A few years back, I went to a conference in Wichita, KS. One morning, during worship, my eyes were closed, and I began to see a picture in my mind of a helpless Prisoner of War, sitting in the dirt, handcuffed with chains, looking like he hadn’t consumed anything in weeks. His eyes were full of fear, and I could tell that he had a profound loss of hope. Above him stood a soldier, strong and tall, wearing a clean-cut uniform, weapons at his side, looking at the POW getting ready to reach down and undo his chains so he could be set free. As I stood there, the Holy Spirit began to speak to me about what I was seeing. He explained to me that I used to be like that POW sitting in the dirt, bound up in chains, starving, helpless and hopeless. He proceeded to show me all of the many soldiers he had sent into my life to help set me free. It was astonishing to look back and let Him bring to mind all the people He brought into my life during my lowest times. Then the Lord spoke to my spirit and said:
“You are my soldier now, called to help Me set prisoners free.”
It brought me to tears when I heard those gentle words. After all those years of being in the dirt, chained down by my circumstances and sin, feeling lost, hopeless and helpless; God had accepted me, released me from many chains, filled me with hope, and transformed me into one of His Redeemed Warriors so I could partner with Him to bring hope, help, and healing to people that are hurting.
One of the many Redeemed Warriors that God has sent into my life to help me is Cami. When I met Cami, my biological father had passed away eight months earlier. He was found dead in a hotel room by himself with a large amount of cocaine. I’m not 100% sure if it was suicide, accidental overdose or an underlying health issue; we weren’t very close, and I didn’t know him well enough to know what state of mind he was in when he died. The very week he passed away, I was diagnosed with postpartum depression and found out through some blood tests that my thyroid levels were off. Within the same month that I met Cami, my grandma (who was incredibly special to me) was diagnosed with stage 4 brain cancer and ended up passing away two months later. I was a stay at home mom, taking care of my just turned 6-year-old, 3-year-old and 2-year-old (two of which, I birthed within the same year) while my husband traveled for work on a weekly basis. We had just made a big move across the country from California to North Carolina two years earlier. My marriage was suffering. I was overwhelmed with caring for my kids and my other responsibilities. Apart from what I was dealing with when I met her, I was also carrying a lot of baggage from my past. Growing up, I suffered from eating disorders; anxiety, I had been homeless and wanted to die at one point, I came from a divorced home, and more. I was spiritually starving, emotionally shut down, mentally exhausted, and physically worn out.
I share all of this with you because I am a firm believer that sharing stories of what God has done for us is very powerful. Thinking back to the people that God sent into my life to help me, I remember hearing story upon story about what Jesus did to help them, heal them and transform their lives. I recall having many conversations. Over that period of time, what happened to me is that I began to feel hopeful and consider that if Jesus could help them, heal them, and transform their life, He could certainly do the same for me. The life that I am living today is proof that He has helped me, healed me and miraculously transformed my life. I have been to many excellent churches, prayer ministries, and Christian counselors throughout my healing and transformation process which has spanned over a course of almost 17 years, off and on. I have also gone through 22 months of working with Cami. Throughout my time of working with her, I have experienced the most breakthrough, the most healing, and the most remarkable personal transformation I have ever undergone in my life. With her help, I have learned how to truly forgive the people in my life that have hurt me, I have faced my pain head on, I have gone through an incredible inner healing process with the Lord, and I have started the grieving process that I avoided for years. I’ve stepped into my identity in Christ and experienced what it’s like to be alive and free in Him. I’m learning what it looks like to be genuinely, authentically connected to God and people, what it means to have healthy boundaries and much, much, more. I am no longer taking the anti-depressants I was on, my marriage is better than it has ever been, I’m a better mom, and the list goes on. I am now in the process of establishing a legacy that will last for generations to come. The chains passed down from previous generations have been broken. I feel like a brand-new person. Sharing my story is important to me because I believe it holds the power to bring people hope and freedom. What Jesus did for me, He can certainly do for others. Revelation 12:11 (TPT) it says “They conquered him completely through the blood of the Lamb and the powerful word of his testimony. They triumphed because they did not love and cling to their own lives, even when faced with death.” God’s Redeemed Warriors overcome by simple reliance on the shed blood of Jesus Christ, of which is the sole ground for their hope. Their testimonies of trust in the Lord are so powerful, that when they are shared, strongholds are pulled down. Sharing our stories of what Jesus has done for us breeds an incredible cycle of setting people free and giving people hope. If you have a story of how Jesus has ever helped you in your life, I encourage you to share that story when the opportunity arises. It really can change someone’s life. My life is living proof.