In the dream, I was a little girl again scrubbing a stain on the linoleum. On hands and knees, I scoured the inky blot as an unseen figure stood over me. Forced at the task until the sickening discoloration disappeared, I kept my head down as my tears mingled with the blackness of the blot.
Each time I awoke, I lay exhausted, frightened, and ashamed. Gradually, the images blurred into daily life and fear stole my ability to cope. Eager for retreat, I went out of our apartment less and less until one day I crawled behind a chest of drawers and descended into a fetal position.
I have no memory where my own preschoolers were at this point, and when Mark discovered me he realized the gravity of the situation. Coaxing me out, Mark interceded, asking the Father to rebuke the spirit of destruction that choked at my throat with guilt and fear. Asking that the Holy Spirit to reveal the source of these anxious thoughts (Psalm 139:23), Mark prayed earnestly that the Father would guide me into all Truth (John 16:13).
Although I sensed relief instantly, it was a few days before the Father revealed the source. I had repressed a memory of sexual abuse that had occurred when I was four-years-old. As the situation replayed in my mind, I recognized the unseen figure. He was the sixteen-year-old neighbor guilty of the abuse.
As painful as the event was to recreate, I walked back through the memory; this time with a Holy Protector at my side. When I re-visualized the situation, I realized I was no longer a timid preschooler, but now a woman with God’s Presence within her. Facing the memory gave me victory over the fear. Light enveloped the shame with healing.
If you find yourself in bondage today, I believe that Truth will set you free. Know that since the beginning of time, you have had a lying adversary (Genesis 3:1-4). Directly opposed to God and all of His children, this enemy is always hungry, ever seeking for someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Any voice that says differently is lying to you.
For you, the best news you will ever hear is that “the Son of God appeared for this purpose, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8). He came onto earth to deliver you. This truth is hard to believe when you see the long history you have in bondage, but in believing this truth will set you free (John 8:32). The God of Hope can only fill you with joy and peace as you believe (Romans 15:13).
It is a fight to believe. Satan makes sure of that. He uses every tactic in his arsenal to keep you from faith. “But this is the victory that has overcome the world — our faith” (1 John 5:4). Stop simmering in misery. Turn the anger and frustration you feel toward everyone else onto the true source of trouble. Be angry at the evil one, yet do not sin (Ephesians 4:26). Resist and rebuke him and watch him run (James 4:7; Matthew 17:18 KJV).
As you seek freedom, pray something like the following prayer aloud.
Thank You that You are “off-the-charts” more powerful than the evil one (1 John 4:4). I realize that the only power he has over me comes when I believe the lies that he sends my way. I am sick of living with the (fill in your own fear, anxiety or issue).
You promised to deliver me from the hand of my enemy (Luke 1:74; 1 John 3:8). I am ready to begin living in that freedom. I am claiming that promise and will hold You to it. Your Name is at stake here.
I more easily resist someone whom I am mad at, so grant me a holy anger against the devil’s deceit in my life (James 4:7). Encourage me that, through You, I have the power to stand up to him in Your Name (Acts 13:6-12). I’m drawing a line in the sand to say that I will serve You, Lord (Luke 16:13). I faithe You for my deliverance. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.