The Hope of True Freedom - Encouragement Café - July 21, 2014

The Hope of True Freedom

Café Menu for Monday, July 21, 2014

Today’s Special is: Finding Freedom from the Darkness

Carefully prepared just for you by your friend, Denise Goodson

Main Ingredient:

"You will go out in joy and be led forth in peace."

Isaiah 55:12a NIV


My heart still shudders as I remember the darkness that surrounded me. I had been there so long I had almost accepted this darkness as a part of my life. I really couldn’t have imagined life without it. Yet, my heart longed for true freedom, lasting freedom.

Have you ever felt so painfully alone, broken and afraid that you knew apart from divine intervention you were just simply stuck? This is a cold, dark and lonely place. When you stay there long enough you eventually feel abandoned and hopeless.

I know. I’ve been there. Many years of struggling with running to food to satisfy my needs instead of running to God had left me in a pit. I really couldn’t tell you when I got there or even how long I had been there. Growing up in a broken and unstable home, food seemed to somehow fill the emptiness on the inside, even if only temporarily. Yes, I was usually miserable afterwards, but this quickly became the way I dealt with the pain and emptiness I felt.

With each passing day, month and then years, the struggle became stronger and more intense. I tried making promises to God. Promises I could never keep. The many years I spent trying to “fix” myself, trying to “do it right this time”, led me to a place of deep despair. As much as I longed to find freedom, I always seemed to fall short and return to the pit that I so desperately wanted to escape.

I cried out to the Lord in my desperation.

“Lord God, I know you are with me even in this darkness. My heart is weary and in need of true freedom-freedom that only you can give. Hear my cry for deliverance and recue me from this darkness.”

Psalm 145:18-19 confirms God’s desire to rescue those who call on Him in truth.

“The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.”

God’s grace met me right there in the midst of my suffering. He began a process of healing in my life that has changed me from broken to whole, bound to free, weak to strong. His mercy and grace have been poured out into my life to bring true and lasting freedom.

By focusing on the presence of the Lord instead of my struggles, the sin holding me captive began to lose its power over me. It has been a process of daily surrender and commitment to seeking His face, looking to Him to meet my needs and letting go of things I once held tightly: my time, family, finances, my schedule and especially food.

His unconditional love and grace motivates me to pursue Him instead of food when I feel the pressures of life pressing in on me. I no longer feel the need to eat more than my body calls for, trying to satisfy a spiritual hunger with food. I am learning to run to the Bread of Life to fill those empty places of my heart. He is faithful each and every day to meet me right where I am, ready to fill me with what truly satisfies.

Take Out:

Are you weary from trying to “do better”? Trying to make changes that only God can make?

Whether the darkness surrounding you comes from an unhealthy desire for food, the need for acceptance, insecurities or paralyzing fear, true and lasting freedom is possible. His grace is there. Waiting to be poured out into your pain.

Will you cry out to the One that can deliver you from the darkness?

He longs to bring you out in joy and lead you forth in peace.


Gracious God, You are full of mercy and compassion. Today, I cry out to You in my pain. I know You are the only way to true and lasting freedom. Lead me out of this darkness into Your glorious light. In Jesus' Name, Amen!

© 2014 by Denise Goodson. All rights reserved.

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Originally published Monday, 21 July 2014.