“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

The truth…set me free.

The truth…continues to set this captive free.

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

To conceal…to hide; withdraw or remove from observation; cover or keep from sight.

I have hereditary dark circles which have gotten darker due to off and on years of stress and health challenges. Daily I cover these blemishes with concealer so others will not see the dark pigmentation under both of my eyes. This is very similar to the “covering up” of my story due to shame.

Those same fears kept me in a constant cycle of performance based validation as I placed my value and worth in what I did for others and how I “appeared”. This warped view of my identity, made me feel like I was never enough.

I settled for unhealthy boundaries, suppressed pain from my childhood trauma and had a hard time acknowledging the depths of the current pain I was experiencing in 2015. I worked very hard to make people believe my life was “ok”. Until I found myself emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually in a dark space.

Covering up the pain of my past revealed itself in other ways; just like dark pigmentation will not always be able to hide underneath the concealer.

Almost 3 years ago, I wrote the following poem during a time where “covering up” was no longer a possible option:

I was attacked

at the very core

of my being and

was told to end it.

That I was not going to

live past the depression,

the anxiety and the tremendous

amount of pain.

The lies, and self hatred

tried to overshadow every ounce

of hope and faith

I previously held onto.

Even though I walk through the

darkest valley…

Fragmented pieces of the

memories came flashing

back as I tried to piece them

together and make sense

of the realization that these

were not nightmares but

factual suppressed recollections.

I will fear no evil…for you are with me….

It was too much!

I felt as if I was literally being

ripped from the inside out.

Every part of my body ached

as I exposed the truth and

walked through the dark

murkiness of my past.

You protect and guide me,

and I find comfort as you console me…

In my despair,

I wept, as I released the pain.

You are repairing all the damage

that was done to me,

and restoring the deepest,

most real part of me.

Lord, I am standing in my truth as I walk in my freedom. My strength and hope comes from you. (*Psalm 23)

These last 3 or so years have been a time of growing closer in my relationship with Christ, creating healthy boundaries and actively participating in: intensive outpatient therapy, trauma therapy, Celebrate Recovery; a 12-step Recovery program, and learning how to live my life intentionally authentic as I am healing layer by layer.

Today, I choose to continue to walk with courage and speak my truth, as I shine His light on the darkness that kept me bound. Daily continuing to overcome and let others know that with God, you have Hope.💗

~ denise marie

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

Today I celebrate my 50th Birthday. I love this pic because it was a day that I shared my story. I am overwhelmed by the gratitude that I feel and cherish every memory, both good and bad, for it has brought me to this point in my life that I am able to stand up and use my voice to overcome fear that has kept me quiet for so long. I thank God for His gift of life and the ability to reclaim my freedom!💗

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

#nolongerheldcaptive

Beauty defined…

Her outward

appearance

does not define

her worth,

for she has

the ability to

see beneath

the surface to

the foundation

of her inner

strength.

She draws

wisdom,

from this

place within,

deciphering

truth from lies,

trading insecurities

for her crown

of beauty,

and upholding

hope over defeat.

~ denise marie

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

**Art credit: @artbybriahna https://www.artbybri.com/