Hope and Freedom: A Year Reflection

What a year it has been! It is incredible to look back at where I was a year ago and where I am now. God has so radically changed my life. This time last year I had just finished going through a support group Bible study thing for women who have dealt with abuse. Opening up and hearing so many other women’s stories and learning courage to tell mine as well. It was hard, but in the end, God worked so much healing. And that healing brought the beginning of so much freedom. But I had been battling to keep other things at bay so much that I was still struggling with giving up.

I fought depression that was made worse by the guilt I put on myself with my fight with pornography. I had fought this battle for years and I was struggling with hope-hope that I would ever be completely free of this battle. I felt like I would always constantly have to be battle worn at the point of exhaustion, beaten, and bloody. I desperately wanted to believe what those helping me fight said about finding freedom and healing. But this time last year I was fighting for hope too.

But sometimes God has a way of etching away at the hardness of our hearts and that’s exactly what He did for me. Over the course of last year, He had been healing different parts of my heart, and etching away at the remaining hardness. Then I was faced with a decision. I could continue living this life fighting daily just to survive or I could completely drop my defenses and let God come and do the remaining spiritual heart surgery. I was at the end of my rope and desperate for hope, desperate to be free.

It was there that God broke through. Surgery is painful, it’s not fun, and this metaphorical spiritual surgery wasn’t either, but it was worth it. Because the next day even moments after I was filled with such joy and peace. I honestly had never experienced anything like it. The joy and peace continued in the weeks and months to follow. And have followed me this whole past year. I’ve still dealt with hard things. I’ve still struggled with depression, but there’s a difference now. The depression doesn’t snatch my hope out from under me. It doesn’t completely engulf me. No, it’s there, it’s not fun, but I have joy to carry me. I have God’s peace to calm my heart and remind me to keep my eyes on Christ.

The thing I praise God the most about is that the hold pornography had on me, that struggle to continually fight it off, and the desperate need to be in a relationship or at least have the possibility of one, has been broken! This past year it hasn’t even really been a fight because that area of struggle has almost been like it didn’t ever exist in my life. I had moments when the enemy would try to throw it back in the mix, but instead of struggling to resist and struggling to remember to immediately turn to God, both of those things were almost automatic. Temptation would come, and almost instantaneously I’d fall into defense mode, turn to God, and remember the power He has given me to resist and to choose the way out He has provided.

My life is radically different from this time last year and years prior. I’m filled with a clarity of mind and heart and a joy that continues even a year later. The joy not only continues, but it grows. It grows as I learn more everyday of the amazing love God has for me, and as my love for Him grows as well. And with the peace and clarity comes a confidence to speak the words He gives, and share this story of redemption He has given me. It’s all about Him, Jesus. It’s all about the spiritual heart surgery He so expertly performed, and the amazing healing process He has and is bringing me through.

What a difference a year can make! Praise God for the difference He can make!

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