Publisher: Broadman and Holman.
Genre: Nonfiction, strongholds, oppression, Isaiah 61, painful memories, sexual abuse.
Rating: 5 stars for excellent.
I have read and heard Beth Moore mention Breaking Free, "had been one of the most difficult books" she'd written. It is difficult because of her own painful memories of abuse.
Breaking Free's main theme is liberty in Christ Jesus. Liberty from strongholds and oppression, specifically directed at those who have been victimized through sexual abuse.
Breaking Free's main focal passage from the Bible---
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion-to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations. Isaiah 61:1-4.My Thoughts:
This year I've been working through an abusive relationship I was in at the age of 16-17. When the relationship ended, and it took several repeated attempts at breaking free from this guy, I shut the door on that part of my life. I did not tell anyone what happened. I did not acknowledge I'd been in an abusive relationship until a few years ago. Over the course of this year, memories I'd forgotten have been remembered, and those I had remembered in small portions are now vivid. I remember the physical pain, the fear, humiliation, and shame.
I'd read Breaking Free several years ago, but not with the attitude I needed its message. Reading Breaking Free a second time, and reading it with the mindset this book is directed at me, has helped peel away memories and begin a healing process. But, underneath these memories are wounds, and they feel fresh, even though its been years ago when the abuse happened.
A few significant points in the book:
- We cannot heal on our own. We need Jesus Christ. We need His Spirit to work in our inner person through prayer and His Word.
- Writing and memorizing Scripture. Writing Bible verses on index cards and leaving them in well seen places is a help. Memorizing Bible verses for use as a sword against strongholds and oppression is crucial. Satan uses a painful past to hold us back, to steal our joy, to cover us with shame and silence, and to hold us back from God's beautiful purpose in our lives. Nevertheless, God's Word soothes, sustains, cleanses, and heals.
- Do not hold back any part of our lives from the Lord.
- The abuse does not define me.
A few favorite quotes:
"Perhaps the most profound miracle of all is living through something we thought would kill us. And not just living, but living abundantly and effectively-raised from living death to a new life. A life indeed absent of something or someone dear but filled with the presence of Resurrection and the Life." Page 135.
"Virtually anything that cheats you of what God has for you could be considered sin." Page 236.
"...the life of the disciple requires a 'long obedience in the same direction.'" Page 268.