Breaking Chains

Breaking Chains

When I was in my early teens, I lived a pretty sheltered life. I had the mentality that nothing bad would ever happen to me. Then, one day I found myself right in the middle of a really bad situation. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time resulted in a pistol being put to my head. A robbery that was sudden and unexpected, yet completely terrifying.

“Don’t move or I’ll shoot!” The harsh words of my abductor rattled me to my very core.  As I stood there shaking uncontrollably, I could feel the pistol resting against my temple. The hard cold surface of the gun’s tip pressed forcefully into my head. As my heart pounded rapidly a repeated thought kept running through my mind, “I’m going to die – my life is over.”

Fortunately, that day was not my last and by the grace of God, I’m alive today to share my story.

Although I had no physical wounds from that horrible experience, the emotional and mental scars were carved deep into my heart, penetrating to the center of my shaken soul. It bubbled up to the surface in the form of extreme fear that haunted me for a very, very long time.

Replaying the horrible scenes in my mind would keep me up many nights and when I was awake, I would be afraid to go anywhere alone – or be left alone.

Fearful thoughts created a powerful chain that wrapped around my heart and mind. Each day the chain would become tighter and tighter, leaving me helpless and paralyzed.

What if I run into this person again? What will happen if he recognizes me? What if he followed me home from the crime scene and knows where I live? Will he come back looking for me?

I didn’t feel safe…anywhere.

I was afraid….all of the time.

I worried…. and the “what ifs” haunted me.

Looking back, I realize fear ruled my life and dictated my decisions.

Fear had put a gun to my head and chained me up like a hostage for years.

What was my biggest regret? Not having God’s Word hidden in my heart and etched in my mind. If I would have taken the time to memorize Scripture during that season of anguish, my fearful thoughts could have been replaced with God’s promises of protection and security.

When the “what-if” worries came, I could have traded those in for God’s truth.

You will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 

Jesus answered, “I am the way, the TRUTH, and the life…John 14:6

On those nights when I was lying awake in bed for hours, I could have spoken this promise to help me fall asleep:

When you lie down, you will not be afraid; you will lie down, and your sleep will be pleasant. Proverbs 3:24 (HCSB) 

When I worried about my intruder coming back for me, I should have memorized this promise to claim:

Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them (him). For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.”  Deuteronomy 31:6 (HCSB)

When I was alone and scared, I could have focused on this verse to calm my nerves and bring peace to my heart:

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be afraid, for I am your God. I will strengthen you; I will help you; I will hold on to you with my righteous right hand.  Isaiah 41:10 (HCSB)

For it is the power of  Jesus that sets us free.

His Word breaks the chains of bondage in our lives.


Photo Credit: Lindsey.Autumn via Compfight cc

Photo Credit: Lindsey.Autumn via Compfight cc


Have you experienced something tragic in your past that has left you fearful? Maybe a situation in your present circumstances that is haunting you with “what-if” lies, doubts or worries? Do you lay awake at night gripped with fear or wonder how you can possibly face another day?

If so, I understand and I have the answer that can get you past your struggles and propel you into unshakable faith!

Do you want freedom?

Do you want those painful chains broken from your life today?

Real and sustainable freedom is only found in Jesus and His powerful Word.

Jesus is the Chain Breaker.

If you don’t have God’s Word hidden in your heart, you can start fresh today by memorizing a couple Scriptures verses. Feel free to use the ones I’ve posted above. Speak them out loud and let them mend your heart and soul. Fear comes from the enemy and he can’t stand to hear the words of Jesus. So, speak them loud and clear – it will send him running every single time.

Remember, freedom is available for you today. All you have to do is receive it!

Now it’s your turn…

Today’s Question: What is your greatest fear or struggle in life today? Have you made some progress in overcoming it? If not, what is holding you back? Share your thoughts so that I can pray for you today.

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  1. Thank you for your story. I’ve been struggling trying to figure out how to “give ‘this’ to God”. Your words & the scriptures shared felt like a arrow targeted directly at my thoughts. I was abused sexually, physically & mentally from the age of 5 through high school. I grew up in church & asked Jesus to be my Lord & Savior in 6th Grade. I’d never felt a base peace that I was going to be ok before that. Even though bad things continued to happen & I struggled to be ok in the moment & release the anxiety that gripped me – I still felt like something was keeping my head above water & I always found my way back to knowing I wasn’t alone. I finally reached out for help when I went to college. I approached my pastor’s wife & I got a cold canned Christian response – “Give it to God”. That answer really made me angry & pushed me away from seeking help in dealing with the issues that developed because of my past. It’s been just over 20yrs since I’ve been out of college. In those 20yrs I’d only been to church a handful of times. Last summer I visited a new church & felt a peace, felt a comfort & felt a relief that I hadn’t felt in a very long time. I’ve had a few conversations with the Pastor’s wife here & she has invested herself to real answers, to full explanations every time we’ve interacted. I haven’t shared anything with her yet but I’ve scheduled a meeting with her. The question I want her to help me answer is “How?”. How do I give this to God when so, much of who I am is twisted around what happened? How do I give it to God when so many things bring it back? I’ve spent 40yrs avoiding all male interaction because it makes me sick just to be noticed by them. How do I give that to God when it’s an automatic physical reaction? Anyway Leah all that to say – thank you. Tonight of all nights I came upon your blog, I feel like it’s God telling me “Do not be afraid” & I believe that he will take my past & give me a future of peace.

