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Freedom.

I shifted my weight back and forth from one foot to the other. He had seen it. The place in my heart and in my life that I had been hiding.

“But I don’t want to give the devil a platform in my life,” was my excuse. ” I don’t want to elevate the sin. I wan to elevate the restoration.”

He stared at me with his piercing blue eyes, like a loving father. Like someone who I had known for years and yet this was 15 minutes into our first real conversation…ever.

“You are already giving the devil a platform by not sharing. All you need to do is bump him off the platform” he said as he gesture with his elbow. It was as if he himself just knocked the enemy off the platform in which he stood.

He was right.

I stood there in that moment, in a house lovingly named the Freedom house, and my entire being shifted realizing how much fear had scared me from sharing my story. Tears filled my soul and escaped at my eye. I stood there in a room filled with 75 other people, talking, laughing, sipping wine and enjoy the company of community, there in that place, it felt like the entire room stood still.

I didn’t want to say it. I still don’t. This word that has taken me captive so much I dare not share it in public, and up until this point, I haven’t. I have kept it a secret. One that I have worked so hard to protect out of fear. A word that feels like it has sucked life out of me for the weight that it keeps…

Abused.

This word means so many different things to so many different people, but for me, this is the word that shot my wing. That took the wind from my soul, that robbed me of many things.

This is the one that has so many twist and turns in it, like a labyrinth I have desperately tried to navigate. So many lies have clung to it fueling it. This is the scary word that has caged me from freedom. From the freedom of my story. From the freedom that give me breath and life to say…

I was abused…

…..but God. (Thats a BIG but… For realz.)

There are so many layer of my story, but with every layer of hurt there are 10,000 of grace. With every storm that I have walked through there were 100 rainbows. With every step I took, through the mud, I had Jesus’ hand to graciously lead me. He walked through the mud with me, and without Him, I would not be here.

Before this experiencing the pain of this word, I didn’t understand intimacy with the Father. God used why was meant for evil in my life to launch me into intimacy with Him. He didn’t need it for the intimacy, He just used it…. THANK you Lord for using it!

Bill Johnson said “The enemy always over plays his hand…” The enemy always takes it a step to far, and what was meant for evil in my life has launched me into a relationship with the Father I have never ever known. That is redemption. And for that… I am so humbled. That He in His mercy, would reach down and pull me out of a pit, a literal one that will filled with buckets of tears and brokenness… that He would set me apart. That He would drawn me into Himself over and over again.

I use to say that if I had to go through it all again to help, to encourage, to bless, to love on, one other woman, I would. In a heart beat. And that is the truth that is etched in my soul.

This is my story. One of redemption. One of grace and love. One of a lover who has ravished my heart by healing mine. One of a friend that sticks closer than a brother. I know Him.

Religion, could not have healed my heart from the despair I had to face. It could not have taken me from a broken mess, a crying mess on the floor and set me apart with favor and blessings. Only a relationship with King could do that.

I have heard my entire life that being a believer, loving Jesus, is a about a relationship… But I had never experience what it was like to need Jesus to get through some of the darkest, most painful moments of my life. I needed Him, and I still do. There are still places in my heart that are tender, that are swollen, that will need His love to cover until every spot is healed. There are consequences of this word that I have to deal with everyday.

I have learned through my pain, through my hurt, the questions can’t be “Why me? Why God?” I have asked this so many times and it leads my heart to being offended at Him. I want to live form a place of no offense towards Him and run into a place of YES GOD. He didn’t cause the hurt, the pain, the situations. It wasn’t His plan for me, and He didn’t want me to hurt, but He allowed it. Even though I don’t understand the whole story, or why He allowed it, I know He will use what the enemy meant for evil for good, over and over and over again. He already has. Even though I don’t know the next chapter of my life will hold, I know the Author of my story, and I know His character. Restoration.

