My personal definition of freedom has changed to suit my purposes over the course of my life. When I was a teenager, freedom meant getting out of my parents’ house, where there were no rules – or at least where I thought there would be no rules. I would have the freedom to come and go as I please, when I please and with whom I please.
Not two years into college, after having experienced a bit of the freedom I had so longed for, that long sought freedom was taken away for a bit when to my surprise, my school and I did not share the same definition of freedom. I moved back home for a bit so that I could attend a community college and my parents were, of course, given the freedom to enjoy [or not to enjoy] my company once again.
In my mid-twenties and beginning of my career – freedom meant having a salary that afforded me the ability to share a hip apartment inside the city with a good friend, vacationing overseas, staying out late, sleeping in on the weekends and more handbags and shoes than one girl will ever need. This freedom was wonderful and liberating. That is, until one by one, each successive roommate left poor little me and got married. My definition of freedom once again changed to include the freedom to marry whoever I chose and not to wait on God’s Best and His timing. In case you are new to reading my posts in the Brave Girl Community – choosing this freedom did not work out – at all.
Free in a marriage that was never meant to be, I found myself alone a great deal of the time due to my husband’s work schedule. Soon after I got married, and for all the wrong reasons, I resigned from my wonderful job. This new freedom had its good moments – I was able to take classes – I learned to sew, crochet, scrapbook. But, it also left me alone to stew in growing bitterness and anger at myself and my husband. This freedom led me head first into a downward spiral…If drowning my sorrow and pain with a bottle helped me get through my day – why not? If taking a handful of pills melted away loneliness and got me to sleep at night – why not? My chosen freedom took me to a horrific place of addiction and self-hatred…and it nearly killed me.
Deep down, I knew I was headed down a dark and lonely tunnel. I became a Christian at young age, but never really caught on to the idea of finding Freedom in Christ. How could I be free and enjoy life, with all the rules and regulations He would surely give me. I witnessed friends and family living under God’s Grace and Freedom happily, joyful even, but I wasn’t willing to take that step. Finally, my stubbornness to accept Christ’s Freedom left me nearly homeless, living in a halfway house in a terrible part of the city and so close to losing my children and my life, it breaks my heart whenever I think about it. Some say you have to hit rock bottom – I hit it hard and finally broke.
I was broken in so many ways. I felt so undeserving of His Love. Even so, Christ met me there in that hell hole I was digging. This year will be the five year anniversary of Him offering me His Freedom and my finally accepting it. His Loving Hand led me out of that dark path, and I began to see the light at the end of my tunnel.
Today I live happily and filled with joy under God’s Grace and in the Freedom I have found in Christ. Every morning when I wake up He gives me enough grace to make it through whatever may come my way and I live with His Freedom because He died so that I may have it.
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. – Romans 8:1-2
And that fabulous job I quit…He brought it back to a few months ago through a series of coincidences I can clearly see His hand on. And although I may not have that cool place in the city to live in just yet, a home of my own will come in His perfect timing. However, I do have amazing roommates – my parents and the cutest little twins God ever created…and as an added bonus, a little freedom to buy shoes and handbags.
What is your definition of freedom? Is there another word you occasionally redefine to suit your needs? We would love to hear from you and pray for if you are struggling with anything today. And remember…
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10