from chains to freedom…

FBEC8D0F-3EB7-42FD-AD87-592CB7B20EB9For years, I was in bondage and didn’t even know it.

I struggled with feelings of shame, unworthiness, ugliness, failure, dirtiness, self-loathing, inadequacy, and the list goes on…..

the thing is, I knew I was struggling with so many areas of my life, yet I didn’t know the root or cause of my struggles.

i had been this way for so long that it became my identity—- the definition of who I was.

A3FDC414-B13A-4C6C-8A15-96779525C536It wasn’t until i opened up and shared these feelings with a dear friend and pastor that my eyes were opened to the truth.

he helped me to see that certain events from my past had left me filled with shame, and that even as a young kid, I unknowingly allowed that shame to define me.

Not only did it define me, but it held me in a bondage that i felt sure I’d never be free from.

360A19FE-E0E7-4AEC-A5B1-67C3344EBE5BGod, in his kindness, orchestrated a series of changes in my life that would eventually lead me to the freedom I so longed for.

after thirteen years in our former church that we had loved dearly, God led us to a different church.  Believe me, this was not a decision that we made lightly; God made it very clear that he was leading us to make this move.

God was so kind to reaffirm to us time and time again in those first few months that it was indeed his will for us to be at this church.  I would sit in church services and literally cry through them because the messages or the songs would speak of God wanting to give us freedom from the chains that bind us, and it was during those first few months that God spoke to my heart and told me that He was going to lead me to a place of freedom that only he can give.

E77CF80A-5A3B-4101-A1FE-C4294605B6C5Last fall, I became aware that our church offers an intense counseling program for members.  I asked my pastor about it and he hooked me up with the gal who leads that ministry at our campus.

after meeting with her and sharing my story, she submitted my application to the church, and within a month my counseling started.

And can I just say that this counseling has literally changed my heart as well as my life?  Not. Even. Kidding.

I could spend all day telling you all the things i learned, but I’m guessing you have better things to do than read my blog all night!

AF212BD9-FEC8-43A0-A185-5F910B76F0CFBasically, through my months of counseling (did i mentioned that this was Bible-based, Bible-saturated counseling?!), God used his Word as well as the curriculum we went through, to totally change the way I think.

He showed me that my past does NOT define who I am now, and that with God’s help, I can take my thoughts captive and not fall prey to the enemie’s constant lies.

God totally took me through the Ephesians 4 process of putting off my old self, and to be renewed in the spirit of my mind, putting on the new self.

To put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.  Ephesians 4:22-24

Through much time in the Word, I also began to really see the depths of God’s amazing love for me.  I was able to finally see past the shame, and actually see thatI am a beautiful, precious child of God.

I learned all that and SO much more!  But the bottom line is this: I AM FREE!

having this new knowledge and understanding of God made this Easter my most amazing Easter ever.

I only have one counseling session left, which is bittersweet for me, but I am so thankful to God for using this precious ministry to change my life.