Have You Been Set Free?

Have You Been Set Free?

Have You Been Set Free?

By Toni Weisz/Spiritual Disciplines

Scripture References: John 8:31-32, 34-36, Romans 6: 12-14, and James 5:16

John 8:31-32, 34-36
So Jesus said unto the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. So if the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.

Romans 6:12-14
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will not have dominion over you, since you are not under the law but under grace.

Are you still struggling with a distorted view of yourself, God, or others? When did that start for you?

It takes years and perhaps decades of hard work to undo the damage that was done to us as children, teens, and young adults.

How can we be set free to live the abundant life Jesus came to give us?

I’d like to share four keys that can help you be set free.

1.) I believe we need to confess sin daily.

Some questions to take to heart:

  • What are my motives?
  • Why am I so easily offended?
  • Why am I being taken advantage of by others?
  • Why can’t I say no?
  • Why am I fearful or anxious when I have to speak to a certain person?

When we have been mistreated, abused, or neglected or have an abortion in our past, we develop deep wounds which distort our thinking and emotional development. It’s only God who can help us heal in those areas and grow to our full potential.

I heard this statement, but I do not know who coined it:

If you want to be forgiven, confess your sins to God. If you want to change, confess your sins to another person so they can help you be accountable.

James 5:16
Therefore, confess your sins one to another and pray one to another that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

2.) I feel a personal quiet time with the Lord is essential.

It’s hard for some of us to trust anyone, even God. Slowly, as you spend time with God, in His word, He will reveal His heart towards you. You will begin to see how much He does love you and how He cares about every part of your life. He never tires to hear about what’s going on in your life. He never slumbers. He is always available any time, day or night. That gives me great comfort knowing God is always there for me because so many people have let me down over the years. But God is always faithful.

3.) Sharing your story in a safe environment (such as our conference call) is therapeutic and condusive to healing.

It’s important for our healing that we can share our stories with others in a safe and loving environment without judgment. Once we do that, our secrets no longer have power over us.

Is there some part of your story you have not shared with others?

Now would be a good time to do that. If you cannot speak on the conference call, then write it down and email it to me at: arwsg4u2@gmail.com.

By sharing our stories with each other, we can pray and encourage each other on our healing journey. You are not alone; that is a lie from the devil.

4.) We must be willing to do the hard work.

I am constantly reading books to help me heal and facilitate a healing group where women feel loved and safe. Our learning, healing and equipping is an ongoing process that will continue until the day we see Jesus. God is still healing me when I allow Him and the Holy Spirit to speak truth into my life. I have to be consciously listening to Him. Speak to God all day long. He is listening and waiting for you to call out to Him.

If you do these four things, it will help you to be set free in every area of your life.

Are you willing to allow Jesus to take you by the hand and lead you on this healing journey?

I pray this has been helpful for you. Please reach out. We are waiting to hear from you. Please go to our contact page to get our email and phone number.

You are loved,

Read more of Toni's blogs HERE.


I became involved in My Ashes to Beauty ministry many years after my abortion. As I walked through the healing process of having an abortion, I realized how much of the decisions leading up to that very day had been affected by my childhood trauma, neglect and the sexual abuse I experienced. I knew in my heart I had to go all the way back, to allow God to start this healing process.

In the fall of 2020, I had an opportunity to join a group of warrior women in a sexual abuse bible study called “In the Wildflowers”, via Zoom. I did my part by watching the weekly videos, doing my homework and meeting every Monday night. I had never really done any work in this area of my life. I had shared my situations with others, including counselors but it had been dismissed. As I began my healing journey, I was able to recognize how the trauma of abuse had followed me into adolescence and adulthood. Prior to this study I had felt that worse things had happened to other girls and I needed to ‘suck it up ’and get over it. I felt that the abuse I had suffered was “normal” and, I had done something to cause it. I carried the shame and guilt of what others had done to me and owned their sickness for so many years!

In this study, I found help and encouragement from the ladies who I met with every week in my class. They gave me the strength I needed to get through this journey. When I did not have words or the ability to identify how I felt; they showed up with words to help me express my heart from the pain and grief. When I was angry and felt defeated, they prayed and spoke God’s truth into my life. We encouraged each other through text messages and email throughout the week and we loved on each other, helping each other through our painful journeys.

This bible study, the love and support I received allowed years of pain, shame and guilt to be washed away. I was able to surrender the burden of other people’s selfishness and God allowed me to be set free, from my past and He healed me.

Now I am sharing my redemption story so you can be set free and live a victorious life. God’s word promises to restore us. “So, I will restore to you the years that

the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewy locust, my great army which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25 NKJV) And that is exactly what He did for me and He’s waiting for you to start your healing journey of restoration.


