My Freedom story :
I was sitting on a bench with a broken marriage, a broken heart and a broken spirit. After a second failed attempt to reconcile with my husband who left me and our son, I had nothing left. I felt alone, lost, worthless, angry and bitter.
That’s when my friend spoke the sentence that changed the direction of my life: “I’ve heard of this course at my church called Freedom Session, and I think it could really help you.” On September 8, 2014 I attended my first Freedom Session, and life began to change.
I first had to learn how stuck in the past I was, and how “addicted” I had become to rehearsing how others had hurt me. I didn’t see how toxic this ritual had become or how it affected so many areas in my life.
There were many “aha” moments during FS. However, the day I chose to give my pain to God was one of the most freeing. Something changed inside me that night. For years, I was tormented with bad dreams, reliving the painful memories in my past. That very evening I felt immediate release of my pain and, that night, the dreams stopped.
One of my more significant breakthroughs occurred during my “Mirror Inventory” experience, where I was asked to write down all the hurts/pain in my life and eventually discuss them with my Sponsor. From this I learned the power and freedom of forgiveness. I used to think bitterness protected me from being hurt again, but it didn’t. It did keep me from opening up enough to get hurt again, by anyone… but that was exhausting! I was the one that was being held back, not the people who hurt me. So when I let go of my chains of bitterness and anger, I felt incredibly free! And so happy!
I also realized I was a people pleaser. The main cause of my bitterness stemmed from not speaking up or giving myself permission to say “no.” I was too afraid of being rejected to be honest with myself and others. One of the gifts Freedom Session has given me is an experience of being unconditionally loved by God! A phrase that sticks with me is: “I receive my identity from what God thinks about me. What others or even I think of myself is irrelevant.”
Knowing God loves me unconditionally gives me the strength to say “no” and do what is right for myself and my son. I’ve learned how to set (and keep) healthy boundaries with people in my life… including family. Some responded well to my personal change, while others have not. In all my relationships I am learning to stay true to myself, to my son, and to God. I can love without expectation, and no longer ask why I’m not enough when my love is not accepted or returned.
The thing that tied everything together for me in FS was the daily Bible reading – this truly changed my life! How lucky am I to have a source at my finger tips that gives me answers to difficult questions and that connects me to God daily in an intimate relationship and conversation.
After my year of being a participant in FS, I returned as a facilitator to help other women realize they don’t need to live life through a rear view mirror and that, sometimes, it is okay to say “no!”
My healing continues and I continue to feel God working in my life. This year God began dealing with my fears that were holding me back in many aspects of my life, specifically my marriage. My husband also started FS and God began to work in his life, but that is his story to share.
I knew God wanted to work on our marriage even though we were separated! I had to make a decision: “Do I want to live in fear? Or in faith?”
I chose faith, of course, but working through the fear was, and continues to be difficult. The difference is that I have a Freedom Session community to support me, I have an open communication with my husband about my fears (even though it stems from pain he caused), and how I am learning to trust God. I’ve had to give up control of the situation, of my marriage, and of my fears to God and trust that He’s got this. My husband and I have started the journey of reconciliation.
I’m not saying it’s easy, but I will no longer trust anyone else to lead the way ahead other than God. He is the centre of my marriage, my family, my life, and my heart. As long as I am true to him, I know it will work out in His way and in His timing. Thank you for reading my story. “Carmen”
A note from FS author: This is a real life story of a couple I have met personally. The details of your story are likely different but it is the same God who healed “Carmen’s” life that wants to reach into yours and bring you both freedom and healing. Freedom Session is for everyone and provides a path through which you can invite God to heal the deeper heart issues that cause so much pain and stress in our relationships today. This fall, consider taking the Freedom Journey in a church near you, or start your own FS journey in your living room.
For more information, visit freedomsession.com.