They call her Joy…

The Joy of the Lord is my strength.-Nehemiah 8:10

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Inhale the sweet fragrance…

As I inhale the sweet fragrance of self acceptance,
my joy emerges.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Painting imperfectly…

As I am healing, painting has become one of my relaxing pastimes that completely allows me to free my mind and release anxiety.

The need to control every stroke of the paint brush diminishes, as I am no longer self-critical or try to aim for perfection, instead I embrace my vulnerability as I trust myself to just let go. ~denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Be Strong & Courageous…

My new art piece, which is one of my favorite scriptures now hangs on the wall in my bedroom. These words have been on repeat as I continue to recover. I never would have imagined that I would be adding “Survivor of Pulmonary Embolism” to my story. But nonetheless here I stand, believing Gods promises for my life even when things are hard 🙌🏽😭

I have hope and faith as I continue to say:

“I AM Strong and Courageous, I will not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord MY God will be with me wherever I go”. – Joshua 1:9💗

~ denise marie

#nolongerheldcaptive

Living in uncertain times…but there is hope.

A little break from writing poetry as I heal. I am sure I will be inspired soon with words of encouragement and hope as I reflect on my current situation. 💕

A reminder to always listen to your body….I was discharged from the hospital yesterday and am home recovering and resting.

Went to the ER with shortness of breath and extreme chest pain. After a Cat scan, I was diagnosed with a blood clot in my right lung (pulmonary embolism). I still have a recovery/healing journey ahead of me, but am praising God because I am here to tell you my story!

Since this happened, I have been battling with some anxiety and some fear, but reading God’s promises, praying, listening to worship, and talking to family and friends have been a huge help!

Some scriptures that have strengthened me and reminded me to focus on hope are the following:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”  – Psalm 56:3

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

“The Lord is my light and my salvation—whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the stronghold of my life—of whom shall I be afraid?” – Psalm 27:1

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.  You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday.  A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you…For he will command his angels concerning you, to guard you in all your ways…“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him…” – Psalm 91:1-16

Please keep me and my family in your prayers.

Denise🌸

Throwing stones…

❤️We love, because He first loved us. – 1 John 4:19❤️

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

The rise…

The rise from depression and anxiety has been a feat in itself. The ebb and flow of the uncomfortable highs and lows of not being able to describe the exact reason for that particular moment of heaviness or the fast pace racing of my mind.

At times my faith seems stronger in the midst of my “fog”, its in those vulnerable moments where I find myself surrendering as I read the words from my favorite book, the verses of hope in my bible seem to jump from the pages, as I grasp onto each message of truth. Its in my realness that I realize, I no longer am depending on my own ability to overcome, but I lean into a deep longing and yearning for the transformation of my heart by the one who calls me his own. The abolishing of “fake it” till you make it or pretending to be “ok”, these strategies no longer work in the midst of my authenticity.

As I grasp the uneasiness of healing from trauma and line up my thoughts and actions to truth, moving forward…my life will never be the same.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

**Artist Credit: Painting called “Rejoice” by monicastewart.com

 

 

Trauma…

Healing from trauma is a one day at a time process, and is never a “one size fits all” approach. The stigma behind mental illness continues to keep people suffering in silence. If you are hurting, please reach out to the following hotline for help, support or someone just to talk to:

1-800-273-TALK (8255)

You are not alone, you matter and God loves you.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerhedcaptive

Love is not blind…

“Let us (unselfishly) love and seek the best for one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves (others) is born of God and know God (through personal experience). The one who does not love has not become acquainted with God (does not and never did know him), for God is love (He is the originator of love, and it is an enduring attribute of His nature).”- 1 John 4:7-8

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

carrying the wait…

Definition of WAIT: stay where one is or delay action until a particular time or until something else happens.

I will no longer be held captive to the ideology of carrying the WAIT.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

God is love….

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

– John 3:16-17❤️

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Happy Mother’s Day🌸

The Powerful, Never Ending Love of my Mom has always completely surrounded me. I love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!

She looked into her daughters big brown eyes, lightly kissing the dusting of light brown hair on her head. Whispering softly how loved and honored she was to hold her only daughter. Anticipating with much excitement, all of the hopes, and dreams of a wonderful life for, Denise Marie. Without blemish or imperfection, Adorned with Beauty and Grace. She was the love of her life, the beat of her heart, the precious connection that would never be torn apart. The immeasurable amount of Love she deposited into her daughter’s life, equipped her with unyielding strength, faith and hope.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

When enough doesn’t seem to suffice….

When enough doesn’t

seem to suffice,

and shame comes flooding

in like a vengeance

with it’s futile attempt to

keep me bound.

