This morning was our last session of Breaking Free. I have only cried once while facilitating this study (a few weeks ago--it was with the lights off while watching the video portion) and hoped I'd make it through today without crying, but I did not. This Bible study is so special to me because I was 2 years into panic attacks and 1 year out of severe depression and agoraphobia when I bought the Breaking Free workbook and borrowed the video tapes from my church library. I was desperate for God and hungry for His Word, and I did this study on my own. Here is what I wrote in my diary/journal back in 2004:
July 24, 2004
I had a whole week with no insomnia! I've been waking up around 6:30 or 7 and doing Beth Moore's Bible study for 3-4 hours in the morning, finishing each day around 12 pm. I've sensed I'm getting a glimpse of the awesome love and power and glory of God. I try to talk to Him daily, and when I wake up, I'm usually hearing a hymn or Christian song in my head. The morning after I'd been asking to draw closer to God--to really get to know Him and be His child--I woke up with the words, "Ask and keep on asking" in my head. It just came to my consciousness, and I feel it was a message from the Lord to keep asking to be filled with His Spirit and presence. He is a mighty God!
This morning when the video began our last session of Breaking Free, there was Beth holding a Kleenex to her eyes. She explained how re-visiting this study had been so important to her because it was so personal--a story of her personal journey to freedom. Being able to come back and update it--this time adding in other women's testimonies of how God had set them free after doing this study--just about undid her. It took a few moments for her to compose herself because what the devil had meant to be her destruction God meant to be used for good--to set not only Beth free, but others as well through this study.
Well, I just cried along with her. This journey had been special to me, too, and I knew what she was feeling because I had been looking back over the past six years to where I was and have seen that what the enemy meant for evil, God meant for my good. One of our assignments this past week was to write down if we had ever had a season of oppression that God had set us free from and what plunder did we take with us when we left. Here's some of my plunder I took after God set me free from panic: a real live relationship with God, my Savior; an assurance that Jesus is alive and living in me and all believers, a regular quiet time spent in prayer and in God's Word; being able to experience a joy unspeakable, the sense of God's anointing and calling on my life, much answered prayer; a faith in God's love for me that I never believed I could ever have; and a strong desire for other people to know God the way I have known Him--to have a real live relationship with "the One and Only".
At the close of the video portion today, Beth had us hold hands with our study buddies and speak a blessing over each other. As my buddies and I repeated Beth's words of blessing, I could not hold back the tears. I hate to cry in front of anybody, but I could not help it. Then the other ladies teared up, too. I had begun this morning study group five years ago, and as I mentioned before, this blog was created three years ago. All because God set me free and showed me how to walk in Him, and then gave me the desire to share what He has taught me. I have not always walked perfectly, but I have tried to walk honestly and consistently and humbly with my God. I have had much to be thankful for this day. So much. It is all truly humbling. I'll end with the verses I've been memorizing recently:
Psalm 37: 3-7
"Trust in the LORD and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD; trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for Him; do not fret...." (NIV)
Hang in there my sisters and brothers in Christ (we have two male followers that I know of :) ). In the words of Beth Moore "You are so worth it!" Turn your heart, soul, mind, and strength over to your God Who is mighty to save! He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love, and rejoice over you with singing." (Zephaniah 3:17) The journey will not be easy, but the harvest you reap in the end will be almost more than you can stand.