What does freedom feel like? In a word, indescribable. There is something innately profound about the word freedom. For me, it produces the sense of, “I don’t deserve this”. And it produces a sincerity of gratitude that cannot be communicated with the most eloquent of words.
Freedom in it’s truest form evokes a call to something higher and greater. Yet at the same time a sense of yielding to what was, and a call to forge on to something better than the reality of today.
Freedom is costly.
With freedom comes a price tag that has to be paid in order to experience the liberty of life out of chains and bondage. Freedom’s call is to responsibility for what is and leaning into what could be.
I, like a lot of people, carry around with me baggage of my past. My baggage will flair up from time to time like stinky trash that must be taken out. Most days, I can keep the lid on it to cover up the smell and the reminder that it exists. But the truth is, without warning, a trigger, a comment, an action done to me causes my trash lid to bust wide open and the stench of all the baggage that remains comes oozing out permeating the air all around me.
What does this stinking baggage have to do with freedom you may be wondering?
You see, I have been living in bondage to my past. The wounds of a broken heart, the disappointments, the aching of lies, or failed expectations – all this past pain has been held hostage in the trash can of my heart. In a moment, with the tide and winds of a perfect storm of emotions, these old hurts pour out, and I am left a victim to their destructive path.
Over the last couple of days there have two verses that have illuminated this odorous part of my life and exposed my desperate need for freedom. These verses exposed my chains, and gave me the courage to consider what life would look like if I chose to live free. I had grown comfortable acting as a victim – when all along freedom has been available to me.
2 Corinthians 3:17, “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
John 8:36 says, “So if the Son sets you free, you really will be free.”
Through the words of scripture it is plain to see that freedom is available to me. And Jesus can set me free from whatever it is that is keeping me bound and holding me hostage to a life less than what he calls me to.
When I am consumed by the stench of my past, my vision for the present and the future is shaded grey with a foggy perspective of reality. This vision and assumptions cripple the depths of my relationships, not only with God but with my husband, kids, friends and family.
The fog of grey lead me to false expectation of new hurts, therefore, I hold up a guard. I falsely expect to be lied to, therefore, I don’t trust others. I falsely expect to be taken advantage of, therefore, I keep others at arms length.
Some may say, “well it actually seems smart to be on your guard.” And yes, I would agree with that sentiment, by earthly standards that does SEEM like a good plan. But the reality is, the guard I have lifted in self preservation has become not a “when needed” shield of protection but a “constant” Fort Knox barrier. This stone wall is not freedom at all, it’s prison.
I write today as a rally cry for men and women reading this to join me in a war against spiritual, emotional and mental bondage. I am believing the promises of God’s word today, praying these verses over my life, my mind, my emotions and my heart. Will you join me?
Will you stand up and fight for your own freedom? The price – vulnerability, letting go, submitting, bowing a knee to God, courage and bravery to say, “enough is enough”. But the price of freedom pales in comparison to living free. The price we pay is nothing compared to the ultimate price Christ paid for us on the Cross. His sacrifice was to enable us to experience total and complete freedom.
What do you need to be set free from today? What baggage are you tired of carrying? Will you find the courage to fight for your freedom today by submitting to the promises God has already spoken over you? I hope and pray you find the courage to fight and the bravery to empty your trash.