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Red-tail hawks soaring

(Photo: C. Lawton)

Is anything holding you captive? Do you long to be emotionally and spiritually free?

Red-tail hawk soaring

(Photo: C. Lawton)

After 10 years of avoiding the truth about my abortion, even hiding it from myself, I finally faced my own emotional captivity. At some level, I knew that my journey must begin with God, by seeking his forgiveness. Little did I know that my greatest challenge would be forgiving myself. Yet Isaiah 54 has been true in my own life. I have seen God move me from captivity to freedom. He healed my mother heart and freed me from the chains of guilt and shame. What should have kept me down forever, God has turned and now uses to help set others free.

Captivity, both physical and emotional, is a recurring theme in the Bible. One of the best examples of is Isaiah 54. This chapter, written to the Israelites, predicts their return to favor and release from captivity in Babylon. But because of the rich, multi-layered nature of God’s Word, this chapter also applies to anyone finding herself in a prison of emotional and spiritual captivity.

During times of barrenness of spirit, Isaiah 54 addresses the “destitute” with the promise that even when God seems distant, he vows to “return in mercy.” And though we face seasons of life that seem blanketed by sorrow, God’s promise is to move us forward into seasons of peace and restoration, should we choose to walk with him out of captivity and into freedom. The chapter ends with the triumphant promise that Satan, the one who seeks to steal, kill and destroy all that God has established, will be “baffled” and we will emerge victorious.

These verses from Isaiah 54 (NIV) are especially meaningful to me:

‘Sing, barren woman, you who never bore a child; burst into song, shout for joy, you who were never in labor; because more are the children of the desolate woman than of her who has a husband,’ says the Lord.

‘Enlarge the place of your tent, stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left; your descendants will dispossess nations and settle in their desolate cities.

‘Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood. For your Maker is your husband—the Lord Almighty is his name—the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth.

”The Lord will call you back as if you were a wife deserted and distressed in spirit—a wife who married young, only to be rejected,’ says your God. ‘For a brief moment I abandoned you, but with deep compassion I will bring you back. In a surge of anger I hid my face from you for a moment, but with everlasting kindness I will have compassion on you,’ says the Lord your Redeemer….

‘Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,’ says the Lord, who has compassion on you….

Have you experienced this love and freedom?

~ Kyleen Stevenson-Braxton