I had the awesome experience of attending a retreat this past weekend with a beautiful group of women. To say I have been inspired, touched, renewed, empowered, encouraged and loved is an understatement. I was with 70 women; of which, I only knew four. We worshiped God with songs; some of which I had never sang before. We listened to a couple of speakers on topics about healing, the hurry sickness, the demonic radio, and the rule of life. The most amazing part of the retreat was all of the time we had to spend alone with God.

During one of my alone times, I was healed from a wound that happened almost 25 years ago. One of the speakers talked to us about healing wounds and used the acronym, WLVS. (Marcus Warner of Deeper Walk International Ministries). The acronym’s meaning is below:

W = Wounds
(Pockets of pain in my heart)
L = Lies
(Seeds planted by the devil that I believe)
V = Vows
(Agreements made with the devil; i.e. “I will never allow myself to feel love again!”)
S = Strongholds
(The fruit that grows from the root issues; i.e. distrust of people)

We were challenged during our alone time to get healing. The whole conference was centered on healing—healing the mind, body, and soul. God’s word to me over the past week has been “Prayer.” If I want to be a woman of prayer and if I want to move to the next level in God, I must be healed. One healing I needed was underway.

A question I had to ask during my prayer time was, “Lord, is there a wound from my past in which Satan has planted a lie that is still controlling me today?” As much as I believed life had moved on for me, I was still harboring pain and holding a grudge toward someone who hurt me when we were 17!

During the tears and the pleading, I remembered a verse in Mark 10:46-52, where Jesus asked Bartimaeus, “What do you want me to do for you?” I told God, “I want the person to apologize to me. I want that person to be reminded of what they did to me. I want that person to feel bad about what they did to me. I want that person to look me in my face and tell me with tears in their eyes, that they were sorry. That is what I want!”

As I said those words, Jesus told me to forgive him. I thought about that for a second and realized I never did forgive that person.

Over the years, whenever I saw that person or was in contact with them, I would just recount what happened over and over in my mind, which led me to believe all sorts of lies:

I am not loved.
I am strange.
I am not good enough.
I am the ugly duckling.
I am not pretty.
I am fat.

As all of that rushed through my mind, I told God, “I didn’t ask to relive it! I want you to avenge me! Make that person pay!!!”

But God sweetly let me know to trust Him. It had to be dug up. When you dig up wounds, there will be some pain. It will be just as fresh as it was when it happened, just more severe and rotten! I relived that whole terrible night all over again. I remembered where people were sitting. I remembered who laughed. I remembered who pointed fingers. I remembered the stares! I just started weeping uncontrollably. BUT…. God whispered, “Crystal, you are fearfully and wonderfully made.” I then read all of Psalm 139. As I cried and read, an overwhelming peace filled my soul. I realized God made me and He said, “Crystal, you are good and you are my beloved! Don’t worry about what others think; only concern yourself with what I think.” Those thoughts you were believing were all lies, and they did not come from Me.”

Once I centered my thoughts on who I was in Jesus, I realized everything else was a lie. I then had to realize some more truths. This person was 17 when they said those harmful words! Why was I still holding this person to something they did when we were 17?? Oh the many stupid things I did at 17 and the consequences that came afterwards of which I had no prior knowledge.

God told me to see this person as He saw them. God saw him as precious also. He saw him as a loving father, husband, son, brother, uncle and mentor. When I started focusing on that truth, I no longer saw him as mean, rude and hurtful. I then realized how often I messed up and how God always forgave me and never cast me away. Why should I want that for someone else!

When I focused on the truth, I stopped making vows that I would no longer speak to him, or that I would never let someone talk about me like that again. When I focused on the truth, the strongholds and labels of “ugly duckling”, “not good enough”, “fat” and all the others just faded away into the light. The light of God’s love cast out the darkness, and all I felt was the warmth of God’s presence, peace, and power!

What about you? Who do you need to forgive today? What shackles and chains do you need to break today?
Forgive that person and set someone free….YOU!

Ask God to show you who you need to forgive. Start your journey of freedom and be the real woman or man God has called you to be!