My escape from prison

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love and of a sound mind. For 45 years, I never knew what that meant because I lived in fear and I didn’t even know it. I was kept in a prison of fear of secrets of the past, of things that were done in my youth. No one looking from the outside would have known because the outside of the prison looked good, but the inside was a living hell. Not until I went into Stop Hurting Start Healing did I understand how the things from my past—my mother’s and father’s past and the generations before me— became part of who I was, both good and bad.

I had tried all the conventional things—regular counseling at $120 an hour and when the issues became so uncomfortable, they wanted you to take pills for anti-depression to put on top of that. And while I could look at the pain, there wasn’t an answer for it.

I remember having a dream as I was going through the [prayer sessions]. I was sitting under a tree that had garbage bags with bows tied on. In the bags were my body pieces, and some of them were missing bows. I was there trying to tie bows on, and that’s what my life was. And at 45 years of age, thank God, I came into a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. I finally learned that there was an answer. I didn’t have to live like that. I wasn’t in pieces and trying to put a bow on brokenness.

I attended a family conference at the church and in the little counseling session afterward, the lady told me that I was not to judge my parents. The Lord had revealed to her to declare Isaiah 61 over me. It’s what Jesus declared. It’s what He came for— to set the captives free, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning. I didn’t know what joy was. My joy was all superficial; my life was superficial. I was a cutout of what I thought society would want to see, because I didn’t know who I was and didn’t like who I was.

Where man and even I myself will let me down, Jesus Christ never does. And I could finally go forth into an area that had been too frightening to look at before, because there was finally an answer. There was finally truth. I could finally go forth and deal with the issues of abandonment and rejection of my father, sexual abuse from my grandfather which had been kept quiet and had happened so young that a lot of the memory wasn’t even there…These were all systems that had failed me until Jesus.…

So as I went through the scriptures, the Word started washing my soul. The Bible says, a wounded spirit who can bear? And that’s what I couldn’t bear….

I learned that Jesus took my shame, shame that didn’t even belong to me as a very little girl.

God has the answer. Only He has the answer. He is faithful and true. He is the God of restoration. I never dreamed I could believe in relationships… I never dreamed I could believe in marriages… in happy families… and have hope and joy…. I have that this day. I don’t have to work and earn these things anymore. The restoration in my life internally and externally is beyond measure. — Janice K.