Do you feel you have no control over your actions, your emotions or the situations in your life? Do you feel trapped in life with no hope? Do you ever feel panicked and desperate but do not know how to get free? Is someone you live with locked into a way of life that you know is destroying them, but you do not know how to help them?
I have been there. Desperate. Alone. Out of control. Full of shame. I had many times thought of ending my life. I thought that I could not endure one more day. I’m not sure what kept me from that final blow… except the loving hand of God.
There is hope for freedom. Whoever you are reading this today, no matter how out of control your life feels right now, there is hope. You can find a life of freedom.
What is freedom? When I refer to freedom, I am talking about a life no longer overpowered by desires that were designed to be under your control. You can live a life that is no longer in the clutches of guilt, shame and fear. You can live life with peace deep inside of you that is not dependent on circumstances, but a deep peace that abides within you in spite of your circumstances.
There is hope. Freedom is real. I was in a prison of addiction, guilt and shame. Now I am free. I want to share my journey of freedom with you…
Sex and pornography addiction did not just one day arrive on the scene of my life and show up on my doorstep in its ugly full blown recognizable self. If it had, I would have run as if my life depended on it, because as when the truth became known, my life did hang in the balance. But it showed up looking very innocent and appealing. It was dressed very attractive, with a little bit of tease… it promised a good time, it promised that it would take away the loneliness, fill the holes in my heart… it promised fun and excitement. It promised to take only a small toll in my life for big payoffs. Have you heard these promises too?
And when did it start? When did occasional sex and pornography turn in to something that one day was out of control? I don’t think for many of us there is a hard and fast line… it is gradual. That is what is scary. For me personally, it was many years of “dabbling”… having a weak area in my life. Never feeling totally in control, but never being totally out of control. Then at one point, it was like something had snapped… I had taken the bait, hook, line and sinker. I was truly out of control. Addiction had a fierce hold on me. I was in a prison of sorts. It didn’t have literal bars and locks that were visible to the outside world, but they were just as real… just as confining. No longer was I a free woman.
Where there is bondage, God provides a way of freedom. For me, the answer did not come quickly. The key is: I did not give up.
In the midst of the darkest season of my addiction, someone asked me “are you willing to be free?” I thought about that question long and hard. I could not honestly tell them “yes” because in an addiction, there is a sick love-hate relationship with the addiction. Then he asked me the next question that probably saved my life, “Are you willing to be willing to be free?” Without any hesitation I said, “Absolutely yes!” That person encouraged me to pray every day and ask God to increase that small amount of willingness that was already in my heart and give me a completely willing heart. And I did. And God did.
God was able to work with my willing heart to, over time, bring complete freedom from addiction into my life. I have heard the testimony of a wonderful worship leader and minister who has found freedom from bondages in his life. People have asked him if it was a process he walked through or an immediate deliverance in his life. He tells them the answer is “yes”! I love that, because the answer for most people who find freedom is just that, it is both. It can be different for different people. God is not in the “cookie cutter” business of doing things the same way in everyone’s life, but He does things creatively and uniquely in each of our lives. What is truth is that He desires to bring freedom, forgiveness and healing for every person.
Freedom… it does exist. It is real. No longer having to live two lives, no longer being controlled and manipulated by your desires that were meant to be under your control. No longer living inside prison walls of addiction, shame, humiliation and loneliness.
God knows that we cannot set ourselves free, so He delights in doing that because He loves us. I have experienced, first hand, the love and the power of God to set His creation free from bondage. My life is an example of His goodness…
Freedom is available for you too. Don’t give up.
I leave this encouraging word from the Bible with you today. It is from Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11, New International Version.