Are you locked up, stuck, or chained to a certain way of thinking or behaving? Do you want out? Do you feel trapped by your circumstances? Are you bound to fear, anger, unhappiness or some other culprit? Do you long to live in freedom but don’t know how to get there? Can you say you have found true freedom?
I stood at my kitchen sink, looked out the window to the driveway and cried. I tried to breathe. I tried to “get it together.” I couldn’t muster up the patience, endurance and wisdom I needed to get through my days with 4 young kids. I felt trapped. I felt weak. I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t be the mom I dreamed of being before I became a mom. Not in totality anyway. Sure there were moments. Moments I soaked up my children’s cuteness. Moments I responded with the right words to discipline or guide my kiddos. But the strength of which the hard times hit took me down, down to screaming and tantrums, my screaming and my tantrums. Did I just throw a book at the wall? How could I have spoken to my 5 year like that? Is this who I am? How did I get here? God, please let the good outweigh the bad.
I believe parenting can bring out the worst and the best in us. And when the worst shows itself, it brings us to our knees. I was brought to my knees, to my literal knees.
But where I ended up was in the free, spacious place of God’s love and presence. It didn’t happen in a split, glorious second. It was given and discovered over years. Freedom was found by me. It tasted like a bite of fresh fruit when your mouth is dry, like cool water on a hot day.
Louie Giglio’s voice quoting Romans 8:1-2,
“there is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death,”
was on repeat in those days. Passion, a movement and a conference for college-aged students founded by Louie and Shelley Giglio began creating CD’s of recordings from their live gatherings. God used the song, You Are My King, off Passion: One Day Live to penetrate my heart with the truth that “if the Son has set you free then you are free indeed.” (John 8:36) The song repeats this over and over. I repeated it over and over. Sometimes we need to repeat something over and over. Crying it out, turning it over in our minds and hearts.
Could this actually be true? If it is, God, I want it.
But I don’t know how to get there. I don’t know how to live there.
To be free, yes Lord, I want it.
This may be the strongest evidence in my life which points me to the existence and power of a creator, a God who loves me and is over all and in all. This freedom experience that began on my knees as a tired mama to four littles. I can’t deny how God has set me free.
Free from the condemnation my actions created. Free from the yo-yo effect of the self-worth roller coaster. Free from the pressure of thinking that I need to be a perfect mom. Free from the shame from my failures. Free from the guilt that is mine. Free from comparing my mama style to others. Free from the responsibility of saving my kids.
Free to pray and ask God to do what I can not do, in my heart, mind, and soul and in my kids’ hearts, minds, and souls.
At this point in my life I have been awakened to different bondage, different chains. God has been working to keep me free. God used Rebekah Lyons’ last book, Freefall to Fly, a couple of years ago to assure me I was not alone in the struggles I faced after moving and having two more unexpected kids. Yes, that is numbers 5 and 6 for those of you who do not know me. Twin boys came crashing into our lives 2 and 1/2 weeks after moving to a new state 6 and 1/2 years ago.
When I found out her new book was getting ready to release and she wanted people to join her launch team to help get the word out, I knew I was supposed to join. Through You Are Free: Be Who You Already Are Rebekah is a companion on the path to freedom. She lets us in on her own struggle and discovery. She asks good, penetrating questions. This could be your starting line to freedom. Or it could be a continuation for those God has begun this freedom work. And for others, this is a needed refresher which leads to the crisp, invigorating waters of deeper freedom.
Probably my favorite chapter is Free to Confess in which Rebekah concludes, “Confession, whether it be a confession of repentance or a declaration of truth, begets freedom. There is no shortcut or strategy. This is how we run free.” This chapter helped reveal some lies gaining strength creating distance with God and my husband. This lie threatened to keep me from moving closer to where I believe God wants me to go.
I especially think this book would be great for a small group of friends to read together and discuss using the questions at the end of each chapter.
I would love to give a copy of You Are Free away. Leave a comment and I will randomly draw a winner! You can leave a comment on WordPress, FB, Instagram, or Twitter.
“Jesus’ love will hunt you down until you land on your knees. It knows no bounds; it cannot stop, in spite of all our kicking and screaming. It will lift your head and cradle your heart. It will remind you who you were before all the running. His love will bring you back to life. Jesus set you free to receive his love, and you are free to love others with the same ferocity. Walk in that freedom.” -Rebekah Lyons
7 thoughts on “Have you ever found true freedom? (and my first give-away)”
Thanks for the honesty in this post! What a journey to discover our own voice and not compare it with others.
Great Post. I would love to read the book!
Jen, I resonate with these feelings and being a cancer survivor now, I want to leave a life more like you describe. Freedom to be who Christ has made me and it’s been a time of discovery over the last several months. Thank you for sharing from your heart always.
Michelle – I’m a fellow Cancer Survivor as well! It just adds to the desire to live Free – I couldn’t agree more.
Thanks for your transparency Jen! I would love to read this book!
Jen how I miss you and your wisdom and truth. Thank you for being authentic and sharing. The pain, the fear, are so hard. It’s a long journey and I feel like I’ve been on it forever.
So I decided to give 3 books away instead of one! The winners are Wendy D., Stephanie Ball and Stephanie S.! Congratulations! Thank you to everyone who read and commented.