How I put myself in prison..

Some people are just in the wrong place at the wrong time. Not me, I put myself there and threw away the key.. It wasn’t your t.v. version of prison, no this was maximum security solitary confinement. No space to move, no fresh air to breathe, no way of escape, and no one to even talk to. But, I chose that. I built the walls myself, I chose how tight the bars would be, I gave myself the cell away from anyone else. Why? Because I was so hurt! I was so full of shame and guilt! I hated the thought of ever hurting anyone again, but even more I hated the thought of ever getting hurt again! So almost starting from birth I built my prison. Each time someone called me worthless, a failure, not good enough, ugly, etc. I built more and more, laid down each brick. Every time I was molested by my uncle, every time I was betrayed by someone I loved deeply, every time I was hurt by someone else; that’s when I would build the bars. You see, the more walls I built, the more bars I put up, and the more confined to myself I became the safer it felt. That’s what you have to do to survive this world right? I mean my bestfriend & boyfriend at the time was murdered by people he looked up to. So yes I put myself in prison, and yes I kept my cell air tight! I was doing what I could to keep anyone from hurting me. Those emotional scars I had caused me to hurt other people, even people I loved. So you see, I couldn’t be trusted in general populace  with others who put themselves in prison. No, I had to be alone.

There was only one problem. Once you get in, you can’t get out by yourself. You start to realize that maybe this isn’t where you belong.. Now that you’re left to fend for yourself, and you’ve built so many walls you can barely breathe you realize this isn’t saving you. It’s killing you from the inside out. Yes, there is indeed someone standing guard making sure I don’t escape. He benefits way to much from having me there, and he would lose all of his authority and all of his power if he let me find a way out. So he watched me slowly fade away, and he tormented me daily. But what that guard didn’t realize is this: He wasn’t the only one with authority and power. He wasn’t the only one who had been watching me. So finally, I caught a glimpse of this man who could finally rescue me. I cried out to Him, begging Him to help me. Just to give me a bigger space, maybe a little less pain. The guard told me that I wouldn’t get free and that I didn’t deserve freedom. He was right about one thing, I definitely did not deserve freedom. When I cried out to the Head Authority, He didn’t waste any time. He not only opened my cell and set me free, but he helped me tear down the walls. It wasn’t enough for me to just get out of the cell. No, He made it so I could NEVER get put in that prison again, He destroyed every piece of the place that held me captive. He gave me freedom, He gave me peace, He took away my shame, and He gave me a love that can never be broken again.

This same savior who set me free is waiting to do the same for you. He loves you! Even if you’ve cursed Him like I did. Even if you’ve blamed Him for you being in the prison you actually built. Even if you’ve done enough to deserve this prison. Even if you’ve been forced there by other people’s wrong doings. He sees you. He doesn’t want this life for you, and He has the power to set you free. I don’t carry shame, guilt, bitterness, or any brokenness anymore. I buried it with my prison walls, and I’m begging you to do the same. It’s not enough that I got free, now I want you to be free too. It’s not too late, even if you feel like your death row sentence is about to be up, it’s not too late.

To hear the rest of my story check out the about tab to read my first blog.

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Here I surrender

Surrender. One definition says to give oneself entirely. My true surrender happened on October 5th, 2016. My name is Andrea Brooks, and this is my story. You can’t understand the surrender without knowing what happened before. My life hasn’t been perfect. My father chose drugs over family before I was born, and my mom was left to raise me and my brother alone. She has always done the best she can but being a single mom is hard. Growing up without a father causes so many issues, and I fought with every one. I was so angry and insecure growing up. I watched my mom give her life for us, and also watched her be abused by men she really cared a lot about. She finally met the man of her dreams and we were all happy. Shortly after moving to our new home, my new step uncle started molesting me. This continued for over two years. I felt so nasty, and worthless. I couldn’t tell anyone for a long time, and even blamed myself. When I did tell my mom she made sure it never happened again and did everything to make it right. That man never had to face any punishment though. I was left so hurt and such a mess on the inside at a very young age.. Then my best friend, and boyfriend at the time was murdered at the end of my 8th grade year. Trust issues? I became the master of those after that. I carried all my pain, shame, and issues while putting on a happy face for those around me. Even those I was raised in church and knew all about God, I tried to find freedom in everything but Him. Until one night at 13 years old after a revival, I gave my life to God! But I still held on to some things, and still wanted control of my life. That only led me to more heartache and more trials. I made so many mistakes, I hurt the people who loved me, I was betrayed by people I cared about, and I was just adding onto the hurt, anger, and shame I felt inside. I ended up getting pregnant before I was married, then after getting married I wasn’t a great wife, I messed up too many times to count. While I was creating a lot of my own problems I also faced some that weren’t my fault. I lost my second baby to miscarriage, I was very betrayed and used by people I trusted, and faced several trials over the 22 years I had been alive, all that eventually made me the mess I was in 2016. I started trying to fight my way out of my hurt, and tried getting closer to God. That’s when my biggest storm came. My health had bee taking a dramatic turn and eventually found out I was facing heart failure, several other heart issues, major open heart surgery and pacemaker surgery. It happened so fast, one day I was fine, and the next day I couldn’t work, drive, or do hardly anything. Being independent and stubborn like normal wasn’t an option anymore. I was so scared, and even more angry and even more hurt than before. I just wanted to stay alive, and to be able to live a normal life again. My family lost everything because of my sickness. I battled depression harder than ever before. I had read all about God’s power, and how He always promised to bring us through the storms but I just became numb to all of that. I mean, after everything I had been through in life, now this? Thankfully one Wednesday night at church, while just going through the motions, God showed up and spoke to me in a major way that I couldn’t ignore. On October 5th, 2016, I fully surrendered. Instantly I felt so much peace, and freedom! My baggage began being lifted, my shame and insecurities started to fade, my anger and pain I clung to for years was gone. I was still in the storm, but it was different. I no longer fought to stay in control and attempt to handle life myself. God immediately started working in my life! The next month I went to get my open heart surgery date,  and found out God healed my heart! I no longer needed that surgery, just the pacemaker. He then blessed me with a great job again, He fully restored my marriage and made it better than ever, everything we lost has slowly been given back but better than before. Why? Because God is in control. I still mess up, I still get upset sometimes, I’m still not perfect but now I know that God is always with me and I don’t have to or want to handle it on my own anymore. There is so much freedom in letting go. See we don’t know all the answers, and we can’t see everything so when we try to take life into our own hands we don’t do a very good job. Maybe you’re in the middle of a crisis, saved or not, and you are drowning on the inside like I was. Please know that it doesn’t have to be this way. God didn’t give us life, and the opportunity to accept Him just so we could struggle through life and never have freedom until Heaven. He wants you to be free, have peace, and love life now. All you have to do is surrender, like I did. Give everything to Him. It’s not too late.

Thank you for reading my first blog, I hope you enjoyed it and let God speak to you. The next ones won’t be as long so I hope you’ll read them too. I just want to help people find freedom like I did. Always feel free to reach out for prayers, love, and support!