Freedom in Christ

  by Sherry - Minnesota

"Bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another, even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do" - (Colossians 3:13)

My childhood was one of great fear. I grew up with an alcoholic father who frequently had bouts of drinking followed by fits of rage. I learned at an early age to run and hide in the safest place I could find in our home, but the truth is, there really was no place to escape. Even though my mother tried to hold the home together, I withdrew more and more. In the midst of my father’s alcoholic rage, he would often say very abusive and demeaning things to me and my siblings. It caused me to live in fear, with a deep sense of rejection, mistrust and hopelessness right into my adult years. How I longed to be loved by my father.

When I was a young girl, my uncle came to our home and shared the love of Jesus with me. He gave me a small white Bible, and prayed with me. I cried out to Jesus. I remember having a sense of joy, but the excitement would dissipate in time. There would be no one to teach or mentor me for many years. I know now, looking back, that God loved that broken little girl in the alcoholic home.

Sherry writes, "Count your many blessings. Stitch them one by one". One of my favorite hobbies is quilting. God brought two lovely Christian women into my life that showed me the love of Jesus and also took the time to teach me how to sew. I now make quilts for my family. This particular quilt was made for my son using the t-shirts he wore growing up.

Sherry's Quilt

As a hurting young woman I looked for any circumstance that would help me escape my volatile home life. A man came into my life and offered me what looked like love and safety. I moved in with him and we eventually married. Soon I realized that he had the same stronghold of alcoholism in his life. To my horror, the nightmare went on and my life became one of day-to-day survival.

When I held our first baby in my arms, I desperately needed some reassurance and hope, knowing I was now responsible for this little life. I began to think about that little white Bible and the things my uncle shared with me those many years ago. I decided to go to church and learn more about Jesus. I was excited about learning God’s Word for the first time, and yet terrified of anyone finding out what my home life was like. I continued my pattern of hiding even in the midst of believers.

Then God did something beautiful in my life. I heard there was a Bible study called “Healed and Set Free” being offered in our church, and that there was one opening left. The Lord moved upon my heart and I was able to set my fear aside and sign up. It was a decision that would change my life forever. This beautiful study took me back to God’s Word, and for the first time I really understood what Jesus did for me at the cross. I realized that the sin of not forgiving my dad broke God’s heart as much as that of my dad’s sin. I began to see my dad now through the eyes of Christ--with love and forgiveness. I could pray for my dad now that I felt the love of Christ for him. I would visit with him without the bitterness or fear in my heart. Then a miracle happened. My dad chose to stop drinking after he became seriously ill. He began to seek the Lord and read the Bible. I would visit with him and he would talk to me about the Lord and ask me questions. Then one incredible day, my dad asked me to forgive him for all the wrong he had done to me. I was able to look at him with all sincerity and tell him that I had already forgiven him. It was a beautiful moment for both of us, and the thought of it still brings me to tears to this day. My dad would pass away not long after this miracle. Because the Lord showed me the way of freedom and forgiveness, I was able to have those final days of relationship with my dad. I will be forever grateful.

Sherry with her grandson

Cheryl and Sherry

The Lord continued to show me the way of forgiveness. My husband continued to drink, and that bondage finally destroyed our home. After our last separation, my husband filed for divorce and our 25 year marriage ended. It was devastating, but I was prepared as God had shown me the way of freedom. I know now that forgiveness is the greatest form of love.

I try to always look at the blessings in my life. I work hard to support myself now but I am thankful for a job. I have beautiful grown children and precious grandchildren which I praise God for. My heart is to be a witness of God’s love to them and to see them follow hard after Jesus.

My “Healed and Set Free” Bible study leader would also become a most treasured friend. We went on to serve together in ministry and have witnessed many women enter into freedom in Christ. I have so much to be thankful for. Above all I praise God for showing me the way to forgiveness and freedom.

My “Healed and Set Free” Bible study leader would also become a most treasured friend. We went on to serve together in ministry and have witnessed many women enter into freedom in Christ. I have so much to be thankful for. Above all I praise God for showing me the way to forgiveness and freedom.

Ripples - Leave a lasting impact on women

There is a ripple effect when we allow God's amazing love to pour through us to others. This happens when one event causes a series of other events in each other's lives.

When women encourage women to walk in the ways of the Lord it changes our lives. It brings about the abundant life in Christ Jesus. It brings about God's plan. It brings about beautiful and rich relationships in Christ Jesus. Women encouraging Women, because life is too short not to be healed and set free - Read more about Cheryl's story here.

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. - 1 John 4:7

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