Every time I went through something especially tough, I thought "There's no way I'll be free from all this pain!" Several nights I cried myself to sleep thinking, "God it hurts so bad, will it ever stop?" Several times I thought I would literally lose my mind. Other times, I thought I'd never be able to walk with my head up again. I felt crushed and even sank into depression. My friends never knew what was going on in my head. I held my pain deep within and told no one. I'd plaster a smile on my face and say that I was fine. I went about life, singing and dancing in church, serving on committees and offering a shoulder to lean on for other young ladies who faced situations similar to mine. But for all these years I was broken. It seemed that the minute I was healed from one thing, something else would surface. Over and over, the cycle continued. At one point I just wanted to die, but, I'd never take my own life, so instead, in desperation I asked God to free me or kill me.
I look back at all these situations years later and I realise that my prayers were answered. God had greater plans for me than I could see, so he didn't kill me. Instead, he freed me. And, as an added bonus, he made me stronger. All those situations in my life were my testing ground and I came through alive. I have the battle scars from my wounds, but I'm no worse for the wear. Last year, I went through something that would have broken me had I gone through it five years ago. It would probably have taken me years to get over it, but here I am, one year later and it's just a fading memory. My trials made me stronger and I'm free.
True freedom does not mean that you will never face another challenge, it means that the next time you do face a challenge, you will be able to handle it. It means that instead of piling up hurt and pain, you'll be able to overcome and move on. It means that the next time somebody hurts you, you'll truly be able to forgive. It means that even though you are in pain, you will see sun behind the clouds and still be able to move on. It means that you can lift your hands and worship without the past staring you in the face.
And how do you attain true freedom? The bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:17 "Now the Lord is that Spirit; and where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." Plain and simple, that's my answer. True freedom came when I allowed the Spirit of God to work in my life. Jesus said in Luke 4:18: