18,816 hours. 784 days. 112 weeks. 2 years, 1 month and 23 days.

For nearly 26 months my husband bore the guilt and shame of his past. It was a weight heavier than any other he’d had to carry before. And though a consequence to his ill choices and mistakes, he found himself chained in darkness and tormented by the chaos surrounding him.

A life once filled with grit and ambition was quickly overwhelmed with anguish and humiliation as the enemy spoke lies into his bruised and bleeding heart.

Life had become barren in his eyes.

I looked on for more than 2 years as my husband consumed whatever might numb him from his pain. While he was numbing his pain, I was empathetically dwelling in the pain of his sorrows wishing nothing more than to take it upon myself, that he would hurt no longer.

Despite my occasional desire to throw in the towel and walk away from it all, I refused to fall victim to society — a society that tells us to run at every difficult obstacle for a chance at the “better” life, an “easier” life.

Regardless of the enemy’s effort to destroy our marriage, our family, and our faith, I chose not to give in, but to stand firm in my faith — a faith that tells me to trust in the Lord and remain patient through every trial for He is the truth, the life, and the way.

Are you a prisoner to guilt? To shame? To addiction? Are you chained to your past? Haunted by your fears? By loneliness?

You don’t have to stay there, trapped, afraid, and ashamed. God’s Word reminds us time and time again of His unfailing love for his people — for the captive, the oppressed, and the broken. In fact, He loved us so much so, that he gave his most prized and precious possession — His Son — to set us free (John 3:16). And through His Son, Jesus Christ, we are forgiven of our sins and made right in God’s sight (Acts 13:38-39).

We are called to be free!

For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.

Galatians 5:13a

Though my husband is now a prisoner to the government, he is finally free.

He is free from the lies, the shame, and the fear that had once imprisoned his soul for far too long.

For the first time, he is living unashamed and unafraid, fully embracing freedom in Christ and the grandeur of grace.

Midwest Joint Regional Correctional Facility. Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

You don’t have to continue living captive or haunted by your sins, your fears, or your past. You, too, can experience a life of freedom. It’s the grandeur of God’s grace.

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