I was my own captor! I had enslaved myself with thoughts of past hurt, guilt, resentment, and anger. And, even though I held the only key to the prison in which I was being held, I kept screaming, begging, for freedom.
“Break every chain”, I sang the song almost every day, waiting for the Lord, Jesus, to loose my shackles; unbind me. Still, I stayed imprisoned. And, I couldn’t figure out why.
Every morning, I was up, and moving before five a.m. With a ” Thank you, Jesus!”, and a smoldering hot cup of coffee, I would start my day, ready to face anything that dare come my way. I’d sit in my front room, the prickly gray carpet in my apartment a familiar friend, and I would make all attempts to remain, at least for a moment, at peace. But, thought always stepped in, the univited cousin who always brings with them the drama!
“I can’t believe they came for me like that!” I’d think to myself while taking a sip of coffee.
“I should have given them the business! Oh, if they only knew! I ain’t the one to be messing with!”
As far as anyone knew, time travel was impossible. But, there I’d be, stuck in the past. My brain would claw at old wounds, pulling off scabs, and making my heart bleed. I was miserable.
“I would never do anyone like that!”
I’d sit in judgment of those who I felt had wronged me. Like an FBI profiler, I would analyze the situation; going over every eye blink, every word, every gesture. Nothing was exempt. It all mattered.
And then, I’d sit, and cry. I’d cry because they’d hurt me. And, I’d cry because I’d been so vulnerable that I’d let them hurt me. I would nestle myself into the plushness of my brown sofa, and try, with all my might, to find a position comfortable enough to make me stop thinking about it. But, the thoughts kept coming.
“I remember when…”
I could go back years! Ten years ago would be brought back to mind as if it happened only yesterday. I could remember the moment my heart broke, the smells that filled the air when it happened, and even what was playing on the radio. I could feel the tension ball up in my neck, and I would feel as if I couldn’t catch my breath. But I just kept on letting the thoughts invade my space. Talk about being a wretch, undone!
Still, I solicited prayer for the problem. And, I prayed myself.
“Lord, your Word says weeping may endure for a night! How long is the night going to be, Lord?”
It was the longest night imaginable. Daytime would come, and go. The sun would rise, and fall. All the while, I remained in the dark. I’d hear other’s speak of their dreams, and aspirations. But, I was stuck in a nightmare. And, in order to see the light, all I had to do was open my eyes.
Imprisoned. In the dark. And, both the key, and the light had been given to me as a child. I just never thought to use them. Negative emotions are like drugs; bad habits picked up when we stray off, and take the beaten path. I was so high, and disoriented from an overdose of guilt, resentment, and pain, that I had forgotten the Word.
“Forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”…Phillipians 3:13b
It took everything for me to get back to that state of mind. If I was to move forward, in order to ” reach forth unto the things” which sat before me, I had to first accept the sinful state I was in. I had never snorted cocaine. I had never used heroine. But, I was still an addict. I had gotten so used to being hurt, so used to being disappointed, that the only way I could feel anything was to inhale misery. And, I was tired of that. I was better than that.
And, I stood up. I began to talk to God as if He were the truest of friends.
“I can’t make it without you, Lord! I need you to help me fix what’s broken!”
I told Him all my secrets. Talking to Him out loud, as if He were ssitting right next to me, I handed God a heap of baggage. No wonder I felt so heavy! The things that I began to unload, some of which I had buried deep, would have dragged down the strongest of bodies. And, I was so egotistical that I thought I could carry my load by myself.
“You’ll find that it is necessary to let things go; simply for the reason that they are heavy. So let them go, let go of them. I tie no weights to my ankles.”
-C. JoyBell C.
We attribute way too much to supernatural evils. It’s not always the devil that has us bound. Sometimes, it’s pride. Other times, it’s our own meanness. Someone does something we don’t like, or says something with which we disagree, and we hold it, sometimes unknowingly. And, like a cancer, it’s eats away at everything that we are. But, freedom is not so far off. It is as close as forgiveness, as reachable as a prayer. All you have to do is want it!