My life is not a white picket fence one. What has happened to me is not a pretty package of glitter and rainbows… but He has provided a rainbow after every storm.. and the beauty is.. He will keep on doing it.. over and over and over again. He is actively restoring the years the locus have eaten. RIGHT NOW. But I will tell you the honest truth, restoration did not come by pursuing man, it came from pursing Him, by being gut level honest, by telling Him the things I needed to tell Him. By grace He will not show those movie clips to you because.. my goodness they are SO NOT CUTE 😉

Through this, I have learned, my story does not define me. I am not an abused woman, I am not a single mom, I am not an ex wife, I am God’s princess. I am His daughter. I am His little one. I am safe under Daddy God’s wings. What I am is not what I have experienced. It’s to the pain, or the struggles. Its not define by what a man has said of me or how I was treated. Who I am is never defined by that. It’s define by Him. And He says I am incredible. I am an heir. I am adopted, set apart, a dancing little skippity little princess who runs in to Daddy God’s arms unashamed, because of Jesus He took the abuse for me. He knows what it is like to be abused. And its for that…. that kind of Love, I chose to be a lay down lover of obedience.

I chose to share, when He says, and how He says the words He has place on my heart. This blog is a space for that. I don’t know what the stories will be filled with. I don’t know what He will call me to share, but I know I am willing to go to the deep places and share with you how He has changed me completely.

I know what is it like to walk through pain. I know what hurt feels like, the kind that brings on the ugly cry, but I know that I know that I know, I am loved by God. I was set apart before the beginning of this world to do good.  And it is through His grace, I am here… <3

Love Always,
Julie

If you or someone you has experienced abuse of this kind…you are not alone. Please connect with me. I would love to be an extension of God’s heart to you <3  <3

June 14, 2013 - 10:31 pm

Julie Story - This. This is the beginning.. of a Journey God has been leading me on…. To write. To share my Story. To share the words He has place on my heart. <3 It begins, today. <3

June 14, 2013 - 10:41 pm

Hailey Whittington - You are very brave. Thank you for sharing.

June 14, 2013 - 10:47 pm

Stephanie Grooms - Cant see from my cell well but I am excited to check it out asap. <3

June 14, 2013 - 10:59 pm

Amanda Emslie - Beautiful Jules <3

June 15, 2013 - 12:00 am

Jana Long - Excited about this Julie! <3

June 15, 2013 - 1:28 am

Amanda Mae Lauchu - So thankful to know you! You are amazing and very loved!

June 15, 2013 - 1:34 am

Dianne Godwin - I have no doubt that God will use this to minister to and bless many. Including you. :-)

June 15, 2013 - 2:15 am

Karen Stott - Love this SO SO much! And you my dear… more than you know.

June 15, 2013 - 3:07 am

Angelsea Urban - Yes. Yes and YES! I have been praying for you and watching God cultivate this gift in you from afar. It has been such a blessing to watch each petal falling open, in its own time. So blessed to see you sharing your amazing gift of writing on this platform and SO excited to see what God has in store for you next. <3

June 15, 2013 - 5:06 am

Candice Hildebrandr - Julie, it never ceases to amaze me how wonderfully God’s ways are worked. I am at the right place at the right time, to read words I have needed to. Thank you so much for choosing to share your journey. So much love for you.

June 15, 2013 - 5:08 am

Candice Roos Hildebrandt - <3

June 17, 2013 - 2:00 am

Julie Story - @[1064119603:2048:Angelsea Urban]!!! WOW… just wow. Thank you so much for your incredible encouraging words of wisdom…THANK you for believing in me and for sharing your love for me … <3

June 17, 2013 - 2:01 am

Julie Story - I LOVE YOU. SO MUCH. God knew.. He just knew… You would be such an incredible gift to me.. how precious you are Karen!!!

June 17, 2013 - 2:05 am

Julie Story - Amanda! Thank you so much! your support means so so so much to me!

June 17, 2013 - 2:06 am

Julie Story - Dianne! THank you so much! God is using writing in my life as such a part of my soul.. it is so much fun for me!

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