Released from Captivity
by Dawn Owens
Tears were welling up in my eyes as I sat in a circle with women I had never met before. It was my first time attending a small group at this church. I was completely overwhelmed by what the leader was sharing with us about God’s desire for us to be free. Now, I have been a Christian for 10 years, following Christ faithfully, but I thought I had been “set free” from this specific matter on my heart years ago when I took a Beth Moore, “Breaking Free” Bible study.
I fought back the tears until it was time to pray. We bowed our heads and our leader asked God to reveal to us a word that came to mind that God wanted to set us free from. She named some off one by one. But her first word rested on me like a heavy yoke.
Tears fell heavily down my cheeks, there was nothing to hold them back now, not even my eyelids. As she ended her prayer and dismissed us, I quickly wiped the tears away, put my smile back on and said my good-byes, which were few since I knew no one but the leader. I just wanted to get to my own home and sit before the Lord to tell him what I wasn’t going to do.
I knew I had to deal with my past, but not now. Not this way and not with them.
I got to my kitchen table, where I meet with God to consume the Word regularly, to argue with Him.
“I don’t know them and they don’t know me.” Was my first argument.
“I can’t tell them about that, what would they think of me?”
“I can deal with it on my own, no one else has to know.”
His words fell on me like cleansing rain that day.
“If you will deal with this with Me, others will also be set free.”
Then it hit me. I probably wasn’t alone and more than likely there are others who also deal with the shame I do. God called me a long time ago to live authentically and with transparency. I know that when I share my shortcomings and what God has done to overcome them others have received help and healing.
Isaiah 61:1 rang in my ears:
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners
As I allow God to teach me about the areas of my life where I feel shame, God reminds me of the testimony I have of that journey; it is not mine to keep but His for me to share.
Dawn Owens is a wife to Chris, mother to Sawyer and daughter of the Most High God. As founder of The Link of Cullman County, Inc. Dawn spends her days fostering community to maximize their resources and transform lives through the love of Jesus Christ for the specific purpose of eliminating generational poverty, situational poverty and homelessness. Dawn is an occasional (read should do it more, but don’t hold it against her) blogger at lifeincullman.wordpress.com. In her spare time, Dawn loves to read, chase her two year old and go on dates with her husband. Preferably not all at the same time.