By Caleb Cameron
Yana and Glenn
Yana was living in Germany, trying to piece her life back together after an abusive relationship. Glenn was in the Canadian military, where he mostly tried to escape his guilt and childhood wounds by dampening his feelings with alcohol and porn. Alcohol was Yana’s way to cope too, going nightly to the clubs, hoping to find a good man who would love her. Glenn spent decades not knowing how to have healthy relationships with women, yet praying that God would bring him a wife; someone to love him for who he was.
The nagging voice of shame told them that they were too dirty to be accepted, too broken to be loved. “You hide when you’re doing something wrong. You close the door,” Glenn says.
When God opened a door for them to meet in a small restaurant in Germany, they saw each other as an answer to prayer. While they were dating, they wanted to learn together who Jesus really is. Change began in their lives once they pursued repentance, and began to put their trust in Jesus. “I fell on my knees at home, crying out to God to help me. I couldn’t do it by myself. I tried, but I just felt even more pain and guilt,” Yana says. “But through Freedom Session, I really came to understand who God is. He cleaned all my life: my past, present, and future. I now know who I am.”
In embracing the identity of being loved by Jesus, they were finally able to find release from years of shame. The truth was, they weren’t good enough on their own to free themselves from the weight of the past. It was only through the goodness of Jesus towards them on the cross, and accepting the gift of his righteousness, that they experienced the clean hearts they longed for. This perfect love also provided a means for their love towards each other to grow.
Today, Yana and Glenn are excited to be growing in their love and knowledge of Jesus at Village. They feel compelled to help other people who are facing similar challenges and they are excited to be leading a Community Group together. “God prepared us for a special purpose. He helped us so to help other broken people,” Yana says. After recovering from a recent battle with lung cancer, Glenn feels God calling him to be a Freedom Session facilitator.
On God’s work in his life, he says, “During my cancer, I had peace that no matter the outcome, whether I was to pass away or keep on living, God was there. God had control. And for the first time in my life, that really felt good. In my old life, there was no control. I didn’t have any hope, anywhere to go, anything to do. And now I know I’m somebody. I belong to Christ. And I mean something to him.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Freedom Session, click here.