Silence Makes Us A Prisoner To The Past – Fear Holds Us In Captivity
Recently I spoke to a very large group of women and shared my story — the good, the bad, and the ugly — something I couldn’t have imagined doing just five or ten years ago.
I had always wanted to blend in — to go unnoticed — fearful of being the center of attention.
The truth is, fear had been a close companion for most of my life.
Fear of failure. Fear of success. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the what ifs. Fear for my children. Fear for myself.
I could go on and on.
Breaking free from those fears would be a long, and sometimes painful process.
Recently, God revealed to me that fear was able to control so much of my life because I lived expecting punishment for the choices of my past.
Choices of the past.
There are some things we would like to keep hidden in the dark places of our hearts, the shame too great to expose, the pain too terrible to bring into the light. At least that’s what the enemy of our soul whispers in our ears. So, we keep it all buried, and although we try to forget, we are haunted by the truth.
My past held many hurts for me, but my deepest regret came from my choice to have an abortion–a choice that wounded my heart and tormented me for years.
The fear of those painful truths being uncovered kept me in silence and I became a prisoner to my past.
I knew the truth — Jesus died on the cross to pay for my sins — but somehow I managed to believe that I also needed to earn God’s forgiveness and keep earning it. Unfortunately, I would always fall short and that’s where I waited for punishment.
But, as I began to allow Jesus to shine light on those hidden areas of my life, and as I began to speak out about my own shame and guilt, what was hidden and holding me hostage, no longer had power over me. I had already been forgiven, but finally I was free.
You see, we are not defined by the things we chose to do, but by what we choose to do, because we are living in the present, not the past. So, instead of choosing to live fearfully, we can choose to live courageously.
We lead them out of captivity. We help them to be courageous and share their stories too.
Something amazing happens each time I speak out about those things that I kept hidden for so long — I gain more confidence and boldness. Not because of anything I’ve done, but because of what Jesus did. I finally understand the depth of God’s love for me, despite my choices. I recognize the lies of the enemy and because of that, I’m not afraid to chase my God-sized Dreams any longer.
Here’s the thing. God loves you too and He has a plan for you, to bless you and to give you hope, and He has a great future ahead for you! And I’m sure it includes a dream or two.
Don’t give up. Push through. Speak out about the hard things. Don’t listen to the lies of the enemy.
Regardless of what you’ve done, or what’s been done to you — you don’t have to live a life of fear, or shame, or guilt, or whatever else the enemy whispers in your ear.
He is a good, good Father and He is faithful.
The last few years, instead of making New Year resolutions, I’ve prayerfully chosen One Word to remember throughout the year. The first year, my word was Fearless, and reminding myself of that one word helped me to step out in faith and do things I never thought I could do.
The second year, my word was Surrendered. Some difficult things happened that year — my job was eliminated, and for a short period of time I felt rejected and that I had no value, but then I remembered that one word. I chose to trust God and He reminded me that this was the answer to something I had been praying for, and so I surrendered it all to His will.
This year, my word is Empowered. God brought this word to my mind along with a verse.
Philippians 4:13 I can do all things [which He has called me to do] through Him who strengthens and empowers me [to fulfill His purpose—I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency; I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses me with inner strength and confident peace.]
Friends, I pray that you live a life fearlessly surrendered and empowered by the Holy Spirit to do all that He has called you to do.
Shared by: Lanette Haskins