Those People

Have you ever stared across the room and wondered why you couldn’t be more like “those people”? Sometimes we get inside our own head and stir up emotions that we cannot seem to shake. I say this with raw honesty. Just over 11 years ago, I was at the lowest, darkest point in my life. I still remember it like it was yesterday.

I can remember feeling like it was impossible to be ‘normal’. There was a time in my life when I was so broken, so lost, so empty…all I could do was breathe from second to second. I was so filled with shame, remorse, sadness, and emptiness, that I wanted it all to go away. My mind would not shut off. I contemplated ending my life. I used alcohol to numb the deep emotional brokenness. I turned away from God, my family, from everyone and everything. I reclused into a shell and buried every emotion so deeply within, that even I could not make sense of it all. The enemy had control.

Then, I made a decision one day. I made a choice. I bowed my head and made a raw, honest plea. I simply said out loud, “Jesus, help me.”

I had tried saying this before. I had tried reading my Bible. I had tried looking at the self-help books people had given me. I had tried so many things. None of those had helped me break past the barrier the enemy had over me. There was something different this time. I meant it. I had nowhere else to turn. Alcohol had been my controller, and depression had been driving my mind. When I spoke the words out loud, “Jesus, help me.” I gave power to the situation. I allowed Jesus to enter in. I cannot tell you that there was a monumental life-changing occurrence at that moment. But I can tell you that things began to change.

It took work on my end. Just because I cried out to Jesus, didn’t mean I sat complacent waiting on the magic fairy dust to do the work for me. No. It meant I was able to hear and feel the nudgings of Jesus. I was able to pick up my Bible and allow the words to be read with meaning. I was able to put one foot in front of the other and step past fear. It was a long process of recovery. I faced the monster of alcohol and began a lifetime recovery program. I was able to find counseling, which in turn guided me into the proper mental health treatment for PTSD, from past rape and abuse.

The more I became honest, the more I healed. The more I leaned into Jesus, the more peace I experienced. I surrendered my entire life, breath, and soul to God.

Life will always have difficult times. It is simply part of the human existence. These difficulties can be faced and worked through when we allow God to guide our heart. Christmas Eve of 2013 I faced the most difficult pain possible. At 23 years old, my oldest daughter went to Heaven. There are no words to describe child loss. It is a daily journey. However, I am able to face this reality with Jesus by my side. My faith has only grown stronger, and I have a determination to turn what the enemy meant for destruction, into a purpose for God’s glory.

Today, my perspective and purpose are clear. I wake up daily and pray that my testimony, life experiences, and wisdom can be used to help others. I look at “those people” and see their needs. I see the pain, the struggle, the brokenness in so many people. I see this and I desire with all that I am…to help people see the hope. God is hope. God is love. Jesus is our Savior, who gives us the opportunity and complete forgiveness with new life. You are not alone, and the non-profit, Light of Hope, that God allowed me to form from these life experiences, is here to help you.

I pray that anyone who looks out into the world and wishes they were more like “those people”, would reach out to Jesus. Simply ask for Jesus to help you, and mean it. Then, allow the people who want to help you…help you. Stop pushing people away, and allow God to use those people to walk you through the difficulty. Find a support system, and step past the fear of the unknown. God is with us in all that we do. We must allow God to show us the way. We must take the first step, and in doing so…you will find a peace that surpasses all understanding. Allow yourself to experience the gift of change, of hope, and of new life.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path. PROVERBS 3:5-6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 4:6-7

God is with us. 

Layla Freeman

© Layla Freeman 2020
Author of HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE and Layla’s Light 
All Rights Reserved 
P.O. Box 669 Claremore, OK 74018
Facebook – Layla’s Light
Twitter – @laylaslight

Layla’s Devotional Book available for purchase at the following: 


Light of Hope

Main Offices:  403 West 1st Street  Claremore, OK 74017 / Food Pantry:  400 N. J. M. Davis Blvd. Claremore, OK 74017 
918-373-4560  /

Published by

Layla Freeman

Layla Freeman is a wife, mother, friend, and encourager to all. She is a passionate disciple of Jesus Christ. Layla is the C.E.O. and Founder of the Non-Profit outreach ministry called “Light of Hope”. This is an outreach to help individuals and families who are struggling with addiction and life difficulties. On Christmas Eve 2013, Layla lost her oldest daughter Ashley. Ashley was only 23 years old. There is no greater pain than child loss. Layla attributes her ability to face each day, to the overwhelming love of Jesus, who carries her through. This very difficult journey has given Layla the desire to help those who are facing difficult times and to help people see the hope. Her love for helping others is the passion behind Light of Hope. Light of Hope non-profit ministry has a vast variety of services that encourage, educate, empower and bring change and hope to the lives of those who need restoration and new life. Layla was awarded the Non-Profit “Leading Lady” award of Rogers County in 2018. She was also voted #1 community volunteer “Best of Claremore” in both 2019 & 2020. On June 9, 2020, Layla Freeman was Inducted into the Prestigious Marquis Who’s Who Biographical National Registry, as well as recognized as an “Amazing Oklahoman” in October 2020. Additionally, her non-profit Light of Hope was awarded the "Non-Profit of the Year" in both 2019 & 2020 and is also the winner of the International 2020 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Community Drug Prevention Award. Layla is also an author. Her first book publication, HOPE IN THE STRUGGLE, offers hope in the midst of dark times. Layla is also the author of the encouragement blog “Layla’s Light,” found on Facebook or on her website, She has been actively writing since 2001. Layla’s personal experience in the extreme difficulties of life gives her a deep understanding of brokenness. Therefore, Layla’s writing and passion behind her desire to help others is empowered by the truth of God’s unconditional love and forgiveness, and the hope we find in God’s promises. Layla is also a Business Owner/Vice President of Asset Industrial, Inc. She and her husband, Randall, work together providing services necessary for the oil refinery industry. She is also a respected Executive Committee Board Member, serving on the State Northeast Oklahoma Workforce Development Board. Layla is a public speaker and enjoys the opportunity to speak and present to groups, schools, churches, organizations, conferences, etc. She has a passion to bring awareness, education, and hope to our society. She believes that working together, and collaboration with others is the key to healthy families and stronger communities. In addition, Layla is a Stephen Minister, Congregational Care Minister, Lay Servant/Speaker, and a volunteer for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. (Layla has two daughters who face Type 1 Diabetes daily).

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