From CNN.com on 5/8/13
Cleveland (CNN) – “Three long-missing women -- Amanda Berry, 27; Georgina "Gina" DeJesus, 23; and Michelle Knight, 32 -- and a child believed to be Berry's were found alive in a Cleveland home, police said. The women are believed to have been abducted years ago -- in 2002, 2003 and 2004 -- and held captive at the home, according to police.
Three suspects, all brothers, including the home's owner, Ariel Castro, 52, were arrested and are awaiting charges, police said.”
For nine to ten years they were hoping and praying to be set free.
This incredible liberation has me thinking about freedom and Jesus setting the captives free. I believe the Lord was in the midst of the discovery and rescuing of these women. The depth of joy and relief they feel now that they are no longer under the bondage of forced captivity.
Although, we do not know any details of their experience, we assume dark atrocities that we are not even comfortable thinking about. You may wonder if they can recover and heal from whatever emotional, psychological, or physical scars they may be bearing.
The article concluded with experienced words from two women who have shared wounds with the recently freed women.
“Jaycee Dugard, who was abducted as a child and freed in 2009 after 18 years of captivity behind the home of a California couple, made the following statement regarding the discovery of the Cleveland women: "These individuals need the opportunity to heal and connect back into the world. This isn't who they are. It is only what happened to them. The human spirit is incredibly resilient. More than ever this reaffirms we should never give up hope."
“-- Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when she was abducted from her Utah home and found nine months later, told CNN on Tuesday that she expects the next few months and years will be "a whirlwind" for the three women abducted. "I want them to know that nothing that has happened to them will ever diminish their value and it should never hold them back from doing what they would want to do," she said.”
Dugard and Smart offered tremendous insights.
Not your identity, but what happened you.
Never give up hope.
Does not diminish your value.
Their words offer hope if you are captive by substance abuse, performance, debt, bitterness, or any other chain they cannot shake.
God is speaking to Isaiah about Israel’s restoration. It reveals the heart of God that saves, restores, and gives freedom to those held captive.
This is what the Lord says:
“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’