and Chief Connector at Dr. Gregory C. Turner, Late Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church

















The Beginning for The FIRST lady

The story of ‘The FIRST lady’ begins in 1961. I was in kindergarten in Baltimore Maryland.

During that year, I met a cute little boy. At that age, it was no more than meeting but we did “like” each other. I would chase him and he would pull my hair. I know, weird.

My mother was the cafeteria manager at that school. There is only one incident that I remember well from that year. I don’t remember what I did but my mother took me into the bathroom and gave me a nice spanking. I think I kept talking too much. This was back in the day when there was no Child Protective Services or laws to prosecute parents for physical discipline. I got plenty of them! But when she finished, she took me back to the classroom and made me apologize to the teacher and the students. I do remember looking at that little boy in tears.

I had a full school year to get to know that little boy as if that can be done easily at 5 years old.  We developed a nice little friendship though – until June came!

Unfortunately, my mother was transferred from that school to another school. That was the end of that friendship. I had to go with my mother. There was no cell phone, no email and no social media and we probably weren’t too familiar with a house phone.

As time moved on, I eventually forgot about that little boy because I had no way to find him. I also eventually overcame any “feelings” I might have had. Remember, I was only 5 years old!

My life continued on. I was oblivious to what was in store for me.

This was actually the beginning of ‘The FIRST lady’ although I didn’t know it at the time. I didn’t even know what a First Lady was.

I Corinthians 14:20 tells us to “be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children….”. Children understand very little in their immature minds. They have to learn to understand and comprehend. But in malice and hate, God tells us to be like children. Have you ever noticed that children can get mad at each other and then go back to playing? But we, as adults, hold on to grudges for years! We don’t even remember why we were mad.

We didn’t understand those immature “feelings” and had no clue of the magnitude of our little friendship. All we knew was that we met, we liked each other and we missed each other in 1962.

Be sure to follow us and watch for the next episode of ‘The FIRST lady’. God bless!

10896966_10205710842516350_314393234073763629_nDenyse H. Turner, L.H.D, M.P.H., M.A., ACC
First Lady who is out to help others win!
I am picking up ministry where my husband left off!
Public Speaker/Author/Trainer/Counselor/Faith-Based Travel Educator
First Lady and Chief Connector at Dr. Gregory C. Turner, Late Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church

An Unusual Father’s Day


In March 2006, my husband became the Patriarch of his family. The family also looked to him for spiritual advice since he was the last preacher of the family.

After this date in 2006, he carried his title proudly! That is, until November 2015.

This first Fathers’ Day without the father of our children was harder than even our Anniversary. It’s probably because I see the effects the loss has on his children, his grandchildren, his nieces/nephew, cousins, etc. His best friend is taking the loss extremely hard! When I see how these people suffer from this loss, it makes it very hard on me.

I cried from the moment I saw my childrens’ posts to their father, to eating breakfast alone, to seeing other peoples’ posts, to seeing places we would go together, to the time I went to bed. By the time I went to bed, my eyes were swollen and hurting.

We made sure to visit his father, my step-father and my father for Fathers’ Day.

My husband loved seafood – at any time! If there was a special day, he would always choose Red Lobster. So my daughter had an idea. “Let’s get seafood and sit with daddy”. So, that’s exactly what we did!

We sat at the Memorial Park for close to 4 hours and just ate seafood with him and talked to him. I can imagine that he was happy and pleased! Though it was a very difficult day for me, it was unusual, different and comforting.

This was the first of many more Fathers’ Days to come that I’ll be spending at the memorial park.

In this day and time, it’s very difficult to be a parent. I salute all of the brothers striving to lead, love and leave a legacy and an inheritance for your children. God will certainly bless you for raising your children as He commands.

I also greet all of my friends, family and colleagues who are holding the bar high as a daddy.

Remember, anyone can donate sperm and become a father. But it takes a special man to be a daddy!!

