Take No Prisoners I have a great Dad. When I was a little girl I looked forward to going to his boot repair shop so I could hang out with him all day long. I remember him being very busy, but never too busy to talk to me as he worked. One thing he told me on a regular basis was “take no prisoners”. His words keep coming back to me as I think about the recovery process that I went through as a betrayed spouse. I have begun to see my marriage with Wayne as a union that the enemy wants to steal, kill, and destroy. If you will allow me, I would like to show you a picture of how I saw this played out. When I discovered Wayne’s betrayals I received a very deep heart wound that required healing in a spiritual and emotional ICU. While I was receiving this intensive care, the enemy did not wait patiently outside the door for me to get up and continue fighting for my heart and marriage. No sir. He sent in his own little band of visitors. One that came to visit me was Fear. Another was Insecurity. Not long after that Shame slithered in and tried to set up camp. Control was tricky. He pulled up a chair like a long lost friend and told me that together we could make sure I would never be hurt again. Blame must have snuck quietly in while I was sleeping, because when I woke up he was talking fast and pointing his knobby finger at the door. At one point I thought I saw Strength walk through the door. She told me I didn’t need anyone, and that I would be fine on my own. But the closer she got to me, the stranger she appeared, until finally she made it to the side of my bed, where I realized that she wasn’t Strength after all. She was just a well-disguised Alone. When I looked into her eyes I could tell that she was friends with Bitterness and Anger. As I looked around my figurative ICU room I eventually recognized that these were not friendly well-wishers at all, and I began to feel uncomfortably crowded. I had already seen through Alone’s disguise, so she was the first to go. It was clear to me that I had done nothing to put myself in that room, so I sent Shame away without much of a fight. Control just didn’t feel right to me, so I sent him out next. That left me with Fear, Insecurity, and Blame. They quickly backed into the far corner, looking at the floor as they went. I foolishly took this as a sign that they were no longer a threat, so I rolled over and ignored them. Over time, I no longer needed to be in the intensive care unit, so I was moved to a general care room. I vaguely remember noticing my three visitors slinking along behind us in the hall. It was a few months later when I began to notice a sense of weariness in my spirit. I felt depressed and angry, but I wasn’t sure why. By then my life seemed to be going in a positive direction. Wayne and I were making lots of progress in our recovery. Our boys were healthy and happy. So what was all this negative emotion about? I looked down at my hands and saw three heavy chains in them. At the ends of each chain stood Fear, Insecurity, and Blame. Because I had not sent them away at the beginning, they had become my prisoners, and I in turn had become theirs. The weight of dragging them around with me had worn me out. Cutting those prisoners loose and sending them away was quite a battle. It was long and hard, because the whole time I had been dragging them around they had quietly been recruiting Bitterness and Anger. Somehow in all our travels I had become tangled in their chains. As hard as it was to release them, I am glad that I did, because now I am free to enjoy the rest of my journey without their weight dragging me down. Living free of these prisoners is the only way I have been able to walk in victory in my battle to protect my heart. Clearly, this is partly a figurative story… But while I did not see these visitors with my physical eyes I felt their presence in my life just as strongly as if I had. The journey towards healing is hard enough without trying to drag prisoners along with us. So tell me, have you been dragging prisoners behind you? Have you found yourself tangled up in their chains and become their prisoner as well? Have they been there so long that they have begun to feel like friends, or perhaps even a part of you? Maybe you have recognized the trap that they set and sent them on their way? Please share your story. I would love to hear it.