My original thoughts for this week’s blog were swiftly re-directed with the sweeping news that three women, who were missing for over 3600 days, finally woke from their nightmare bound in captivity. Amanda Berry, Michele Knight and Gina DeJesus (for those who know my maiden name is DeJesus, she is of no relation to me – that I’m aware of…), were discovered only after Amanda made a brave attempt to escape her darkness with loud screams as she banged at the house door to break free. A neighbor, Charles Ramsey, now famous for his willingness to respond to a woman’s cry for help, reported that she told him on the porch, “Help me get out. I’ve been here a long time."
| (Photo: Tony Dejak AP)
By now you’ve heard the chilling 911 call she placed, where she emotionally cried out that she needed help, and stated her name – Amanda Berry. You can almost hear her heart pounding as she pushes the words out with each breath, again her name and the clarification that she is not just any Amanda Berry, she is THE Amanda Berry that had been missing for 10 years, as reported on the news. She doesn’t stop there though, for then she releases 5 new words she must’ve only dreamed of uttering:
“I’m here, I’m free now.”
With that Amanda Berry announced a new destiny – a detour from what her captor intended for her. He had planned everything, but he didn’t plan on her being freed from her captivity.
I cannot imagine the heartache their families experienced as they desperately searched for their beloved daughters, grand-daughters, sisters, friends. Dreams dashed, hopes defeated, tears shed in rooms alone when others had moved on. What shock, pure resurrection joy they must’ve felt when the news finally came – they were found, and they were alive!
In stark contrast to their isolated and confined life in terror, the women were welcomed by cheering crowds on the street near the home where police found them. One friend was reported as saying, “I've been praying, never forgot about her, ever…[T]his is amazing. This is a celebration. I'm so happy. I just want to see her walk out of those doors so I can hug her."
It won’t be long before this story of suffering, search, waning hope, despair, endurance, surprise and rescue will be the focus of many a speech and sermon. Indeed it is rich for life application. I was personally touched by the emotional awareness Amanda exhibited when she realized her chains were broken, and confessed she had been set free.
To put your trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, is to be set free from the captivity of sin and the enemy. (Isaiah 61:1) If you put your trust in Jesus’s death for your sin penalty, you are God’s special possession, a chosen holy woman so you can now declare praises of God who “called you out of darkness into His wonderful light”! (1 Peter 2:9) Just like those three rescued women, we often have a journey of healing ahead of us, but make no mistake, the chains are gone.
Have you declared to anyone lately, “I’m (your name), I’m here, I’m free now”?
As we go into Mother’s Day, I wonder of the mothers who are praying for their children held captive in spiritual darkness, in need of the rescuing light of Jesus Christ. Amanda Berry’s mother, Louwana Miller, had been hospitalized for months with pancreatitis and other ailments and passed away in March 2006. It’s reported she spent the previous three years looking for her daughter, whose disappearance took a toll as her health steadily deteriorated.
Sisters, may we not grow weary in doing good (Gal. 6:9). Encourage one another to keep telling our stories of rescue, and praying for our loved ones who are bound in the enemy’s grip. Like Gina DeJesus’ friend Kayla Rogers, we may soon say too, “I've been praying, never forgot about her, ever.”
"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" by Chris Tomlin 
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I'm found
Was blind but now I see
It was grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone, I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, amazing grace
Posted on Wed, May 8, 2013
by Heather Yates