Freedom

God’s desire for us is to walk in wholeness that encompasses every facet of our lives. It is no secret that as believers we still face the trials of this world. We still live in a fallen, broken world. In fact, Jesus even forewarns us in scripture, “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). The hope we hold is found in the latter half of that verse. Jesus has overcome the world, and as his followers, we have unmerited access to walk in the fullness of freedom now!


Here at Celebration Church, we are advocates and champions of seeing Christ-followers walk in complete wholeness and freedom. We believe that a life of complete wholeness is possible. No matter what you have done, have not done, or what has been done to you, total wholeness and freedom is your portion in Jesus Christ.


We love to hear stories of healing and wholeness. When we share our testimonies of life-change, we experience a level of redemption in motion, the enemy of our soul loses territory, and ultimately, God gets the glory.


Reghan Sweeney has served on staff at Celebration Church for over three years. She has a heart for people, missions, and leading others into freedom in Christ. Today, we want share her story of radical wholeness through the healing power of Jesus with you.


“I came on staff at Celebration in April 2017, and with the new added pressures and stress of learning vocational ministry, being a full-time student, and honestly, just being 21 and learning to navigate my first steps into adulthood was very hard on me. I had gone through an episode of depression two times prior but knew this was much worse this time. I wasn’t myself, and I was finding just enough strength to get up and show up each day. I did what anyone else would do when they are relying on their own strength; I decided I just needed to do more, then I would be happy. I got my dream job, dream car, dream life. This should be the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. Instead, it was the exact opposite. I was exhausted from balancing being a full-time student/vocational employee. I was a mess. I was broken. Then it hit. I am in another episode of depression. How can that be? I have everything I have ever wanted. Why am I depressed now? I went to meet with a care pastor and told her I thought I was depressed. I was scared. What will people think of me? I’m on a church staff and feel depressed. She, as a pastor, gave me her blessing to go to the doctor, and this is where my journey began.


In April of 2017, I went to the doctor and she agreed I was struggling with depressive symptoms. I had gained a lot of weight, I was sleeping all the time, my skin was a mess and so were my moods. She prescribed me medication, and for months I did nothing. I sat numb; unable to move forward, no will in me to try and change. I was just trying to survive. I saved all my energy to get through 9-5, and I would just go home, sleep, and be upset. No one wanted to be around me. I was miserable. I was losing and pushing people away who loved me. It was the night of my 22nd birthday, I decided something had to change. A mentor of mine suggested that I begin seeing a therapist. I emailed a therapist and took the first pill that same night.


The next day, I sat in my therapist’s office for the first time and began a year-long journey of sitting on that couch and mourning my unmet expectations, disappointments, and childhood wounds I had no idea were so deep. It was ugly, messy, and got a lot worse before it got better. I was healing and feeling better every day.


In March of 2018, I came off medication and continued weekly therapy with the fog lifted. I now was able to keep moving forward in my healing without medication.


Accepting therapy and medication was very hard for me. I grew up in the Church, and some well-meaning people had convinced me that if I couldn’t lay it down at the altar the first time and be healed from it, it was my relationship with God that was the problem. I would go down to the altar every week and believe in faith that God would just take this from me, and I could go on with my life. I personally know people God has done that for and I celebrate with them for their radical, instant healing, but God had a different healing journey for me. It was a “renew your mind daily” kind of healing. It was a “you have no strength to carry this alone and every day we are going to lift the emotional and spiritual weight to help you gain muscle” kind of healing. God invited me on a journey of healing that didn’t just tackle the spiritual, but all the parts of me. God was inviting my body, mind, will, emotions, and spirit to all heal, and I can truly say now I wouldn’t change a thing about my journey because I hadn’t just learned coping mechanisms; I was healed.


I stopped regular therapy sessions in January of 2019. I felt like therapy had done all the things it needed to do, and I was feeling healthy. I was not identifying myself as depressed anymore, but I was still saying things like “I struggle with depression.” I still wasn’t confessing “I have been healed from depression”, and I knew my journey with it wasn’t over. I also knew I loved God but felt disappointed in him. I loved him and didn’t want to be far from him, but it was also hard to want to be intimate with him. I felt alone on this journey, and though I was willing to walk the long process of healing, part of me believed He didn’t love me as much as the people He radically healed in an instant. I kept doing everything I knew to do. I corrected my bad thoughts, sat in church, read God’s word. There was still a disconnect, but I committed to keep searching for him and giving my best.
In order to stay healthy mentally, I knew physically something needed to change. I started eating better, working out, lost weight and felt the best I have felt physically in a long time. In all the areas of my life I could control, I was working the muscles and doing everything I could to stay healthy, but I still felt like there was more healing for me.


I heard people talk about the new 21 Days to Total Freedom curriculum but I was hesitant to go through it. What would people think of me? I don’t want it to be this big, dramatic, emotion-driven thing. Honestly, deliverance and demons freaked me out. I didn’t know my authority yet, and after working so hard to feel like I was in a good headspace and place with my life, the last thing I wanted to do was feel like a mess again. But I felt the Holy Spirit’s invitation that there was greater for me.


