God’s Thoughts to Me
For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom (2 Corinthians 3:17, NLT).
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery (Galatians 5:1, NIV).
My Freedom Manifest
During World War II, Corrie Ten Boom and her family helped many Jews to escape the Nazi Holocaust.
They were arrested in 1944 due to an informant. Corrie, her father and her sister, Betsie, were imprisoned in Ravensbruck, a Nazi concentration camp.
Only Tante Corrie survived and in 1953 her book, A Prisoner and Yet, was released where she shared their suffering and torture.
Despite everything she went through, she was released with her soul free and her mind intact. She found the secret of living free in our Lord Jesus whilst being a prisoner in the worst of prisons.
I have to confess that I am an experienced jailbird. For a long time, I have been a prisoner, imprisoned in the narrow confines of my mind. Lies were the jailers, torturing me relentlessly.
Unlike Tante Corrie, I was free in the eyes of the world! Yet, my heart was captured in many dark prisons of self.
Self-contempt and his brother-in-arms, self-condemnation, were trampling and destroying the last tatters of self-respect I was clinging onto for dear life.
I was well versed in the language of abuse, but instead of unmasking this monster as the fiend he really was, I internalized all his lies.
I labelled myself as the perpetrator and considered these cruel, murderous words, my own fault and my just reward for being such a detestable person. Yet, I could never pinpoint my behavior that caused this treatment.
I did my utmost to placate the violent temper of the one who was slowly killing me with verbal bullets instead of loving me more than life. I soon learned that for survival, silence was the name of this game.
When I was at the bottom of the pit of self-contempt, I turned to alcohol in an attempt to lessen the pain of rejection.
It is one thing to be the innocent recipient of such abuse, but quite another to believe the lies that you deserve nothing less.
I knew I was walking a very dangerous road of self-destruction, but truth be told; it seemed preferable to being jailed in the prison of my life. But my love for my children compelled me to look for a better way.
So I turned to God. Or rather; I became very active in organized religion. I tried to find answers in a myriad of religious do’s and don’ts. It was no surprise that the biggest don’t was , ” Thou shalt not DRINK!”!
My mind was completely veiled by a burqa weaved of the finest silk of deception and religious lies. No wonder I was totally powerless to overcome anything destructive in my life.
I was trusting my non-existent abilities to keep laws and another set of laws and then another set of by-laws!! I was doing hard labor in this prison of religion and before long I was chucked away into the worst of worst kind of imprisonment: solitary confinement.
If ever there was a brutal crowd of cruel jailmasters, it was the Scribes and Pharisees throwing stones of condemnation and shame.
I hoped to find help and support amongst these people, but experienced the worst kind of abuse one can think of: spiritual abuse.
I call it by another name, the rape of the heart. The rapist, to my mind, was none other than our dear Lord Jesus!
But a still, small voice kept beckoning me on another journey; a journey to freedom … a journey to truth … a journey to life.
Our Lord Jesus started clearing my mind of all the inroads of lies and redeemded me from its destestable father.
This is the first time I am able to lift the veil of shame and offer a peek into this sector of my life where I was a prisoner of alcohol. Nothing I tried could enable me to stop this terrible addiction!
When I came to the end of all I could call “me”, I fell to my knees, telling our Pappa that if He didn’t heal me, I was going to be a drunkard for the rest of my life. I got up and never drank again. I didn’t even experience any withdrawal symptoms.
Sharing this is still awkward and it still hurts at times. But I have received grace upon grace to not only forgive myself and the perpetrators of the abuse against me, but our relationships have been beautifully restored to wholeness in Him.
With a grateful heart, I want to bring glory to our Pappa for the freedom that can only be found there where His Spirit reigns … the freedom Tante Corrie experienced when she was a prisoner and yet.
Much love and sweet blessings