“For God so loved the world that he sent His only beloved Son, so that everyone who believes in Him might not perish but might have eternal life.” ( Jn 3:16 ).
I had been through seven years of Gestalt Therapy with a Christian Psychologist, but still kept hearing my critical mother’s voice in my head, even though I had forgiven her over and over. I had also repented from the promiscuous life I led before I gave my life to the Lord in 1973. But recently, I was again being bothered by these thoughts and finding them more difficult to fight. Finally, I was still wary of being close to people for fear they would find out how sinful I was, and not want me around. I knew I wanted to keep pursuing praying with people for healing, but would have to be freed from these difficulties.
On January 16, 2023, I was eager to go through an Unbound session so I could be closer to my Jesus. The Leader was very kind and gentle as she led me to talk about my concerns and fear. There were two other women in the room who just sat silently and prayed during the entire session. It was all very comforting and I was led to talk with questions from the Leader. During the session, I described some of the incidents I experienced that prompted my mother to tell me I was no good, she never wanted me, let alone a girl, and I would amount to nothing. I explained that, at the age of 6, I made a plan to kill myself. I was getting ready to stand on a chair by the open window in the attic, four stories up, but was concerned that no one would know it was because my mother didn’t want me. I was afraid she would tell everyone it was my dad’s fault as she made him beat us up frequently when he got home from work. A voice in my head told me to go talk to my aunt Ann who lived downstairs from us. She was my Godmother. She listened and taught me how to forgive my mother, making me promise to always come talk to her when I got these thoughts, and I agreed. As the Leader was talking, I suddenly felt a great weight lift from my shoulders and my entire body relaxed. I felt free! Later, at the end of the session, one of the women came and sat in front of me and told me I was a very good woman and wanted by God. It was so tender and kind, like a mother you wished you had been given. I wept quietly, but was smiling. 1.
Then I began to talk about how I had remembered two years ago, that one of my uncles had molested me when I was 4 years old until I was 6 years old. This was the first time I remembered that he had threatened to kill my dad if I told anyone our secret. I never did until this day in the Unbound session. I had forgiven him in my heart for what he did, but not for the fear of what he promised to do to my dad if I talked. That made me understand why I had a propensity as I grew older to masturbate when my parents were arguing and yelling during the night as I slept in the room next to theirs with the baby. I would feel so bad about what I did. I had read about St. Theresa, the Little Flower, who wore a crown of thorns on her head under her veil. So, I went and asked a neighbor if I could cut a few roses for Mary’s altar. As I did, I cut a few large stems of just thorns and would sleep on them at night, repenting to Jesus for my sin. But the thoughts never went away. I have avoided movies and books that dealt with these subjects since I gave my life to Jesus, but now and then I would be bothered by these thoughts, especially when a man would try to go home with me. I would refuse and walk away quickly, but was bothered. After the Leader led me through forgiveness for my uncle and myself, I again felt a release of pressure on my arms, as if I had been carrying two children at the same time, but now could set them down. My heart was also now free!
When the Leader led me in questions about my relationships with people, I realized that I was allowing them to be my god, and not my friend Jesus. It was a deeper sense of freedom than I had felt before. I basically was Free!
Since then, I have experienced many other changes. I no longer hear my mother’s voice accusing me when I make an error. Once in a while I remember her words, but by the grace of God I am able to quickly dismiss the words and I start to sing to Jesus. It is again, freeing! I now have a deeper level of peace than I did before the session. There is a cohesion of my mind, body, and spirit, an integration with God’s presence. I am also experiencing a greater hunger and more intense understanding when I read God’s words, as if my mind is transformed. Along with this I find myself wondering why I am watching a TV program or movie as it is not good, so I turn it off and start reading one of the spiritual books I have next to my chair. I do not feel deprived or anxious, just more whole and peaceful. I have also decided to keep the Sabbath holy with Eucharist and a day of reading, singing and praying.
I know I am called to be a closer companion to my friend and bridegroom, Jesus. I even canceled a night out one Saturday with some friends as I felt it might cause me to compromise the person I have become. I just said something came up and I needed to cancel, and they were fine with this.
On February fifth, I received a great birthday gift. When I woke up, I jumped out of bed and shouted good morning to Jesus and said:” Wow! It’s good to be alive!” Then I wept with joy as this was the first time in my life I felt joy to be alive! Thank you Jesus! I am so grateful for Peter’s Shadow and I feel like I belong. Such a wholesome experience for which I thank you all. Your kindness and warmth helps me feel at home! (shared with permission)