My Word for 2017

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img_0072I’ve never really been a big fan of choosing a “word” for the new year, but this year is different.

In 2016, through different conversations and circumstances, God revealed some areas of brokenness in my heart.

not only did he graciously reveal these things to me, but he also gave me a name for the type of bondage that I’ve been in most of my life.  I’ll share more about that in another post.

anyway, by labeling my areas of bondage, it opened the doors for me to receive counsel and healing.  I used to think that certain unspoken things from my past needed to stay unspoken; however, I’m learning that the more I share my story, the more freedom and healing I experience.

maybe that doesn’t make sense to you.

it didn’t make sense to me up until a few months ago.  My husband has been telling me for months now that I need to open up and share the deepest areas of hurt in my life, but I couldn’t do it.

while those areas were painful and have caused me a great deal of heartache and bondage, they were a part of me, and I didn’t know how to live without them.

about six months ago, I was having lunch with a dear friend who happens to counsel broken women, and the conversation led to my struggles.  The next thing I know, I was baring my heart to this gal. As i shared, I saw nothing but acceptance and compassion from my friend.  I shared things with her that I had never shared with anyone else, besides my husband.

and you know what I felt after I shared?  A small small glimpse of freedom.

not long after my conversation with this gal, I found myself having a conversation with another friend, who also happened to be our pastor at one time.  And guess where the conversation led?  To my past.

and so, I poured out my story, and when I was finished my friend made a comment that both blew my mind and opened my eyes for the first time.

he said to me, “you’re not struggling so much with the actual abuse that happened to you, you’re struggling with the lies that you were fed for many years following.”

he then gave me a label for the bondage that’s held me for almost thirty years: shame.

he then proceeded to give me the name of a book that he had previously used while counseling other victims of abuse.

this book is changing my life.  I’m reading it slowly, hanging onto every word, and taking lots of notes.

in case you’re interested, the book is called, Shame Interrupted, by Ed Welch.

i don’t want to get to much into my struggle with shame in this post, but I do plan to write about it here on the blog, because I truly do believe that my story can help others.

another way that God revealed to me his desire to heal me was by leading us out of our church of 13 years to a new church.  This is something that God has been working out in me for about a year now, so in my heart I was prepared and ready.  My husband and kids however, didn’t start feeling led out until a few moths ago.

all that being said, as I sat in our new church on New Years Day, it was as if God had orchestrated the whole message for me.  Not. Even. Kidding.

through testimonies from various people on how God has delivered them from different things in 2016, I knew this was one more way that God was confirming for me his intentions to bring healing to my brokenness.

as if that wasn’t enough, even the worship songs were geared towards reminding us of God’s faithfulness.

and last but not least, the pastor preached from this passage from Ezekiel 37:

The hand of the LORD was upon me, and he brought me out in the Spirit of the LORD and set me down in the middle of the valley; it was full of bones.

And he led me around among them, and behold, there were very many on the surface of the valley, and behold, they were very dry.

And he said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” And I answered, “O Lord GOD, you know.” 

Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, O dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 

Thus says the Lord GOD to these bones: Behold, I will cause breath to enter you, and you shall live. 

And I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the LORD.” 

The last three verses knocked me over!  It was as if the Lord was telling me that he wanted to put life back in my dry bones!

Now, before you think I’m crazy, let me explain.

over the years as I’ve been struggling with the past and the bondage I’ve been in, I became “dry”.  Meaning I wasn’t able to live the full, joyous life that God has intended for me, because I’ve held on to this bondage and allowed it to take over my life.

but as God has started healing me, little by little over the course of the past few months, I can feel the “new life” that God has for me!  It’s as if it’s made its way into my heart, but it can’t fully fill these dry bones until my healing is complete.

I am so excited to see what God has for me this year, in 2017.

because you know what word he gave me?

freedom.

 

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