I am going to share stories with you from time to time. Thank you for sending me your stories. Please feel free to write meat at Billscott@freeourfamily.com. Please keep your story to under 300 words.
I grew up in a strict Irish Catholic family where the two key values were loyalty and discipline. Loyalty- in that what happened in our family stayed in our family and discipline- in that physical and emotional abuse was all part of the parental mandate to keep us controlled. As I approached adulthood all I wanted to do was get away. So, in not a very planned way, I became pregnant at 22 and ended up marrying the father. He turned out to be physically and sexually abusive to me and my 3 small children and after nine years, God gave me the courage to leave.
It was a very rocky road, working, going to school and raising my children, but eventually I was able to get a good paying job that provided enough for my children.
In my mid-40s I had an emotional breakdown and had to be hospitalized for a few weeks. While hospitalized I started to have flashbacks of past sexual abuse by my parents and others in my family and community. For several years, through counseling and a supportive church community, Jesus did a work in me that was truly miraculous. He helped me heal and grow and mature. Eventually my life became more normal and I was able to practice all I had learned in walking with Christ as I lived my new life, free from the bondage that held me a prisoner for so long.
Then in my late 50s I started to “see” a little girl walking beside me, even though I knew she wasn’t really there. I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder. What slowly began to surface were memories of satanic cult abuse and torture that went on for many years and involved my parents, my grandmother and others. I have seen demons, have been tortured by them and even possessed by them. Breaking out of that bondage has been unbelievably hard, but now I am free-er than I have ever been.
Through this very hard journey I am so grateful to Jesus who kept me alive when at times others wanted to kill me and even when I wanted to kill myself. He gave me Himself, His love, His grace, His presence, His compassion and His healing in a multitude of ways.
Don’t be fooled. Satan and his soldiers are real and do everything they can to imprison the lives and hearts of those who fall into his hands. Thank God He is One who is not just the enemy’s equal but far more powerful than any thing the enemy can throw at us or Him.
Not sure if this is possible, but something that would be helpful to your readers is for survivors to share what resources have been helpful to them in their journey to freedom. For me there are many but a few stick out. None of these were “magic” bullets. I still had to do the long, hard work over the last 2 decades, but they helped me in my growing understanding of who God / Jesus / Spirit are, who I really was and am and what the reality of our battle is in this world.
The Wounded Heart– Dan Allender
The Bondage Breaker, Victory over Darkness, Steps to Freedom in Christ- Neil Anderson
Unbound– Neil Lozano
John Eldredge- several works but the original one that caused a paradigm shift in my heart and thinking-The Sacred Romance
Henri Nouwen- several works but my favorite is the Return of the Prodigal Son
2 wall posters- (originally made in the 80’s, but still available on Christian Book Distributors):
“I am”- who Jesus is
“You Are”- who I am in Christ
Thanks, Bill, for this opportunity to help bring truth to others bound by the enemy and to bring the much bigger truth of how we can be free and healed in Christ.