Over the past few weeks, I've been sharing about a season of inner healing the Holy Spirit has recently brought me through. By this time, you may be wondering, "What happened?" (I know I would be if I were reading someone's blog.)
I guess you could say that it all started when I was trying to find a book to calm my mind and help me sleep. It was Mantour season, and I always have trouble sleeping during Mantour season. My brain is firing on all cylinders, making lists, dealing with travel plans, registrations, and the never-ending stream of details that need to happen behind the scenes for Mantours to happen. It's hard for me to quit the list-making at bedtime and go to sleep. So, I was looking for a book to help me turn off "work mode" and go to sleep.
That's when one of my friends recommended Jinger Duggar Vuolo's book "Becoming Free Indeed." I knew the book had come out, was a little intrigued, and when my friend said how good it was, I downloaded it to my Kindle and prepared to relax.
That was not what happened.
Instead, the Holy Spirit used this book to radically change my life. Instead of relaxing, this book stirred up truth inside me as I realized I could identify with almost everything she said. I could relate to her fears, anxiety, and the lies in her mind, causing her guilt and confusion. I could not believe how much I could relate to her struggle to overcome issues in her life caused by Bill Gothard's teaching.
It was such a shock to me that after I finished the book, I read it again. It was undeniable. I could relate.
Then Jamie and I watched the "Shiny, Happy People" Documentary on Amazon Prime. We were both blown away by how much of what was in the documentary was a part of our lives growing up.
It was startling.
How was this even possible? I wasn't raised like the Duggars?!? I always had short hair, wore beautiful, fashionable clothes, and I only had one sibling.
Yet even though my parents didn't attend a holiness church, they did attend the Bill Gothard seminars. They didn't just attend—they came home and adopted many of these teachings into our lives.
It was becoming hard to deny. And yet, I really wanted to say it wasn't so.
I stayed in a state of denial for a while. Then God put me in a situation where trusted Christian advisors wanted me to do something completely Biblical but it went against ideas I learned from my parents. (They had no idea what God was doing in my life; they just told me to do the right, normal thing.)
Mentally, I freaked out. I couldn't cope. Although no one knew about my struggle but Jamie, I felt like I was going into a panic whenever I tried to follow through on their instructions.
What in the world was going on?
Finally, it all came to a head when I tried to justify my lack of follow-thru and heard myself say, "This is what I was taught to do. It's a nice way to live as long as you stay in your little bubble."
For the first time, I heard it.
There was no denying the truth any longer.
This really was my life, and even more so, it really did have an effect on me.
At that moment, I felt very much like one of the characters in my favorite television show, the Gilmore Girls. In one scene, Lane Kim, Rory's best friend who was raised in an ultraconservative Christian family, is standing in the street yelling at her Mom, saying, "You're in my head. I don't know how it happened, but you're in my head."
Why did she say this? Because she recently realized that even though she spent most of her teenage years rebelling against her Mom's rules about movies and music, when push came to shove, she had to realize that some of her Mom's teaching had gotten through and affected her life.
For me, that was the point when my journey to healing and freedom began…when I stepped out of denial and said, "Yep, there's no denying it…I need to overcome this issue."
This is often the case for many people.
The Holy Spirit will start stirring things in their hearts and minds… He'll begin to orchestrate circumstances to heal their hearts, and their first response is denial.
"That's not possible."
"That can't be true."
"There's no way I have that problem."
It's a super spiritual, "You talking to me, God?"
And yet, true freedom and healing cannot come until we move beyond denial and say, "This is true. I have this problem."
Healing cannot begin until you agree with God and say, "I realize this is a problem in my life, and I want to overcome it. I don't want it to control or hurt me anymore."
When you have your Braveheart moment and say, "I want freedom, deliverance, and healing more than I want my next breath, " you can start working through the process of Finding Healing.
This is true no matter what your battle.
Whether it be overcoming anger, abuse, sexual addiction, drinking, lying, false teaching, or any other sin or issue, Alcoholics Anonymous has it right: It all starts with overcoming denial and admitting you have a problem.
The first person that you have to stop fooling is yourself. If you want to experience freedom, you first must admit, "My name is ______, and I struggle with ______."
Stop denying it or trying to cover it up. Face the truth so you can be free.
Allow yourself to feel the pain of the truth.
Find a Biblically-based plan to work through your emotions and overcome them.
One resource I recommend is my book, "Finding Healing ." In this book, I tell not just my family's story, but I lay out step by step the spiritual disciplines I used to find freedom and healing in my own life. Each chapter provides practical "how to" steps you can follow and shares what you can expect as you go through your journey to finding healing.
Whether you decide to use my curriculum or get help from another Spirit-filled Bible-based inner healing program, you need to step out of denial and find a way to use Biblical principles to help you overcome the pain in your life.
It's what I did. I faced the truth, and the truth set me free.
Adessa Holden is an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God specializing in Women's Ministry. Together with her brother, Jamie, they manage 4One Ministries and travel the East Coast speaking, holding conferences, and producing Men's and Women's resources that provide practical Biblical teaching for everyday life.
When asked about herself, she'll tell you "I'm a women's minister, a sister, and a daughter. I love to laugh and spend time with people. My favorite things are chocolate, the ocean, sandals and white capris, anything purple, summertime and riding in the car listening to music. It is my absolute honor and privilege to serve Jesus and women through this ministry."