The Seed of Hope

A gift for tomorrow

and into the Light.

Once in every life there comes a time

We walk out all alone and into the light


Two weeks I had the absolute honor and blessing of being an Anointer at a LIFE (Living in Freedom Everyday) retreat that was being held at Church of The Highlands here in Birmingham. The two day retreat was the culmination of a twelve week small group program that was designed to help people rid themselves of emotional “baggage” that they’d being carrying around for months, years, and in some instances, lifetimes.


The retreat was divided into four sessions, with two specific target areas within each of the four sessions. The “affairs of the heart and mind” in these areas included, among others, forgiving, being forgiven, greed, and shame. Again, my role in the retreat was that of an Anointer. I was one of a team of sixty or seventy people whose purpose was to pray for an individual to be released from his particular burden, or as the case may be, burdens.


It was the first session of the second day…

The focus was on being released from the emotional scarring that was the result of being abused (mentally and physically), molested, raped, etc.  Quite obviously, this retreat is not for the faint of heart, but then again, if you want real freedom, you have to face these types of issues to get it.

So this guy, (whom I’ll call Frank) probably in his early forties, comes up to me for prayer. In an attempt to “loosen things up,” I shook his hand, told him my name, and with a smile on my face asked, “So brother, what’s on your heart?”

His answer, and his matter-of-fact demeanor in giving it, momentarily sent my mind reeling…

“All of it. I was abused. I was molested. I was taken advantage of. All of this happened when I was a child.”

As he was telling me this, he never looked away. Not once. Even as he was groping for just the right words, he never looked away. This poor man had been carrying this terrible burden all of those years, and his boldness in sharing the hurt with me, a total stranger, let me know that he was ready for freedom.

As I looked into Frank’s eyes and listened to the outpouring of his heart, I felt his pain. But I felt something else than was equal to, and perhaps an even greater burden than the painful memories of what he had endured.

Guilt and Shame

Somehow and at some time, probably when he was still in his youth, Frank had claimed not only the guilt for what happened to him but the shame that accompanied that guilt.

Even as I was talking to Frank, I was reflecting on the guilt and shame that I had carried around for years. No, I wasn’t abused, molested, or anything of that nature. My baggage was the result of things that I’d willfully done to myself and to others throughout the years; the years before I had my spiritual awakening in 2006.

If you’re a new visitor, and if you’re curious, I’ll go ahead and tell you that I wasn’t an evil person before I was born again. But then, I was no saint. At some time in my life, I had either literally or biblically broken every one of the Ten Commandments. (According to God’s Word, if you’ve committed murder in your mind, you’ve committed murder. The same can be said for lustful thoughts, envy, etc. You get what I’m saying, right?) And with every one of those broken Commandments, large and small, the pile began to grow, and with it came even more shame and guilt.

In Frank’s case, I really believe that he’d gotten beyond the majority of the pain from his experiences long ago. It’s my belief that either he’d never been aware of his shame and misplaced guilt, or no one had ever confronted him with it as openly as I had.  


I want to share with you what I told Frank that day before I prayed with him, and it was drawn, not from what he had shared with me, but from my own experience…

Several months had passed since my awakening, and I found myself drawing closer and closer to God. I had a desire to know and experience Him, and that desire quickly gave way to hunger, which ultimately became a passion. To be honest with you, “along the way” I was addicted to cigarettes for thirty years and cocaine for a year and a half, and I’ll tell you here and now that neither of them came close to the addiction that I have for God and His presence in my life.

As I was growing “in Him” I knew that there was a problem; one that had to be addressed. You see, I had apologized to God for the things that I had done wrong in my life. I had asked Him for forgiveness, and I believed that I had indeed been forgiven. The next step, which I believe to be an obstacle for many of us, was to forgive myself for all the things that I’d done. That was a big one. I thought that I was home free…


Do you remember reading or hearing the story of Adam and Eve, and how they hid from God after they’d eaten the forbidden fruit? Or maybe there was a time when you had done something wrong, and you’d hid from your parents? Perhaps there a time when you got caught in a lie, or in an embarrassing situation, and you just wanted to go hide under a rock? You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? You wanted to remain unseen and unnoticed, in the shadows.

That’s what happened to me with God! I believed with all that was in me that He had forgiven me and that I had for the most part, if not completely, forgiven myself. But I was still hiding in the shadows.

I remember the first time that I stepped out of the shadows and into God’s light. I’d been praying about it for days, asking the Holy Spirit to fill me with enough courage. Looking back on it now, I don’t know that it was fear that I was trying to overcome as much as it was simply believing that I was worthy of standing in God’s light. I just couldn’t get past myself.

And maybe, just maybe, my old adversary Satan didn’t want me stepping out into the light. I believe he knew that when I finally did, my relationship with God would reach another level. He wasn’t wrong.


I’m telling you, just like I told my new friend Frank, that God knows what’s in your heart. If you’re truly sorry, and you ask Him for forgiveness, it’s done. Just like that. You’re forgiven. The slate is wiped clean. Jesus already paid the price for your transgressions. All that you have to do is ask.

And then, in your mind’s eye, you step out from the shadows and into the brightest light that you’ve ever seen. It’s God’s love. It’s His Grace, and His Forgiveness, and I promise you that it’s unlike anything that you ever have, or ever will experience. Ever. I promise. Get past yourself, and Satan’s tricks, and step out into the light. God’s light.

Because we believe.

I leave you today with a few verses from Because We Believe, a song recorded by Andrea Bocelli. I cry every time I listen to it, not only because of what it says, but because it was God’s plan for me to hear it for the first time the day that I stepped out into the light.

                Once in every life there comes a time

                We walk out all alone and into the light

                The feeling won’t last but then

                We remember it again

                When we close our eyes


                Like stars across the sky

                We were born to shine

                All of us here because we believe


Go ahead. Say a prayer, take a deep breath, and step out into God’s light. It’s where you belong. You’ll be glad that you did.








jeff revis wrote on 05/25/11 7:02 PM

sam , thanks again for another inspiring and wonderful news that comes from God's word and your heart.
Natalie Elrod wrote on 05/25/11 11:39 PM

Oh, I love it!! Thanks for sharing!!!
Katie wrote on 05/26/11 1:12 AM

I got baptized Sunday. It was stepping into the light and letting God's glory shine on me like nothing else I have ever experienced. Not the baptism itself, but the fact that being identified with Him, now I can have NO shame or guilt, and "my story" is how I got there, not who I am now - a precious daughter of the Most High God! Thanks for sharing the truth about His light and how when it shines on me, He is reflected. It was a blessing to read in this time of letting God do just that in and through me. Miss you! Love you very much!
Susie Mc Sellers wrote on 05/26/11 2:04 PM

Thank you for your post Sam. I am so happy God gave you the honor to serve on the anointing team at the LIFE retreat. I know it was an unforgettable experience. The song that came to my mind reading this was the one we used to sing at Highlands...RUN INTO HIS MARVELOUS LIGHT with this video... Love and Smiles...Blessings for a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend!
CC wrote on 05/31/11 8:53 PM

Well Sam I know that feeling when I asked God to forgive me for not being a good mother. I know he forgave me but it took me a while for me to know it. Satan keep telling me that I was a terrible mother. But going having to go to LIFE training I finally got it and went thru the light. Satan still try but I won't let him. You are such a blessing for us, God knew where you need it to be. Love you & Jackie

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