I well know the roar of silence, the taste of fear. I've lived the numbing quiet of suppressed emotional pain caused by unfathomable hurts.
But I've also reached out and grasped the hand of freedom extended by a personal and loving God. I've come to savor the liberty to speak—to participate in my own life and the lives of those around me. No longer does life pass me by.
A tumultuous journey of childhood sexual abuse, a twenty-year struggle with bulimia, and emotional and physical abuse in a former "Christian" marriage threatened to derail God's purpose for my life. With a shattered sense of safety, I couldn't believe God, much less trust him. With a brain hardwired by destructive negativity, I made countless poor choices. And the fallout of those painful life experiences left me vulnerable. Voiceless for years.
But I didn't have to be that way.
Over time, in the healing shadow of Jesus, I addressed the toxic beliefs that had soiled my life and twisted my thinking. As I learned to identify these lies and replace them with truth, I couldn't help but think differently. Unaware, in the midst of it, I was retraining my brain.
The first step toward freedom is to choose truth.
Today, I use my formerly silenced voice to tell others about God's goodness and the plan he has for us to live a life of joy and purpose. A full life. A free life.
I don't share my story, or the stories of others, to sensationalize or compare. I'm gut-transparent about the cuts on my soul because I have benefited from the healing power that lies in this sort of exchange. Those times others have shared the messiness of their lives, those were the times I finally realized I wasn't alone. The times I found the courage to confront my own mess.