The rain patters down outside the low country windows. Peace fills this place and I long desperately to hold on to what I have. Right now. Just like this.
But then the afternoon brings the unexpected and the evening blows up and in a few mere moments the weight of protecting and raising up our children sets in and all of a sudden, I’m suffocating.
Have you felt this way?
When your love pulses so powerfully you feel you’ll literally burst? When you take on every single solitary fear and wear them as these heavy yokes and grip far too tight for anything or Anyone to ever loosen your fingers?
I forfeit my freedom for the flattening load of ‘it’s all on me‘. Yes, me. I have to do it all, worry about it all, see it all, protect it all, make it all work together for good. And if I don’t? If I don’t – this little country house of cards will just come crashing down.
But all this worry – this all-consuming need to know that everything is going to be alright and that I’m the one who is in control – it’s sin. It’s saying that what the Lord says isn’t true. It’s blasphemous. By choosing fear and stress and worry – I choose to say that He doesn’t have the whole world in His hands – let alone my children.
See, here’s the upside down truth of God’s Kingdom – white knuckled gripping at control… it cages us something fierce.
Freedom leaves us when Truth is forgotten.
And when I long to be free, I remember – isn’t it the Truth that sets us free?
And Truth Himself is Christ Jesus. He said it: “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life…”. And if He is the Way – the Way to the Father and the Truth and He not only gives Life but IS Life itself – I know I need Him beyond what words can express. I know it in my soul. Yes, He is the great King of Truth, the wonderful Prince of Light, the Way to God Almighty, the Chain Breaker, the triumphant Bringer of Freedom, the One who loosens the bonds and sets captives free.
Know Truth – Know Christ.
Know Christ – Be Free.
It’s too simple but then again, that’s the wonder of it.
It’s the glorious, overwhelming reality that I so stupidly and easily forget. Freedom is already mine. I choose to let it leave because I choose to forget the Truth.
Christ came and He dwells with me and only He can make me truly Free.
Free from worry.
Free from fear.
Free from needing to control.
Free from lies.
Oh, please say you know the lies? Please say I’m not the only one who has heard them?
You’re no good.
You’re failing as a Mom.
You can’t possibly raise up children who love and follow the Lord.
God isn’t in control.
God can’t protect your children, your family, you.
God doesn’t have you in the palm of His Hands.
But those ARE lies and they can be nasty and yes, they can chain us right up and shackle us too.
But we know the the One who holds the Key to those shackles. The One who brings freedom – the freedom to know and cling fast to the Truth.
The truth of God’s love.
The truth of God’s grace.
The truth of His mighty hands on us, our families, our children.
The truth that Jesus loves our children more than we do and longs for every bit of good for them.
The truth that Christ Jesus wins and pain and lies lose and “all things work together for good to those who love God…”
The truth that when we grip on to control and worry – we deny God’s Truth that He has our back and His loving arms are around us.
We unwillingly (and sometimes willingly) tell the Lord and King of the universe that we can take care of things better than He can.
We ignore the truth…
The life-altering truth is that when we know Him and follow Him – we are already free.
And its a gift.
He just waits for us to trust Him, reach out for His hand, and walk with Him, knowing that He has our families in His mighty grip and He will never let go.
To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.
A related quote for Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts:
“If authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, then to choose stress is an act of disbelief… atheism. Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism…. Perhaps the opposite of faith is fear… I can’t experience deep joy in God until I deep trust in God… trusting God is my most urgent need. If I deep trusted God in all the facets of my life, wouldn’t that deep heal my anxiety, my self-condemnation, my soul holes? Trust is everything…”