Rhonda Bouchlas



From Shame to Victory (Part 5): Then Jesus Came to My Rescue

When I was a kid, my mom would take me and my brother to church where I heard about a man named Jesus. From what I was taught about Him, I thought he was supposed to protect me. But with everything that happened to me, I thought He had abandoned me like my parents did. I remember lying in bed, telling Jesus that if I was a good girl, could He make my daddy stop drinking and my mommy happy? It didn’t happen so; I gave up on Him.

After I left my husband, I kept coming back to that moment that I was willing to take his life and something stopped me. What stopped me? Who stopped me? I kept coming back to Jesus, ‘did You stop me Jesus?’ I began to seek and find out more about who Jesus really is.

I began listening to Moody Radio and all their programs. I needed a safe place to start. I listened faithfully and one-night Dr. James Dobson who I listened to regularly, once again, gave an invitation to receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. I got on my knees, prayed and received Jesus Christ as MY Lord and Savior. He loved me enough to die on the cross for me and He loved me enough to stop me from making the biggest mistake of my life. I am eternally grateful to Him.



Click Here to back to Rhonda’s Blog.


From Shame to Victory (Part 4): The Abuse Intensified in My Adulthood

Rhonda’s Story

Life carried on, I graduated high school and went to college. After I graduated, I met a man that I thought I was so in love with. He made me feel special, wanted, loved and beautiful. He seemed to be everything I had been looking for in a man. We got engaged after a short courtship and a year later we got married. Very shortly after that his demeanor changed. He started acting jealous, trying to control what I wore and getting in between my relationships with friends and family.

I don’t remember the first time he beat me; I just remember it didn’t stop after that. Every day he would get upset about something and beat me. He was a tall man and would grab me by my throat hold me off the ground until I passed out while punching me in the head. In the beginning, I would run into the bathroom and lock the door and hide in the shower. But he kicked the door open, and beat me in the shower. He then removed the bathroom door so I couldn’t hide in there again.

I remember running out of the of the house one freezing winter night in just my clothes and socks. It was so cold outside but I didn’t care! I ran and ran until I found a building to hide behind. I sat behind an Arby’s restaurant shaking and crying, thinking about what to do, who to call. Since I had cut off all ties with friends and family, there was no one. As I sat there shaking and crying, I realized I had no place to go so I got up and walked back to the house. He beat me and raped me that night, telling me it was my fault and that I made him do it.

The beatings and rapes continued until one night I stood chopping carrots in the kitchen getting dinner ready and he walked in. He was in a bad mood. I knew what was coming as his voice started escalating. I remember thinking what kind of life is this? I wanted to get married, be loved, have kids and a beautiful home. But here I was. I remember thinking, I would rather spend the rest of my life in jail for murder than live like this. It was like I had left my body and I was watching in slow motion; I took the knife I had in my hand raised my arm and spun around. I screamed at him ready to stab him and something stopped me, I came back to reality thinking I had just stabbed him, but something stopped me. I saw fear in his eyes for the first time. He never touched me again and it wasn’t long after that I left for good.

Part 5 Click Here.


From Shame to Victory (Part 3): My Miserable Teens

Rhonda’s Story

In my mid-teens, my view of myself became more distorted. I wanted to be wanted and I wanted to be loved. I turned to relationships, alcohol and drugs, and this left me feeling even more empty than I did before. I became very boisterous, very opinionated and I projected a false sense of security to hide how I really felt.

When I was 16 years old, I was intimately involved with an 18-year-old. We dated for over a year. When I tried to break up with him, he threatened to kill himself. Out of guilt, I remained in the relationship for a little while longer until I could figure out a way to break it off. I told him again I didn’t want to see him anymore, and he pulled a shotgun out and put it to his mouth and said if I broke up with him, he would kill himself. I took off running down the stairs of his apartment and he proceeded to chase me down the main street of the small town where I lived. As I ran down the street, I saw people I knew and screamed for help! I thought he was going to shoot me in the back. In fear, they turned and fled. I ran into the restaurant where I worked. I was hysterical and my boss grabbed and took me to the back of the restaurant. I told him what happened and he called my house and my brother came and got me.

A few weeks later when I was biking home after work, the boyfriend that I tried to break up with, grabbed me off my bike and chocked me as he told me he loved me and couldn’t live without me. I somehow broke free, grabbed my bike and raced home as fast as I could. I told my parents, and at first they seemed upset, but then they just dismissed it. And the ex-boyfriend that had frightened me so badly would call my mom and she would tell me he was sorry and to give him another chance. But I didn’t want anything to do with him. A few weeks later, I came home from work one night and saw him sitting in the basement drinking a beer with my dad. I was shocked! My dad looked at me and said, “Tony’s going teach me to play guitar!”


Part 4 Click Here.