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“These individuals need the opportunity to heal and connect back into the world. This isn’t who they are. It is only what happened to them. The human spirit is incredibly resilient. More than ever this reaffirms we should never give up hope.” ~Jaycee Dugard
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The above statement was issued by Jaycee Dugard regarding the heart-wrenching story of the release of three Ohio women who were kidnapped as teens and held in captivity for nearly 10 years.
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This girl is kicking the door and screaming,” Ramsey told NBC station WKYC-TV. “So I go over there … and I say, ‘Can I help? What’s going on?’ And she says, ‘I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been in this house a long time. I want to leave right now.'”
Ramsey, who lived across the street and let the woman use his phone to call 911, described being stunned when he realized that the woman was Amanda Berry, who had been missing for 10 years.
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Have you seen this story? Have you seen the pictures of the three precious young ladies and 6-yr old now being reunited with their friends and family after 10 agonizing years of being held in captivity? Right now the story is that one brother, age 52, held them captive in his home, but two other brothers are involved and were also arrested. One of the victims, Amanda Berry, had a child during captivity. This child is now 6-years old. We all know what that means. This story is similar to Jaycee Dugard who was held as a prisoner by her captors for 18 years. She, too, bore children during that long ordeal. Try to wrap your head around that – even just for a second or two ::::inhale and exhale::::: This is painful stuff here.
I was moved by Jaycee’s statement – from someone who has walked in their shoes. I hope Jaycee has an opportunity to meet these three young ladies. I think they would have a lot in common and could offer support and understanding in a way very few could.
And then I thought of some of us who were held spiritually and emotionally captive. Some are still being held captive, whether it is being held in a particular church, or even in a relationship. Some of you reading may be wondering if your church/pastor is really that bad. Some of you are currently held captive in emotional/spiritual relationships and haven’t been able to escape. I know because I have received some of your e-mails. My heart aches for you. You know the truth just as these three young ladies knew the truth. Look at these powerful words of truth:
“Help me, I am Amanda Berry,” the young woman told police in a frantic 911 call from a neighbor’s house. “I’ve been kidnapped, and I’ve been missing for 10 years. And I’m here, I’m free now.”
“I’m here, I’m free now.” Wow. Did Amanda wonder if she would ever be able to say those words? She knew of her dark reality and in one pivotal moment, she knew FREEDOM. They are calling Amanda the hero. What was in her that made her bold enough to cry out for help at that moment? Was it her child that compelled her to risk all?
Some people may think I’m crazy to try to compare some of our spiritual abuse stories to this horrific story. I don’t think so. Mental health experts claim that emotional or spiritual abuse is every bit as much abusive as physical or sexual abuse.
These young ladies knew from the moment they were kidnapped that they were being held against their will. We probably did not. They most likely were trying to escape or looking for avenues of escape from the very beginning of their capture. Eventually they must have realized it was too dangerous to try. It will be interesting to read what exactly happened yesterday. Did Amanda simply say “enough is enough?” What made her cry out for help yesterday? Many of us have stories like this to tell. When did we say “enough is enough?” Do you remember what happened? What was pivotal in your life that made you escape?
Some of us were not aware that our lives were captured – that we had allowed a church leader to control our emotional, spiritual, and sometimes physical lives. Because we didn’t understand we had turned over that control, we didn’t know we needed to escape. It took a while for us to come to that conclusion.
I always try to keep tucked in the back of my mind that some people reading here may be at any stage in their spiritual abuse journey. Some may be wondering if what they are experiencing or have experienced is/was in fact spiritual abuse. Others have clearly identified it. Some are deciding whether or not they are going to escape. Some have escaped. Others are trying to make sense of the aftermath and connect back to the world (or reality) as Jaycee Dugard described.
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The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed . . . (Luke 4:18)
Thus says God, the Lord,
who created the heavens and stretched them out,
who spread out the earth and what comes from it,
who gives breath to the people on it
and spirit to those who walk in it:
6 “I am the Lord; I have called you in righteousness;
I will take you by the hand and keep you;
I will give you as a covenant for the people,
a light for the nations,
7 to open the eyes that are blind,
to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,
from the prison those who sit in darkness.
8 I am the Lord; that is my name;
my glory I give to no other,
nor my praise to carved idols.
9 Behold, the former things have come to pass,
and new things I now declare;
before they spring forth
I tell you of them.” (Is 42:5-9)
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