Free-dom: the power or right to act; speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint. Its funny how long I ran from this very word. Instead, unknowingly I chose and continued to choose: Captivity: which by definition says “the state of being bound by or subjected to some external power of control.” It saddens me that I have allowed (for years) to be held in captivity by the “what ifs” of my past. Because for the longest I felt as though I didn’t deserve a break in this life. That I was caught in the under current of the waves only to come up for short burst of air.
But as time and in my case years have gone by I have grasped freedom like I never thought was possible.
It all started with a mission trip to East Asia. I wish I could tell you that when I returned that I had this life changing moment and everything that I didn’t understand automatically became crystal clear, but with God I’m learning, works one step at a time. My trip to East Asia was the tip of the ice berg, the open door to what he has in store for me. For Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know the plans I have for you,…plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” The purpose of that trip has been revealed to me in the moments that I have least expected: in the smile that I find on my face on purpose, the laughs that now come with ease, the ability to embrace my past as a (in my mother’s words) “A stepping stone to build my character.”
You see, it just happened in a blink of my eye. It wasn’t some big moment. I just decided to CHOOSE. I didn’t have to wait for circumstances to be completely ok nor did I need permission to live out FREEDOM. I just woke up and decided to CHOOSE. And at that moment it didn’t matter to me anymore what was suppose to happen, what didn’t happen or what could happen. Because at the end of the day God’s will will be done anyway–he surely does not need my permission.
I never knew five years ago, what complete freedom in Christ felt like in my state of brokenness, but waking up with the choice to live freely through Christ is a feeling that I am not quite sure I can capture completely through words. But I did feel it freely once sitting on the beach in California. I heard God in the crash of the waves-when I realized that I could listen to the waves freely without feeling like I was drowning in them. I could see other people laughing and having a good time and realized that I was a part of that feeling too. I no longer felt a stranger to happiness and joy. I was now a PARTICIPANT. I could engage in a meaningful conversation with someone and not feel as though my heart was a thousand miles away. I could FEEL again. For me–that’s FREEDOM!
I realized something all those thousands of miles away in East Asia that the only control that the devil has over me is temptations of my past. He does not know of the future. So, he used my past heartache, fear, and anxiety against me for FIVE YEARS! and no matter how many times that I asked God to take the cup away from me he never did. He provide me the strength I needed to endure the trial. But now he as put my feet back on solid ground, I have dusted myself off and I BOLDLY step forward with the FAITH and FREEDOM that God always said I had, but I was too fearful to realize it. The chains were unlocked long time ago to free me from the captivity of my past but I was too scared to step forward because for some reason I found comfort in the turmoil from my past.
But as I look only forward and not behind I step BOLDLY forward in my FREEDOM with Christ and know that “All things work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose. ” Like Paul says in Philippians 3:13 …”Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead.”
I can BOLDLY say that I have reclaimed my full participation in this world. I have people to help and a story to tell and I will not be held back by my past any longer. I am a CHILD of GOD and I AM FREE!!!
P.S. I remember when I first was going through my storm and my best friend told me to let her know the day when “I was there” and I am letting you know BESTIE that I AM THERE!! I AM FREE!!! Thank you for your encouragement, your patience, and your never ceasing to believe in me when I didn’t have the strength to believe in myself.