By Peggy Jo Stanley

As a word was being given regarding walls built around places in a person's heart, memories flooded my mind remembering my years of imprisonment. Places of wounding deep within my being, engulfed by the darkness of shame.

I was asked to draw this inner self. In my mind I saw a cold, dark prison. The walls were made of thick stone with no windows. A huge solid piece of iron with a massive lock was the door. There was no light just a heavy, eerie darkness enveloped the prison cell. Huddled in a corner was a dirty, naked little girl. Knees drawn up to her chest. Arms wrapped around her knees. Her head hung low hiding her face. Tears streaming down her checks. Shame and loneliness choking the life out of her.

The thought of her repulsed me. Being asked by a therapist to unlock her prison door, terrified me. I could not forgive that part of me. I could not trust that part of me. So long I had kept her hidden from the world, even hidden from myself. I couldn't even trust God with the keys to my prison.

With the help of my therapist (after many sessions) I slowly and nervously began unlocking the rusty lock on my prison door. As I pushed the heavy iron gate open God's light burst forth knocking down the walls not just knocking them over, but shattering them sending the pieces into His sea of forgiveness and healing. As God's radiance filled the room, to my surprise I was now in the middle of a gigantic ballroom. The walls sparkled like gold. I was clean and dressed in a beautiful gown dancing freely on the glistening ballroom floor. My prison gone no trace of it anywhere! Peace flooded my soul as tears of joy streamed down my face. I was free. Finally free. Free to dance with God. Free to enjoy life. Free to live again.