10896966_10205710842516350_314393234073763629_nDenyse H. Turner, L.H.D, M.P.H., M.A., ACC
First Lady who is out to help others win!
I am picking up ministry where my husband left off!
Public Speaker/Author/Trainer/Counselor/Faith-Based Travel Educator
First Lady and Chief Connector at Dr. Gregory C. Turner, Late Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church

The FIRST lady


I first met my husband in kindergarten in Baltimore Maryland. We were always proud of the time that we had known each other. I became a Preacher’s Wife in March 1979 and a Pastor’s Wife in December 1980. My husband only pastored two churches in his ministerial career. Throughout my husband’s entire ministerial/pastoral career, I worked side by side with him tirelessly, however, I became The Forgotten FIRST lady!

As committed Christians, we erroneously thought that Christians were full of love and compassion. We found out the hard way this was not always correct. My husband transitioned November 22, 2015 from severe depression and betrayal. The subsequent reconnection with my high school sweetheart resulted in many forms of abuse never experienced before.

Now I’m sure lots of questions immediately enter your mind. They will all be answered, either through this post or my upcoming book. Stay tuned and follow us!


Our honeymoon lasted for 38 years! Honestly! Although we almost separated after 30 days, we decided that we exchanged vows, not only in front of our family and friends, but more importantly, in front of God. That was enough for us to say, no matter what life brings, we are sticking it out. We even found the secret to never arguing. We had one major argument in our marriage.

Did we have stressful times in our lives? Absolutely and of course! Just as anybody does but we learned how to deal with them and get through them. Although I had been in church all of my life, my husband taught me most of what I know. I hardly ever attended Bible Study in my home church. My husband and I were married at the ripe old age of 21 years old. So, my spiritual journey really began with him.

Evolving into a “First Lady” was stressful for me. I was never one for public activities. I was perfectly fine operating behind the scenes. I knew my husband was a preacher when we married but it never dawned on me that he was called to “pastor“! I think he knew not to tell me that ahead of time. So, when he decided to follow that call, I was shocked! But as the good wife who made promises to my husband, I followed.

He was Pastor of the St. John Baptist Church of Baltimore Maryland for 8 years. That was really a training ground for us both. At the end of those 8 years, he felt the call was bigger. We loved that church and her members. To this day, we still maintain good relationships with them. So, that was a difficult decision to make. I was also in an established career and did not want to interrupt it. But again, I was the Good Wife! I’m starting to feel like Julianna Margulies.

After doing some research and searching for opportunities, God opened the door in Paterson NJ in 1988 at the Christ Temple Baptist Church. We remained there as the Pastor and the First Lady until his demise. We both felt that Christ Temple was ordained for us. On the exact same day that they marched into their current building, my husband was preaching his initial sermon. This was where God was placing him many years before we even realized it.

Our years at Christ Temple were filled with much work. Many new ministries were developed and implemented and my husband became involved in the community, as did I. He served as the Senior Chaplain of the Paterson Fire Department for 25 years. He was remembered at their Annual Memorial Service on Sunday June 5, 2016. I was active with the Paterson Alliance which provides networking and connecting opportunities with non-profits in the city. This led to my writing a personal grant which developed a Computer Lab for the church. The amount of ministries developed there are too numerous to name. But we were happy with our work there!


On Sunday, May 31, 2015, our work and world came crashing down. This section will avoid many details as it will be explained further in the upcoming book. My husband was presented with a letter by a ministry leader that took us both by surprise. We couldn’t even believe what it said. That was something that we both had to take to God in prayer.

Once we had prayed about it, our answer was “stand still”. That’s exactly what we did. We went on about our lives. My husband was preparing for a back surgery. There were no issues there; I had two back surgeries and recovered well. The surgery was to be in June 2015. Unfortunately, his cardiologist could not clear him for surgery because he said he had a Silent Heart Attack. We were baffled but came to understand why. He had been betrayed and was depressed! He was given medication and a new surgery date, which was July 22, 2015.