I lean in…

to its liberating way

of stretching me

uncomfortably in the

direction of healing.

the peeling back of

each layer that exposes

a raw area of my heart

that I wasn’t quite ready

to expose.

I lean in…

and take a deep breath

as I stare at the

woman in the mirror,

embracing her with

words of love and

complete acceptance.

~ denise marie

**Artist credit:

Briahna Wenke @artbybri

http://www.artbybri.com

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Today I celebrate…

On April 11th, I turned 51…

Today I celebrate

both the good and the bad of these 51 years…there were so many days that I struggled with my value and self-worth, never “feeling” good enough as I listened to the lies which kept me bound to their twisted truth for far too long. So many years of refusing to truly allow myself to shine for fear of failure or rejection, playing it safe instead of living freely.

As an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse, I despised who and what I saw in my mirror.

It has been such a slippery slope to maneuver through the trauma.

Daily choosing to renew my mind, as I apply truth to my brokenness, I am healing whole.

Today I celebrate.

Every step
she takes
is a brave
quest to silence
the lies
which kept
her bound
for far too long.
This courageous
feat outweighs
the years of
previous defeats.

Her new found

confidence
beams as
she finds
her worth
in simply
being
present.
~ denise marie
“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36
#nolongerheldcaptive

Even in the darkness…the sun still rises.

Early in the morning,

when the house is quiet

and darkness hasn’t

quite succumbed to daylight,

it’s during those wee hours

when slumber seems to slip from me.

Anxiety heightens,

as fear of these uncertain times

tries to consume my mind.

I cry out to God and quietly hear,

“Even in the darkness…the sun still rises”.

In that moment, I am reminded of his promises for me.

He said he will never leave me or forsake me,

my strong tower where I can find safety,

my rock, my refuge, my fortress, my hope.

His love protects me, surrounds me,

and never fails me.

This is where I find my peace, and place my trust in him.

~ denise marie

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Hopeful anticipation…

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

—Philippians 1:6

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

Your feelings are a gauge not your guide…

Remember…your feelings are a gauge not your guide.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

International Women’s Day is everyday…says this survivor.

Being an adult survivor of childhood sexual abuse and rape at 14. I lived most of my life in a fragmented mindset, pieces of my identity hidden behind the shadow of what I only allowed others to see. The secrets were suppressed and the key to that pain was locked away.

The bondage placed upon my life at the early age of 4, was meant to be a death sentence of everything good that my Mother and Grandmother stood for and the love they so lovingly wrapped me in, was now blemished. The curse had been passed down through generations and as much as they tried to protect me from abuse, I experienced this unmentionable pain in the hands of people they trusted.

Years of flashback and triggers haunted me as I covered up the pain through perfectionism, people pleasing, an eating disorder and many other coping mechanisms. Trauma after trauma tried to keep my mind in a self-denial pit of defeat. Blurring my decision making and accepting unhealthy boundaries.

On the outside I appeared to have it ALL together, picture perfect is what some would say. But, on the inside I felt scarred, damaged, worthless, unloveable and broken.

I was lost.

When I chose to face the truth and feel the pain, it was excruciating, literally debilitating and heart wrenching.

I wanted to put it all back in the pretty little box that I secretly kept hidden in the crevices of my heart.

But I couldn’t…the truth was exposed and I had to make a decision, either I was gonna fold or I was gonna fight…and I chose to fight for my freedom.

What does fighting for my freedom look like?

Everyday making a decision to do the next right thing…..in spite of depression, anxiety, ptsd, wanting to isolate, low self esteem, doubt, fear or self sabotage.

The next right thing looks

like…..accountability, intensive therapy, an eating disorder program, Celebrate Recovery: 12-step Christ centered recovery program, reaching out to others who I trust when I need support or a listening ear, prayer…lot’s of prayer, self-care, journaling, spending time with my husband, kids, granddaughter and our dog, walking preferably near salt water with the beach under my feet, fresh air, essential oils, laughter, whole food, supplements, chocolate, reading, drinking water, sipping my cup of coffee in a pretty mug, finding joy and gratitude daily…even when it’s hard and learning to love, accept love and give love.

Above all else, my relationship with God through his son Jesus is how I am learning to view myself through His Word, promises and truth. I am healing.

These are some of the tools, resources and support I have used and some I am still using to help me walk in my freedom.

Everyday I celebrate “international women’s day” as I cheer on other women who are locking arms with others who are overcoming tremendous battles (some in which others may never know about) and are taking one step at a time to courageously become liberated from what tried to destroy her.

My name is denise marie and

I AM no longer held captive…by my childhood secrets, I AM free.

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive

“If my people, which are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will heal their land”. 2 Chronicles 7:14

“So if the son sets you free, you will be free indeed”. – John 8:36

#nolongerheldcaptive