I was recently at a dinner meeting with some women who lead various ministries. Each person had a “Thankful” focus at their place setting to think about and share with the group. As each of the 8 of us shared, it was amazing to hear the different things we are all thankful for. My question was:
“What is something that has taken a long time to develop or come to pass that you are thankful for?”
I kept trying to come up with a very meaningful, profound answer. I thought about my children… they take a lot of time to grow! I thought about all the things I’ve experienced in my 46 years… relationships that I’ve had for a long time. My attention kept coming back to one thing: Freedom.
When I truly understand what God has done for me, rescued me from a dead end life and saved me from living in the fear the enemy had convinced me of, I am eternally grateful. I think about the anger and control I was managing in the early years of parenting and I cringe. I was so caught up in defending myself and protecting myself from getting hurt that I was hurting the ones I loved the most.
By God’s grace, I finally got sick and tired of myself and began to understand the enemy’s strategies against me. He had me convinced I needed to manage my people and problems so I wouldn’t experience pain, rejection, discomfort or hurt.
So today, I am most thankful for Freedom. I’m thankful that I don’t have to live like that anymore. I believe what the Word of God says about me. I can embrace what Jesus did for me on the cross when he defeated sin and death. I can change. I’m not hopeless! I’m not stuck!
Don’t get the wrong impression that I’ve arrived! The measure of freedom I have found continues to increase as I choose it every day. In the past few months, God has revealed some ways I have been protecting and defending myself. Ugh! As challenging as it is to change, deep down, I don’t want to stay that way.
I am continuing my journey and doing the work of replacing the lies with the truth that He is my defender. He is my protector. He knows what I need and is working out His freedom in me as I surrender to Him.
I have some wins! I have some understanding that trading the lies for the truth is worth it. I have friends who have found freedom in areas I’m asking God to bring to me. I don’t want to stay stuck in any way and I hope you don’t either.
“If you stick with this, living out what I tell you, you are my disciples for sure. Then you will experience for yourselves the truth, and the truth will free you.” John 8:31-31