On July 22, 2015, he underwent surgery at the Holy Name Medical Center, which was successful! He was on the mend and on his way back to his position of Pastor. During his time of surgical rehabilitation, he would say every day, “I don’t believe they did this to me after over 26 years”.

We had to constantly pray to ask God for guidance. I noticed as time went on that I was the only one praying. He said he just didn’t feel like it. My response? I’m praying enough for both of us! And I was. He began to decline daily. I asked for a Psychological Evaluation, which was done and he was placed on medication. I was able to take him to church during his time in rehab but he didn’t really participate.

Time continued to move. When he said he did not want to talk with his grandchildren, I knew something was seriously wrong. He declined to talk, he declined his meals and he declined to engage in life. This continued to November 22, 2015 – exactly 4 months to the date of the surgery. “22” is now a significant number in my life.


This was THE absolutely most traumatic event in my life! I cried incessantly, numerous times a day for 4 months straight! At the 5th month, the Holy Spirit said “dry your eyes and get up; you have work to do”! That’s exactly what I did. He gave me the energy and motivation to get up and work. He laid out my “new” journey and purpose. I still have waves of grief that last for a few days or longer.

There are so many people who have experienced trauma in their lives, whether physical/sexual abuse, divorce, infidelity, social awkwardness, violent acts, natural disasters, serious injuries, witnessing a violent act or even the sudden unexpected loss of someone close – as in my case, etc. Many times, people get “stuck” in their pain.  A terminal sense of doom clouds their days and fogs their nights.

Emotional pain is a natural state in life’s journey. When we fail is when we choose to remain in that pain. That is grief and is a kind of death. I refused to allow myself to die! My children and grandchildren were depending on me. They had already lost their father and grandfather. I had to learn to depend on God heavily and learn the steps of grief and recovery. Part of that is undergoing grief counseling with my therapist.

Additionally, because my husband was my primary provider, I lost his income. Because of the situation in the letter, I further learned there was no life insurance. When I tell you that God has been my shadow, He has and is!! He is the only REASON I have survived financially, because unfortunately, nothing came from the church – although my husband and I spent years building up the Benevolent Fund. God has sent people to assist in this journey. I couldn’t even apply for survivors’ benefits until August 2016. For nine (9) months, I depended on family and friends to survive. I lost so much more than my husband during this period.

My husband fulfilled his command from God. He was faithful to the end – not only to God but also his family – and the Holy Spirit has already confirmed to me that He’s pleased! He also showed me that He protected my husband by calling him home when He did. That gave me some peace. This is where my husband’s journey ends.

Little did I know, I was about to experience yet another stressful and traumatic chapter in my life.


But this is where my journey begins! I am following God’s lead! God has opened doors for me to share how people can move from their pain to discover their God intended purpose. I would have never even imagined some of the things He has allowed in my path, like regional and national stages. God is awesome!


God is directing and ordering EVERY step I make and take. There is nothing too small for me to ask for God’s guidance. As I continue on this journey and deal with additional stress, I am honored to be used by God!

Although I miss my husband and lifelong friend tremendously, God has shown me that His plan for me is even greater. So, here I go!

If you are looking for a speaker who will impact your audiences with step by step instructions on getting through their pain to their purpose, please think of The FIRST lady.

I can be reached at firstladyministries@gmail.com or at 973-214-1136.

God bless you on your NEW journeys!

10896966_10205710842516350_314393234073763629_nDenyse H. Turner, D.H.L., M.P.H., M.A., ACC
First Lady helping others win and enriching lives!
I am picking up ministry where my husband left off!
Public Speaker/Writer/Ghostwriter/Trainer/Business Development/Coach/Faith-Based Travel Educator
First Lady and Chief Connector at Dr. Gregory C. Turner, Late Pastor of Christ Temple Baptist Church