The word God had given me for the year of 2019 was “greater.” And no, it didn’t mean I was going to have a year that was awesome where nothing bad was going to happen, but greater, in the sense that he would become greater in me and I would become less. I decided to step out of my self-preservation and fears and try to restore my relationship and intimacy with the Lord. I was tired of going through the motions. I wanted a radical, deep, greater relationship with God. I wanted wholeness and to not feel compartmentalized. I started 21 Days to Total Freedom in August of 2020, and man, did God show out.


The curriculum was so affirming and empowering. Every day I was learning ways to take my God-given spiritual authority over things I thought “just happened” in this fallen world. I was growing every day. Jesus was speaking, I started having dreams again, a deeper awareness of his presence, and a new hope for my relationship with the Lord to finally be stirred afresh. I was excited about learning all these things.


During the freedom process, the leaders invite you to sign up for an inner-healing prayer session, and I reluctantly signed up. I was scared. What if I open up about how I’m feeling only to feel misunderstood? What if God doesn’t speak? Would I rather keep my relationship with the Lord how it is now or risk disappointment to possibly have renewed hope? I took the risk and had my first prayer session.


We repented and renounced the things God revealed to me in my prayer session off my life, and I instantly felt lighter. Where I thought God wasn’t wanting to use me, he was really waiting for me to come to him. He was actually waiting for me to surrender and allow him to use me and come into alignment with the supernatural power the Holy Spirit has for us.


I scheduled a second prayer session shortly after I had my second prayer session, and I knew I wanted to pray through disappointments. Having gone to therapy, I knew that depression was rooted in prolonged disappointment and undealt with trauma. I felt like I had worked through the traumas of my childhood, but still felt as if I was carrying a level of disappointment that I believed God had let happen. It was hard to understand because I had served God my whole life. We started the prayer session talking about my disappointments. My heart had been hardened toward hearing from God because I believed he wasn’t speaking to me about the things I wanted to speak about, my deepest hopes, dreams and desires. I was disappointed because I felt like my whole life I had done the right things, yet God didn’t hold up to his “end of the bargain.” Bad theology = bad expectations = disappointment. We prayed and asked God to show me what my heart looked like. I saw a tennis racket that they were trying to pour water into. Obviously, a tennis racket can’t hold water. In other words, I had no ability to receive love. The prayer leaders asked me to speak out all of my disappointments, and man, was it a list. After listing all the times I felt that God wasn’t there, they had me ask God to show me where he was in those situations, and boy, did he. It was like he took me on a video montage of every time I was disappointed in the people in my life or even in him. I saw him at graduations, theater performances, birthday parties, soccer games, he was in all these places throughout my life. He looked so proud of me at all of them. It was beautiful. Then they lead me through a repentance prayer, and I renounced all the judgments and false beliefs I had towards God.


I always knew I could come to Jesus whenever I needed him, but it was different now, Jesus could come to me when he pleased because we are attached to one another! I have taken on HIS yoke. I don’t want to do this alone anymore. I want to do this with Jesus. I felt so loved, wanted, and understood. I’m doing ministry with Jesus.


Ironically, that the morning of this prayer session, I was walking into work and typing a text to a care partner explaining all my reasons why I will not be going to my freedom prayer session that night. I was praying and said to the Lord, “God, I’m tired of being the crazy girl. I’m always in someone’s office asking for help, whether it be a therapist, doctor, mentor, or pastoral counselor. I’m just over it. when will this be over?” God very clearly respond to me that day. He said, “You’re not crazy. You’re pursuing radical wholeness, and that’s not going to make sense to everyone.”


I truly feel like that’s where I am today. On a daily journey of radical wholeness. I wanted to seal this journey and my healing. I was no longer disappointed, depressed, or experiencing trauma-induced anxiety episodes. I was broken, and now I am healed. God lifted my head and carried me through a two-year journey of radical wholeness. It was time to celebrate! I got baptized the next day and made an outward expression of this radical wholeness and new covenant I had joined into. I really have become less, and God has become greater. I am healed.


I could go on even longer about every word he spoke through this two-year journey, but just know this, I am healed and radical wholeness is worth the abandonment of self-preservation. Losing my life to gain Jesus has been 100% worth it – every single time.”


We are meant to live lives of wholeness, abundance, and freedom! John 10:10 tells us, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” Through Jesus, we have the opportunity to not only come into covenant with our God, but to also walk in blood-bought freedom NOW! Radical wholeness is free and available to us on this side of eternity, and even more than that, God desires for us to live radically whole lives that glorify him.


We encourage you to begin walking out your own journey to total wholeness and freedom. We know that true freedom can only be found in Jesus. The 21 Day Total Freedom Journey with Pastor Jimmy Evans course was created to help believers break down every wall and stronghold that hinders a life of total freedom. In this powerful three-week workshop, we learn how to gain freedom from anxiety, fear, and the burdens of your past. We learn how to tear down unhealthy thought patterns and replace them with the truth of God’s word. Discover a path from brokenness to blessing.


Register for TODAY for the 21 Day Total Freedom Journey at www.celebration.org/resources. Healing, wholeness, and freedom ARE possible!
God is for YOU!