Free Indeed

It’s sort of like waking up for the first time, freedom is. There is life and light in everything. It doesn’t matter anymore, what fear, what pain, what suffering surrounds you–you still feel free. I never knew I was lacking it, I never knew that bondage and fear and guilt had taken the role of freedom in my heart and life. But they had. And it was deep. Deep enough that I didn’t even know what freedom felt like anymore. Deep enough that no matter how hard I tried in my own volition, I couldn’t dig myself out, I couldn’t conjure up freedom from nothing. It took brothers and sisters pulling me from that pit back up to my God who’d never left me on my own, and never ceased being a faithful and freedom-giving God.

I’m so thankful for this past semester of grace. As I’ve reflected upon His faithfulness, His goodness, and each joy and hurt of these last few months, I was reminded of my unworthiness. I was reminded of my sin and failure. But more than any of that, I was reminded of the Lord’s character. He is so merciful and gracious to me. And as much as I struggle to believe it, nothing I’ve done is out of the reach of His love, His grace, or His mercy. When I am a disobedient Israel, He still has enough mercy for me, time after time.

I’m reminded now of what I coined this year of my life the eternity that five months ago feels like. I called it my year of obedience. I declared that this year, I would be obedient to Him, in my relationships, in my desires, in my hurt, in my thoughts, no matter the cost. I didn’t know that it would mean losing friendships, I didn’t know it would mean losing comforts, dependencies, deep rooted sin, I didn’t know it would mean being hurt day after day, week after week. I didn’t know it would mean tears and sadness and joy and undeniable freedom. But here I stand. Broken. Unafraid. Unashamed. Raw. Found. Full of joy. Full of grace. Basking in redemption. Hurting for sure. But, oh so Free.

I never knew that freedom was so available to me honestly. I found myself asking for it day after day in tears pleading to Him, “Lord please free me from this, why won’t you free me” but the thing is, freedom had already been given to me, I never had to ask, He was never withholding it. Abba graciously hands me freedom from this hurt, bondage, and slavery, and He so sweetly helps me to keep walking through the trials that will never cease. He points me back to Him in this. Never failing to grant me access to His healing, His graciousness, His love, His kindness, His mercy, or His comfort. 

“I have to get to the point of the absolute and unquestionable relationship that takes everything exactly as it comes from Him. God never guides us at some time in the future, but always here and now. Realize that the Lord is here now, and the freedom you receive is immediate.” -Oswald Chambers

The moment I forget where my freedom comes from, is the moment that I lose my ability to be free. If I’m searching for a worldly freedom, a freedom that comes from something I do, or a freedom that comes from a hard situation coming to an end, I’m not looking for freedom, I’m looking for bondage. The same sins and situations that put me in bondage in the first place, I’ll get entangled by them over and over again if I keep searching for this kind of freedom.

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. {Galatians 5:1}

That’s the thing about the Lord. He doesn’t set me free just to let me entangle myself again, His freedom can be found in the midst of the most difficult things, amidst suffering and heartache, and brokenness. He doesn’t do the frilly thing, the easy thing, the painless thing, He breaks us, He changes us. He imparts freedom on us, freedom to choose Him, yes, but freedom to crucify Him in the next breath. Wow, we don’t deserve a freedom like loving Him, a freedom that can be felt and known even in the hard situations, deepest of hurts, and painful relationships. Jesus takes me, and with His blood cleanses all I’ve done wrong, breaks all the chains I’d let be locked around me, and tears down the walls that I built right in front of the freedom that comes from Him, and He makes this sinful flesh something worth dying for yet again, He glorifies Himself in all of the mess I’ve made. 

Freedom isn’t so far after all. His blood set me free all those years ago, He sets me free every day, and so, free indeed I will choose to be.

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. {John 8:36}

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