While I walked through the day, I felt iron on my ankles; it took great effort to put one foot in front of the other. In addition, I felt a heavy burden on my shoulders and a burning pain between them. It was an invisible force; it felt like I had soul chains holding me from receiving God’s love, grace, and liberty through Christ’s death on the cross.
These chains were false beliefs linked from generation to generation by the iniquities of my ancestors and self-serving spiritual bullies who use gaslighting and manipulation for selfish gain and control. It kept me from attaining knowledge by instilling an unhealthy fear of the Lord from my childhood into adulthood. These Core Beliefs felt like iron wrapped around my ankles; I couldn’t get very far without feeling the tug in my heart from the guilt and shame of my youth and the one I should have trusted the most. He kept me in spiritual bondage. I also felt the links of my culture, tradition, era, and community solidified the foundation I built myself on came crashing against me when I tried to free myself many times before. Like a slave woman trying to escape her enslaver, she was led back by her religious beliefs weaved in her throughout her life and those who used condemnation, guilt, and shame to keep her locked away. If you think this is a bit overreacted or overstated, it is not; this is the daily life of many men, women, and children. Unfortunately, you can’t see the chains.
Furthermore, people are beaten every day by the whip of verbal abuse, manipulation, and coerced into doing what they don’t want to do but do to keep peace in the beast’s home at bay. These feel like spiritual chains used by evil people to control the minds of others by brainwashing them into believing the lies they believe. Although we seem to walk about freely, we cannot get past our beliefs’ invisible barriers with smiles on our faces. As a result, I felt broken beyond anything I had ever imagined because of the core beliefs that formed the Soul Chains.
” I was Broken Beyond Attachment, Intimacy, and Bonding.
Ethos is the characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.” Doyle, Christopher, 2018
When I read; the book, The Meaning of Sex A New Christian Ethos, written by Christopher Doyle (2018), my heart sank into despair because of the ignorance I beheld due to my culture. The Bible says that all of the heavens mourn when a man does not love his wife; my heart ached for true love. However, like Leah, the unloved wife of Jacob, God blessed me with a son and two daughters. Yet, I still longed to be loved by the man my heart longed for.
I felt sick, nauseous, and riddled with anxiety until my body began to suffer physically again. The poisons from the chronic stress caused several tumors to grow in my body, which left me scared from the surgeries; who would want a scarred woman I often thought? Finally, this final red flag set me in motion to fight for my life.
The Bible says, “Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ (Col. 2:8).
I felt deceived by my ancestors for grooming me to be compliant to a man regardless of his cruel treatment of me and submissive to his every whim; there was no love, no connection, or intimacy. Believing that God would bless my home and children, I lived in compliance. Moreover, this only made my ex-husband more powerful, and I, with nothing left, felt depleted. Mostly because I missed out on the true nature of God; I did not have an intimate relationship with Him. Both the physical and spiritual realms go hand and hand, and I felt cheated because I did not experience His love through the man He intended for me. I felt angry because of the perpetrator who molested me at a very young age, followed by my anger towards myself because I took the path of promiscuity in my youth, and saddened because I lost the man God intended for me to reveal His true nature through attachment, bonding, and intimacy. With wise counsel as stated in the Bible, I was given permission to feel my anger, and rage against those who harmed me in a safe place without judgment, or condemnation. Only people who have suffered such trauma would understand the magnitude of such pain, and know this takes time to heal, and as I began to heal, I felt the soul chains slowly falling off. However, there was more work to do, but I was no longer afraid of God; He was with me all along.
Finally, I understood I needed to grieve, however, my grief was excruciating because I wasted thirty-nine years with a man who exploited me. I also grieved for my children because they suffered with me; they suffered the collateral damage of my ignorance and choices. Because my brain suffered from multiple traumas; I couldn’t think, I couldn’t process, nor was I able to tell my story because I was in denial. I couldn’t believe I lived in a lie all these years; I sat silent for months because I could not process my life’s story. I grieved my ignorance of the truth and stayed because I was too worn to fight; I took the path of least resistance. What I mean here about least resistance is the least resistance from my controlling husband at the time. If I complied, I was ok. He monitored everything and questioned everything I did. At times I felt like he was interrogating me for something I did not do. He convinced me that I was crazy, and I replayed every argument searching for things I had done or said that caused his criticizing words against me, name-calling, accusations, and belittling words. He convinced my grown children that I was crazy. He was my adversary.
Elizabeth: An Oath to God
I swore to heal myself for myself, my children, and my grandchildren on this journey. I wanted to break away from these soul chains for their sake so that they won’t learn these same behaviors from me. Although confined to the other side of the house, I was learning and growing in the knowledge of God, behavioral health, church history, psychology, childhood development, and seventy-some other books worth reading at least five times. As I had mentioned before, my brain was damaged from the multiple traumas. The good news is that Almighty God is loving, merciful, and compassionate towards wounded souls. He felt the whip and was pierced for our transgressions against His own body. He bore our shame as He hung naked on the Cross. He was crushed and took the punishment for our iniquities. I felt my Soul Chains fall from my soul when I realized the power was already within me; the Power of the Holy Spirit who gave me the courage to be free, even amongst the beast in my territory. With that power, I began self-soothing with the word of God through meditation, guided imagery, self-affirmations, mindfulness, and self-awareness. I began healing myself from the inside out, and my biggest victory was the day I stood up for myself and said no more, I walked away from everything and everyone who placed those chains on me.
God is our Redeemer and He Redeemed what was taken from me; my freedom. He helped me process, grieve my losses, and heal through my professors, counselors, and the many other people He placed on this path with me.
I felt my soul chains slowly break away as I continued learning the truth about God, His unfailing love, and faithfulness regardless of my shortcomings; He remained faithful, even when I was not. I felt a heaviness leave me as I became more self-assertive and advocated for myself. I was spiritually in the sacred territory, and I guarded my heart full force like a warrior of my soul as my soul chains began breaking away from me. I didn’t even allow my controlling ex-husband at the time access to my body, mind, or emotions; I was a grey rock while in his presence. Although he was legally my husband, he was no longer the head of my body, mind, or spirit. He was not the spiritual leader God called him to be; I kept my stance and proceeded on my healing journey. I could never fully explain the freedom I felt while detaching from the old ways. I discovered that the little girl I left behind, the tiny dancer, flirt, and explorer, was awakened in me. I remembered the promises of God, and as I trembled with each step out into the unknown, I remembered the Word of the Lord, which gave me strength and courage.
“I will repay you for the years the locust has eaten- the great locust, the young locust, the other locust, and the locust swarm. My great army that I sent among you.”
Be Your Own Warrior
Take Away the evil doers amongst you; get help if you or your children are in danger physically, emotionally, and spiritually. There are wolves in sheep clothing who are out to kill, steal, and destroy. Instead of guilt driven thoughts, reflect on God’s redemptive work in you, even in the midst; it begins when we admit our brokenness and become attached to Him through His Son, Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to send and army of people with discernment, wisdom, and who are safe for your well being. With their help you will start experiencing an intimate relationship with Him as you see His Mighty Hand work on your behalf through these people. There is Freedom in Christ, There is Hope for a better Future, don’t wait as long as I did. Regret is the most painful of emotions.
National Domestic Violence Hotline
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