When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
Cush and Seba in your stead.
Isaiah 43:2-3 (NIV)
Have you ever been so overtaken by the Holy Spirit you felt completely swept away? Smack in the middle of a crowd of women, a long ways from my safe, little home, the Holy Spirit grabbed hold of me in a powerful way.
While at She Speaks 2015, I sat listening intently as Wendy Blight shared her message of the paralyzing fear that gripped her for years after being sexually assaulted. My mind swirled with memories of my own encounter that I had stuffed down for so long. Everything in me wanted to get up and run.
Run from the past.
Run from the shame.
Run from the pain.
Why would God put me here for this specific message? He knows the dark spaces within my heart. I know He loves me so why in the world would He bring me to such a hard place. I had the secret scars neatly tucked into the deep recesses of my heart. I just wanted to leave them there.
The Holy Spirit wasn’t willing to let me stay in that stagnant pool of shame anymore. He walked me through those hard places. There wasn’t anything pleasant about it in the moment. I physically shook as He dug deep to redeem what had been taken from me.
Yet the Lord reminds us in Isaiah, “When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned.” The flames sure felt hot in that place but God walked through it with me and I wasn’t burned. The chains were being loosened and I was set free from the captivity of trying to hide my shame.
Free from the past.
Free from the shame.
Free from the pain.
Being present in the hard places leads to redemption.
All the stuffing down, covering up and pretending it never happened can ever come close to the freedom found in Christ’s redeeming power.
Only through Him can we put down our heavy burdens.
God wants to remove the chains we desperately try to loosen on our own. Some try to get rid of them in their own strength while others try to pretend they aren’t really there anymore. Some of us try both in a futile attempt at freedom.
Chains can ONLY be removed by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Honestly, looking back I see how God had been orchestrating my life for just a moment as this. I am redeemed and I want to share the good news that God can set you free too!
Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story – those He redeemed from the hand of the foe. Psalm 107:2 (NIV)
Do you have some hard places in your heart you try to hide from the world, as well as from yourself? Call out to the One who redeems. His unfailing love will help you rise up and walk through those hard places to the redemption waiting for YOU.
If you want to know God, I invite you to check out Wendy Blight’s new bible study I Know His Name.
I Know His Name is a Bible study for any woman who wants to move beyond simply knowing about God to really knowing God in a very personal way.
In this five-chapter Bible study book, Wendy implements her practical and approachable style to equip readers to study the Word of God and then apply it to their own lives in practical ways.
I’m so blessed to be a part of the launch team for I Know His Name! For More information please visit Wendy’s page: