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Instead of Shame Workbook


How to Write Your Testimony 

Your first Workbook assignment is to write your testimony. Condensing your life history into a short story that others can read in a matter of minutes requires a bit of courage, some humility, and a heavy hand on the editing. Keep it simple and honest. 

Take your time as you write your story. I don’t suggest that you try to finish this project in one day, one week, or even one month. You certainly don’t have to complete this assignment before continuing on to the next chapter. But allow yourself time for insight and reflection as you record your story, even as it continues to unfold. Your testimony an ongoing effort, subject to updates at any point in time. 

The rules: 

1. Start with your childhood and continue in chronological order of events. In this study, the focus is on childhood concerns. While you will want to touch on all the high points (and low ones too) of your entire life up to now, be sure to include your early years and the events which impacted your emotions, attitudes, and perceptions as a child. 

2. Do not concentrate on feelings. Don’t get hung up on disclosing all the details or expounding excessively on how you felt about an experience. A simple statement about what happened and how you reacted is sufficient. 

3. Try not to throw anyone under the bus. Respect others’ privacy, even if they have caused you tremendous hardship and pain. If you must state facts that put others in a bad light, you may wish to change the abuser’s name or relation to you—or perhaps not. Protect your own privacy as well. 

4. Focus on yourself. For example, another way to say, “My father abandoned me when I was in first grade,” might be, “I grew up in a single-parent household.” 

5. Write about what mattered. Give attention to those events and circumstances that made a mark, like turning points in time. 

6. Use discretion concerning delicate situations. You do not need to describe the details of certain traumatic events, such as sexual abuse. You don’t need to explain everything to the reader. This is just for you and will only be shared if you want to share it. 

7. Be real. Be as genuine and transparent as you can. 

I’m convinced that the best way to write your story is simply to begin. You don’t have to be a great writer to write your testimony. Even if you’re naturally good at writing and journaling, the following list can be used as a starting point to help you write your story. Add all information that you feel is important. 

  1. Where were you born?
  2. Tell about your family. Did you have both parents? Were your parents married, divorced?
    How many brothers and sisters did you have, and what was the birth order? If you didn’t
    have a family, then tell about that.
  3. Where did you live? City or country, apartment or house? Did you move around a lot?
  4. Describe your home life.
  5. Tell about your mom’s personality. What about your dad’s?
  6. How did you relate to your mom and dad? The rest of your family? How did you feel
    about your family?
  7. Where did you go to school? What kind of student were you? How did you interact with
    your classmates? Were you studious? Adventurous?
  8. Tell about the economics in your home growing up. Was your family rich, poor, or
    somewhere in between? Were your needs met?
  9. Was spirituality part of your childhood? Did you go to church? What kind of relationship
    with God did you have as a child and teenager?
  10. Tell about your friends. Did you make friends easily, have few friends, were you a loner?
    Did you have a lot of peer pressure, and how did you respond?
  11. What subjects interested you in school? Did you excel in anything? Sports? Music? Math?
  12. What was important to your family? What did your family do together for fun? What were they known for in the community? If you say “nothing,” that is fine.
  13. What was important to you? What were your dreams growing up?
  14. Was there a traumatic event or adverse childhood experience that changed you? Did it
    reoccur? (If not a specific event, was there a prevailing condition?) How did you
  15. How did you react when bad things happened to you? Did you experience abuse, neglect,
    or adverse childhood conditions? How did you cope with situations that were out of your
  16. Describe your teen years. Who/what was your most significant influence during that
  17. What did you do after high school? What were your plans for your life?
  18. What did you value the most as a young adult? Education, establishing a career, travel,
    romance? Starting a family? Partying? Money? Cars, boats, etc.? Feeling important?
    Ministry? Helping others?
  19. Describe your relationships throughout your adult life. Did you relate well with others?
    Were you needy? Did you feel you were being controlled or in control? Did you think
    other people liked you? Were you angry? Afraid? Outgoing? Shy?
  20. Did you develop any habits or destructive behaviors that you could not seem to break?
    (chemical dependencies, promiscuous behavior, serving as a doormat for others, chronic
    lying, criminal behavior, etc.) 
  21. What were the major turning points in your life, in your childhood?
  22. What has God done for you so far?
  23. Where are you in your life now? What are your greatest successes? What are your
    greatest frustrations? What is your greatest hope?
  24. Describe your current relationship with Jesus Christ.
  25. What do you see for your future? How did your past help to create a path for your future?

After each chapter, I offer some workbook questions to help review the key points from the chapter. You may find it useful to reread your testimony from time to time and review the progress you’re making there, in relation to the workbook questions. I suggest creating a separate journal or notebook where you can share your thoughts freely and think about the questions. Ask God to guide you in this journey and you can be assured that He will be with you every step of the way.



1.  This study is about the condition of the heart. TRUE/FALSE

2.  Write out Proverbs 4:23:

3.  “Dealing with issues from childhood doesn’t require that you disrespect your family.” 

Do you think you can talk about your childhood honestly without disrespecting or dishonoring anyone? How?

4.  This study is not about your parents, your grandparents, your relatives, or any other authority figures from your past. It’s about _____________.

5.  “Often, a negative impact is made on the mind of a child through seemingly ordinary situations that are less than traumatic.” 

Name three adverse childhood situations or conditions that are “less than traumatic” that could initiate a heart bondage. Circle any you experienced personally.

     1. ____________________________________

     2. ____________________________________

     3. ____________________________________

6.  Parental authority provides spiritual and emotional protection, much like a covering or __________________ provides a barrier or boundary to keep predators away.

7.  Do you believe you have a heart bondage? Explain.

8.  Describe what happened in your childhood to shape your life in a negative way. (Note: There may be more than one answer.)

9.  The enemy places bonds of shame and hopelessness on a damaged heart with:

     a. depression

     b. thoughts of suicide

     c. overwhelming guilt

     d. spiritual chains

10.  In Luke 4:1819, Jesus named FIVE THINGS He came to do. List them:

     1. ______________________________

     2. ______________________________

     3. ______________________________

     4. ______________________________

     5. ______________________________

11. What is the difference between GUILT and SHAME?

12.  Shame is about your IDENTITY, and it’s strongly associated with _____________________.


BONUS QUESTION: Heart bondages are more commonly found in:

     a. girls

     b. boys

     c. both—brokenness occurs in both genders equally.



1. Chains on the heart are made up entirely of _________. That does not mean, however, that a heart bondage is not real. It is very real, and it has very real ________________________.

2. Write out 2 Corinthians 10:45:

3. Shame is about your ____________, not your _________________.

4. Describe HOPELESSNESS. 

Have you experienced hopelessness in your life? YES/NO 

If so, explain.

5. “The desperate measures of hopelessness usually equate with poor decisions made with the detrimental influence of a heart bondage.” 

What poor decisions have you made because of emotional injury?

6. The primary purpose of a heart bondage is to attack:

     a. your finances

     b. your relationships

     c. your health

     d. your identity

7. “Within the mind of a bound person is an ongoing conflict, a constant dispute about their identity.”

Have you experienced that inner conflict which is a CONSTANT ARGUMENT about your identity? If so, how?

8. Why does the devil want to keep you from knowing who you are?

9. REJECTION is one person’s refusal to accept the personal authority of another. TRUE/FALSE


List five things associated with your own personal authority: (Ex: something about your personality, your talents, your position in your family, etc.) Note: These are things God says about you or assigned to you.

     1. ____________________________________________

     2. ____________________________________________

     3. ____________________________________________

     4. ____________________________________________

     5. ____________________________________________

11. Debbie says that when parents abuse or neglect a child, they are transferring their own fears and insecurities onto the child.

Have you seen this in your own life? If so, how?

12. Describe ISOLATION.

Have you experienced isolation? Explain.



Only ONE PERSON has the right to dictate identity. Who?



1. Every heart bondage works the same way. TRUE/FALSE

2. A heart bondage is applied 

     a. at the time of brokenness 

     b. years after the abuse, when the effects of brokenness appear 

     c. when the child grows up 

     d. none of the above 

     e. all of the above

3. What is the purpose of the DICTATES (or instructions) of a heart bondage?

4. The behavior patterns of a heart bondage are implemented in the form of THOUGHT PROCESSES—simply a ___________ _________ _______________. 

5. Generational curses guarantee susceptibility to continuing dysfunction in: 

     a. the community

     b. the church

     c. the family

     d. groups of friends

6. Do you see a generational curse in your own family? If so, describe it. (Note: Look for similar dysfunctional behavior among family members of different ages.)

7. “A bound person will lose the ability to control their behavior in specific areas.” 

Have you experienced this in your own life? If so, explain.

8. The dysfunction dictated by a heart bondage is perpetual and cannot be ___________________ until it’s broken. This fact alone is probably the most perplexing trait of a heart bondage.

9. “Broken people almost always attract broken people.”

Have you witnessed this in your own life or in the lives of people you know? Explain. 

10. Why does a heart bondage feel so natural, like your own thoughts?

11. “A heart bondage operates secretly.” 

How does a heart bondage stay a secret?

12. Most people are not upset to discover that they have a heart bondage. TRUE/FALSE



What is your reaction to your new knowledge about the heart bondage? Explain.



1. Write out John 10:10 below:


3. See the list of Serious Symptoms provided in this chapter. Have you sustained any of these lifestyle conditions or behavior patterns in your life, either now or in the past? If so, which ones? (Include any you have experienced that are not on the list provided.)

Cross through those conditions that are no longer a problem for you. 

Underline the ones with which you still struggle. 

Place a check by the ones you are currently working on.

Circle any that you thought were just a part of your personality.

4. The three big predictors of a heart bondage are shame, hopelessness, and:

     a. low self-worth

     b. drug-addiction

     c. codependent behavior

     d. sexual promiscuity

     e. none of the above 

5. Many Serious Symptoms are obviously “bad” behavior. But some Serious Symptoms appear to be desirable personality traits. Name three below and circle any you’ve practiced. 

6. “Self-sacrifice without boundaries is a common Symptom of a heart bondage.” 

Does this sentence describe anyone you know? Who? Explain.

7. What is the difference between a temporary bout and a lifestyle condition?

8. What can happen when a person gets stuck in the Serious Symptoms? 

Has this ever happened to you? To someone you know? Describe what happened.

9. “The chains are there to impose the Symptoms, but they don’t actually touch the heart of the bound person.” 

Why is this good news? 

10. Once the heart bondage is broken, and the band falls away, what happens to the chains? 

Does this give you hope? Why?

11. “Although the presence of a heart bondage does promote negative thought patterns, every person is ultimately responsible for their own behavior.” 

Explain why we are NOT VICTIMS.

Can you take responsibility for your own mistakes? YES/NO

12. The effects of the Serious Symptoms can be significantly reduced by living in obedience to: 

     a. the law

     b. church rules

     c. what parents say

     d. the Word of God



Those who exhibit Serious Symptoms almost always have a heart bondage. TRUE/FALSE



1. What is a SIMPLE STRONGHOLD? Give three examples.

2.    “All strongholds don’t have to be from the devil.” Why not?

3.    Anyone can create a simple stronghold, even those who don’t have a heart bondage. TRUE/FALSE

4.    What are the three main distinctions between a HEART BONDAGE and a SIMPLE STRONGHOLD?

     1. ___________________________________

     2. ___________________________________

     3. ___________________________________

5.    In the Workbook assignment for Chapter 5, Serious Symptoms, Question #3, you made a list of Serious Symptoms you’ve experienced in your life. Now return to that list and note the age you were when you began exhibiting the behavior associated with each of those Symptoms.

6.    A simple stronghold of gambling will result in a ___________ habit.

7.    As a student of freedom, you will recognize simple strongholds as the ___________________ ___________________ of a heart bondage.

8.    A heart bondage is the progenitor of simple strongholds. TRUE/FALSE

9.    “All heart bondages are exactly the same.” 

What is the only thing that differentiates one heart bondage from another?

10.    Why does it APPEAR that there are many different kinds of heart bondages?

11.    A heart bondage is a wicked spiritual device with chains of shame and hopelessness, and its function is to rob a person of their true God-given ________________________.

12.    Understanding a heart bondage is:

     a. uncomplicated

     b. uncomplicated

     c. uncomplicated

     d. all of the above



Refer to your list of personal Serious Symptoms (See Question #5). Which of these tend to run in your family? Could these be a manifestation of a generation curse?



1.  Write out Colossians 1:13-14:

2.  What does the Apostle Paul say we should do about strongholds?

3.  Which of the following is a stronghold?

     a. alcoholism

     b. drug addiction

     c. low self-worth

     d. a heart bondage

     e. all of the above

4.  What is the difference between a heart bondage and other strongholds?

5.  “Spiritual freedom and emotional freedom are two different things.” Why?

6.  Every person is composed of three parts:

     1. ________________________________

     2. ________________________________

     3. ________________________________

7.  The soul, or the heart, is the location of all spiritual battles. That’s why it’s called the ________________________.

8.  “The soul is where the heart bondage and all simple strongholds are attached.”

Why is this important?

9.  Events which are spiritual in nature flow through the:

     a. spirit region

     b. body

     c. soul (the mind, will, and emotions)

     d. all of the above

10.  Write out Romans 12:2:

11.  The soul region (the mind, will, and emotions) is naturally carnal (unspiritual) by nature, but it can be trained in spiritual matters. TRUE/FALSE

12.  “We need salvation in more than just one area. The spirit is transformed at salvation, but the soul must be transformed as well.”

What does it mean to TRANSFORM your mind? Why is it necessary?



We need to learn to think like __________________ thinks.



1.  What is a POWER ENCOUNTER?

2.  What is a TRUTH ENCOUNTER?

3.  The flow of the anointing comes through the spirit region, not the soul, where the heart bondage and all simple strongholds are located. TRUE/FALSE

4.  Write out John 8:3132:

5.  There is unparalleled power in the truth of God’s _________.

6.  How does one outgrow a heart bondage?

7.  A heart bondage cannot affect or change:

     a. your true identity

     b. your salvation

     c. your God-given gifts and talents

     d. your anointing

     e. your potential for success and achievement

     f. all of the above

8.  Why does the devil try to alter a person’s PERCEPTION of their own identity? 

9.  “Many sincere Christians have served God faithfully with a heart bondage intact. Teachers, deacons, praise leaders, Spirit-filled believers, Sunday school teachers, even pastors—people in every area of the church community—can and do have heart bondages.” 

How is this possible?

10.  Do you believe there is an anointing on your life? Explain.

11.  A heart bondage is nondiscriminatory, and it makes no distinction between people. That includes both men and women, rich and poor, all races, and all communities. TRUE/FALSE

12.  Why is it important that we understand the devil’s tactics?



“Remaining in a bound condition is not a viable option.” 

Explain why this is true, and what it means to you.



1.  What is a TESTIMONY?

2.  Write out Revelation 12:11 below:

3.  According to the above scripture (Question #2), there are TWO ELEMENTS involved in overcoming. They are:

     1. ______________________________________________

     2. ______________________________________________

4.  Your story can bless and encourage others even when you know God isn’t finished with you yet.  TRUE / FALSE

5.  God wants us to need and interact with other people because He is a God of _____________________ and ______________________.

6.  Write out Hebrews 10:24-25 below:

7.  To share your story effectively, you should wait until: 

     a.  you get baptized 

     b.  you are perfect 

     c.  you get your act together 

     d.  you are dead 

     e.  none of the above

8.  Whose testimony have you read/heard that has encouraged and touched you significantly? (Someone you actually know, or someone you’ve met. Not a celebrity.) Why?

9.  God can use your testimony, even when:

     a.  you’re still struggling and don’t know how things are going to turn out

     b.  you’re not an expert

     c.  you’re not a spiritual leader

     d.  you think your story is boring or not very dramatic

     e.  all of the above

10.  What objections come to mind when you think about using your story to encourage others?

How can you overcome these objections?

11. If you were to share your story with others, what do you think would happen?   

12.  “The process in The Freedom Class works because it’s God’s way all the way.” 

Why is it important that we seek emotional freedom GOD’S WAY?


BONUS QUESTION: Copy this sentence:

I can use Debbie’s story as an example to receive my own freedom. What God did for her, He will do for me.



1.  See Ephesians 6:10-18. List the seven pieces of the Full Armor of God below:

     1. ____________________________________________

     2. ____________________________________________

     3. ____________________________________________

     4. ____________________________________________

     5. ____________________________________________

     6. ____________________________________________

     7. ____________________________________________

2.  In Ephesians, 6, the warrior represents the _______________.

3.  The Full Armor of God serves the purpose of: 

     a.  protecting the believer 

     b.  maturing the believer 

     c.  strengthening the believer 

     d.  all of the above

4.  The methods and schemes of the devil are unseen to the natural eye, so most people are unaware that they even exist. TRUE / FALSE

5.  Satan’s attack against people are:

     a.  haphazard

     b.  unplanned

     c.  coincidental

     d.  strategic

6.  Putting on the Full Armor of God means to be fully armed with the ___________________.

7.  Knowing a lot of scripture IS/IS NOT enough to win the victory over the enemy’s tactics.

8.  “Ephesians 6 gives us an illustration of dressing ourselves in spiritual garments. It’s a picture of application.”  

Why must we put on the Full Armor in the order given?

9.  When you’ve lost confidence in yourself, you can renew your faith in God. TRUE / FALSE

10.  When you outgrow the identity crisis, you will outgrow the _____________________ ________________________.

11.  Why is the Sword of the Spirit the last piece of Armor mentioned?

12.  Write this sentence below:  “Spiritual and emotional growth take time. I will give myself the time I need to embrace the process.”



The Freedom Class details putting on the Full Armor of God to attain lasting emotional freedom through spiritual and emotional growth.  

Why do you think EMOTIONAL GROWTH is necessary?  Why not just SPIRITUAL GROWTH?



1.  From the time Jesus began His ministry until the time He ascended back into Heaven, Jesus talked about the ___________, the __________________, the __________________.

2.  Write out Matthew 6:33 below:

3.  Every kingdom has:

     a.  a king/queen

     b.  territory

     c.  citizens/subjects

     d.  a constitution

     e.  laws

     f.  all of the above

4.  What is Spiritual Law #1?

5.  What is Spiritual Law #2?

6.  Write out Luke 17:20-21 below:

7.  According to the above verse (Question #6), what did Jesus mean when He said that the Kingdom of God is within you? 

8. By studying the Bible, we can learn: 

     a.  God’s way of doing things 

     b.  what God has done 

     c.  what is important to God 

     d.  what God likes and dislikes 

     e.  what the Lord demands from His children 

     f. what God purposes for His people 

     g.  all of the above

9. Write out Ephesians 6:12 below:

10. “Satan desires to see the culture of hell manifested on the Earth.” 

What evidence of this can you see in our world today?

11. The kingdom of darkness is not and never was _____________ to the Kingdom of God.

12. “More than anything else you will ever do or become in your life, you are primarily a KINGDOM BUILDER.” 

Why do you think the devil wants you for his kingdom?



What can you do TODAY to expand the Kingdom of God on the Earth?



1.    In the spiritual realm, there is no neutral ground.  You must choose between kingdoms.  TRUE / FALSE

2.     Write out Spiritual Law #3:

3.    Describe a FREE MORAL AGENT.

4.    To function in the Kingdom of God effectively, one must be a willing __________________.

5.    Write out Deuteronomy 30:19:

6.     In the scripture above (Question #5), the two choices God gave the Israelites  were             __________________________ or _______________________________.            

7.     “God granted the gift of choice to all humanity, knowing that people might use it for all the wrong reasons.” 

Have you ever used your gifts/talents/anointing for the wrong reasons? If so, explain. 

How can you change that to building the Kingdom of God?

8.    The devil wants to keep God’s children confused: 

     a.  just till they grow up 

     b.  as long as they are serving God 

     c.  until they turn 40 

     d.  throughout their lifetime

9.     Write this sentence:  I can choose the abundant life because I have the power of choice.

10.  Attaining emotional freedom involves spiritual warfare. TRUE / FALSE

11.  Write out 2 Corinthians 10:3-5:

12.  According to the above scripture (#11), the weapons of our warfare are for:

     a.  pulling down strongholds 

     b.  casting down arguments 

     c.  bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ 

     d.  all the above



Why are you a personal threat to the devil?



1.     All your problems in life are not due to issues from childhood.  TRUE / FALSE

 2.    God Himself doesn’t seem to put much stock in feelings. Our God is an action God who says _______ and _______, not if you feel like it.

3.    To successfully complete The Freedom Class, you should be concerned about: 

     a.  how long it takes 

     b.  what other people think about it 

     c.  your comfort level 

     d.  being offended by the material 

     e.  none of the above

4.    If it’s _________________________, it’s probably not God.

5.    Our ability to make decisions is one way we are most like God.  TRUE / FALSE

6.    When if comes to your life, God will:

     a.  let you make the call

     b.  make the decision for you

     c.  get other people to decide

     d.  wait and see what happens

     e.  none of the above

7.  Have you ever made any decisions about your life that you knew the Lord did not approve?  List up to three below:

     1.  _____________________________________

     2.  _____________________________________

     3.  _____________________________________

8.   Write out Matthew 18:18:

9.    Do you believe God wants you to experience emotional freedom? Explain.

10.   Write this sentence below:  I can trust that God, the Maker of my soul, knows what it takes to bring victory to my situation and set me free from emotional bondage.

11.   God is the God of:

     a.  a second chance

     b.  a third chance

     c.  a fourth chance

     d.  another chance

12.   God’s way of doing things is the only way of doing things.  TRUE/FALSE



Perhaps you know someone who may receive hope through this book and Debbie’s message of emotional freedom. Do you think you can share it with them? If so, complete the sentence below.

I can share this book with:  ___________________________________________________. 


Attaining Emotional Freedom...God's Way!

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