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Praying Woman

Exchanging My Prison Clothes

Exchanging My Prison Clothes

by Cat

Thank you to our sister, Cat, for sharing her testimony with such transparency. Only God can heal the wounded child inside each of us. - Sister Soldiers in Christ.

My very earliest memories, from the time I was two- to three-years-old, were of abuse. Anything that could be labeled abuse, I suffered. Physical, verbal, emotional, sexual—if it was abuse, it was in my life.

My parents hated each other and fought constantly. I grew up in a time where you didn’t hit your wife. That was considered abuse. But you could beat the heck out of your kids. That was considered discipline.

Being the one child out of the five who looked exactly like my mother, I became my father’s punching bag after their fights. When I was three- to four-years-old, I would go into my room when the screaming started.

I would pad myself with as many little shirts, and as many little pairs of panties as I could and wait—terrified of the silence. You see, I knew what the silence meant. It meant he was coming for me.

My father would pick me up, punch me and throw me into walls. During those times, I recall seeing rage and a blackness in his eyes. And yes, I was the kid who wore long-sleeved turtlenecks in the summer time. While the physical abuse was horrible, the mental and emotional abuse was equally devastating.

Both my parents called me “whore” from the time I was a little girl with no idea what it meant. When my dad would call me this, he would always follow it with, “Just like your mother.”

I lived in fear every day, and I grew up hating myself. After all, if my parents, who were supposed to love me, did not care about me then why would anyone else? At a very young age, I decided I would always be unlovable.

Because of all the trauma and a wrong mindset, I made bad choice after bad choice all the way from a youth and into my adult years. If anything felt remotely sane, believe me, I was determined, on an unconscious level, to sabotage it.

This self-destructive pattern that I was so familiar with lasted into my very late forties. It reached its crescendo one night when I was home alone.

On this particular night, I decided to throw myself a pity party. I had my wine, I had a marijuana joint, and I was ready!

While enjoying my pity party, I started thinking about all the wrongs I had been dealt in my life and getting more and more angrier. I decided that if I got a pen and wrote down all these horrible things, the wrongs would be even more real.

I wrote and I wrote and I wrote! I filled three full pages with all the hurt and the pain and the betrayals. I remember standing up at that point, shaking these papers toward the ceiling and screaming to the top of my lungs, “YOU SEE GOD! DO YOU SEE WHY I’M SO F*D UP! THIS IS WHY!”

Suddenly, and for the first time ever, I felt the presence of the Lord, and I felt love like I had never known. The Holy Spirit led me through every line I had written. I heard His voice whisper, after each line, “And I brought you through that…and I rescued you from that…and I saved you from that…”

Then the Lord spoke to me and told me to get my Bible. I did have a Bible because I was very good at playing church.

He led me to an obscure verse that I had never read before:

So Jehoiachin changed from his prison garments, and he ate bread regularly before the king all the days of his life (Jeremiah 52:33).

The Lord showed me that I had never taken off my prison clothes! Every morning, as I got ready for work, I donned the finest clothes, but underneath, I still wore prison stripes. I prettied up the outside so that no one would ever dare see what I really had on.

I was still wearing the garments of shame, bitterness, anger, resentment, self-loathing, depression, and unforgiveness. How could I possibly sit at the King’s table while refusing to give up my prison garb?

This encounter with the Holy Spirit and the biblical truth He dropped in my spirit was my awakening! I have never been the same since that night!

I could almost hear the Holy Spirit encouraging me, saying, “The Lord has a beautiful garment of pure white just for you. The King has a seat waiting at His table. But you can’t wear your prison clothes and your new garment at the same time. Take off the old and put on the new.”

Take the time to look at your own life and ask yourself the question: What are your “prison clothes”? What are those things that keep you from enjoying God’s best for your life? Oh beloved, rise up, shed those prison clothes, and dine with the King for the rest of your days! He has your seat waiting!



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