  2. Hi Leah…Thank you for sharing your story and that your chains of fear have been broken it brings hope to me and I am sure many others. I am so grateful that God has lead me to your blog. I have lived with paralyzing fear to the point of being house bound for long periods of time throughout my life. This fear came to my life as a very young child through unforeseen circumstances that should of never happen to anyone…But I praise God that through it all I found Jesus and He has delivered me from being a victim, but I so desperately want the full promise in living” victoriously” also and not have to arrange a day or my life around these haunting panic attacks that come and strike at any time…I have lot’s of scriptures memorized of the word, but I have found it difficult at times to use them when I get hit with a full blown attack and I am unable to even get the scripture out before bolting to the exit of a store or driving and pulling to the side of the road or saying no to something I need to be doing. Finding myself in a vicious cycle of defeat and taking two steps backwards and not wanting to go out and try again… I pray, spend daily time with God and have done many BS and still find myself in these Chains….I would greatly appreciate your prayers from someone that has been in similar shoes and now walks in Freedom…PRAISE GOD! But dear sister I just felt a tug from the Holy Spirit to write this to you and be completely transparent and say I just need your prayers today …It’s not that I stand alone in this I have an amazing hubby that covers me daily in prayer. But I have masked it so well to my family, friends and yes my church diva’s sadly I admit this. That they don’t even know that I am struggling. I think this is part of the road towards my healing is laying aside pride and the control and asking humbly for prayer from another sister that I don’t even know and probably won’t ever met face to face, but trusting that it’s what God is asking me to do so I can be free and be able to finely walk through the doors that He has been calling me to! Sincerely grateful for you…Diane

    • Diane,
      Thank you for sharing your story and being so honest about the struggles you’ve been dealing with for so many years. Being house bound, suffering with panic attacks, and living with paralyzing fear are all things I experienced too and I know how debilitating that can be. Sweet friend, you are not alone and you CAN experience freedom from all of these things through Christ. I am living proof of His saving grace.

      I too hid behind a mask, afraid to tell anyone for fear they would judge me, reject me or think I was weird. But I can honestly say that once I took that leap of faith and finally decided to tell a close friend – someone I could trust – that was a major stepping stone on the journey towards freedom. Having friends to share your burdens and pray together is so liberating and Biblical (Galatians 6:2) but the enemy wants to keep you isolated and filled with shame. Sister, don’t let him do that to you. Remember, he’s a defeated foe!

      I’d love to recommend 2 books that I read during my season of fear several years ago. I would read them together with my Bible each day which brought me so much peace, hope and encouragement.

      The Confident Woman – Annabel Gilham
      The Battlefield of the Mind – Joyce Meyers

      There are many other suggestions I could share with you but for now this is a great place to start.

      Abundant blessings and continued prayers,

      • Thank you Leah…I greatly appreciate you as a sister in the Lord and will continue to pray for you and your ministry that God is greatly using for His Glory…I find so much hope in your story and know that I am on my way to complete freedom…I have ordered both those books and will dig into them and apply them to my life…thank you for your time, prays and your recommendations…may God continue to bless and protect you and your family as you serve Him…
        Your sister in Christ…Diane oxox

  3. Thank you, Leah, for sharing your experiences and the wisdom you gained! May we remain ‘free indeed!’ I love your site, it is beautiful.

  4. Leah, I look forward Thursdays, knowing you’ll be sharing some of God’s Wisdom with us. Mary

  5. Thank you Leah for sharing your story and true Journey of Hope through Jesus.

  6. Leah,

    Thank you for sharing your story and pointing us to God’s powerful Word. I love when you said, “If I would have taken the time to memorize Scripture during that season of anguish, my fearful thoughts could have been replaced with God’s promises of protection and security.” This is so true! If we replace the lies of the enemy with the truth of God’s word we begin to experience life as it was meant to be lived! Praising God with you for His mercy and power to break chains! (And also for keeping you safe!!)

    • Thank you, Shelly. It was a long hard road but through that experience I learned about the power of God’s Word and the authority we (as believers) have in Jesus. I’m so thankful that God’s promises are not exclusive to just a few but instead available for us all. Leah 🙂

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