Free? Or “Safe”?

24 06 2013

After the festering wounds healed and the swelling subsided, I discovered that the handcuffs and shackles that kept me bound all my life easily slipped off my hands and ankles.

Nevertheless, I kept pulling them back on like bangles that wouldn’t stay put; I wore them like prized jewelry.

Tazein Mirza Saad wrote an article yesterday. Her post began with this quote from Staypositive.me:

“Your past is just a story.

And once you realize this,

it has no power over you.

After I read what she had to say, I had to ask myself why I insist on clinging to my bonds. After all, “big” people no longer have the power to do the unthinkable to me. I am under no obligation to maintain a relationship with people who verbally abuse me or want to manipulate me for selfish reasons. Friends who abandoned me have been replaced with true ones.

I’m old enough to determine how God designed me – and what work He prepared for me. People did not create me, they are not free to define me.

At long last, Jesus has tended to my deepest wounds. Memories no longer hurt, offenders are no longer hated, actions no longer stem from a faulty belief system…

…so why do I continue to wear my shackles?

One reason is that they are comfortable – like an old, worn sweatshirt. Confinement is what I know best. I’ve lived there most of my life. Besides, if I hazard outside of the boundaries others set for me, there is a chance that I might fail. They would be right there to say, “I told you so.”

Another reason is that to walk in freedom means I have to accept responsibility for my own actions. I can no longer blame someone else for my behavior. “They” don’t have the power to “make me” do anything, therefore, “they” are not accountable for my life…I am.

That’s scary.

What if I fumble? What if I fall? What if I make a complete fool of myself?

Fear can keep me in an invisible prison as an adult, if I let it. Safety comes at too high a price, though. I am unable to live life to the full, for at present I’m living on others’ terms, by their standards and rules. I’m tired of living life this way. Bone tired.

Not to mention that those who imposed their wills on me are either dead or long gone! Reality check here, please!

One verse has burned its way into my heart and ignited a passion in me too great to extinguish: “Do I now persuade men? Or do I please men or God? For if I still pleased men I could not be a bondservant of Christ.”

Man is never pleased by what I do, or who I am, for very long. There’s always something to be changed in order to satisfy someone else’s expectations. Not only that, there are so many men and women around me that I’m in constant turmoil as I try to remember who demands what from me. There is no rest from this craziness!

This morning, I slid the shackles from my ankles, the handcuffs from my wrists and assessed them. They are old, rusty, and very heavy. I could “mount up with wings like eagles,” but their weight keeps me close to the ground. I could “run and not be weary”…but not very far, for the chains are short and limit the distance I can move from my old familiar cage. The chains provide me with an excuse to not venture out. I don’t have to take risks…I “can’t,” you see.

I have things to do, places to go, people to see. If I insist on maintaining the status quo, my work will go undone.

I might mess up, though. Then what? I slide them back on. I’ll be safer this way.

Words come to my mind, “Whom the Son sets free, is free indeed.”

I’ve been healed. I can walk in freedom if I so choose.

My past is merely a story. It is fact that cannot be changed. In and of itself, yesterday has no power over me unless I want it to. I can close that chapter of my life and begin on a brand new page. This time I can, with Jesus’ help, write a very different ending.

Here I go. The time has come. I’m giving the fetters to Jesus, and giving myself permission to walk in the freedom He died to provide. My hands tremble as I hand them over.

Maybe I’ll crash and burn. That’s okay. He said, “The eternal God is a dwelling place, and underneath are the everlasting arms.” This means that even if I do fall, I won’t land so far down that He is not there to catch me!

How about you? Are you tired of being a victim, of feeling powerless over your life? Maybe you’d like to join me as I discover what it means to be a “new creation in Christ!”

Ah, the glorious sound of shackles falling to the ground! Can you hear the roaring crowd of witnesses, cheering us on?

We’ve got a race to run…

…let’s get to it!

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18 responses

24 06 2013
findingmyinnercourage

It took me a l o n g time to realize I didn’t have to please anyone! Removing the shackles and chains was so liberating. Amen to “People did not create me, they are not free to define me!” Brilliant post!

24 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

It wasn’t until my 50th birthday that I began to finally see the light in this area. I’m hoping to find some that are half my age and give them a “leg up” on freedom. 😉

Thanks for your comment.
\o/

24 06 2013
findingmyinnercourage

I was 52. Two family members were relentless in attempting to destroy me. The rest of my family threatened to disown me if I didn’t walk away. Only I could walk away and never look back. The situation was affecting my health. Once I saw the light I was free. I will never ever ever let this happen to me again! Yes, I agree, it would be great to find those half my age and give them a “leg up” on freedom! Thanks for sharing a amazing Blog!

25 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

So glad Jesus set you free. He simply amazes me. 🙂

\o/

24 06 2013
inthepottershands988

Wonderful post! What a liberating thought to realize that my job isn’t to please men just God. I love what you said, “People did not create me, they are not free to define me.” Amen!! Oh, how many years have I let people do that to me? Too many. It’s only been the past 10 years that those shackles started coming off. There are still times I think I care too much about what people think of me, but I’m better than I used to be. 🙂

24 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

It’s definitely a process! Giving up on pleasing people sure makes life much more enjoyable!

\o/

24 06 2013
Toni Sprandel

Great post! Take those nasty old rusty things off and BE FREE!!!!!
Love you dear sister!

24 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

\o/

24 06 2013
robbyefaye

Reblogged this on Captive Dreams Window and commented:
Great post. I re-blogged! Thanks.

24 06 2013
msinop1

Awesome 😉

24 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

🙂

24 06 2013
buttrflygrl14

Ahhh…the beauty of His giving us eyes to see!! This post makes me want to tell you…”my my what beautiful eyes you have dear Sister in Christ”…its always a joy to see through your eyes…for they reflect our Shepherds heart. God be with you…

24 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Aw, thanks for your kind words. His heart is so amazing. I’m humbled to belong to Him.

\o/

24 06 2013
allthewaydoc

fantastic post!!! I wish more people could understand how devastating the past is to their future! How much they actually lose because they CHOOSE to keep on the shackles and handcuffs of the past!

24 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Letting go takes time, though, eh?

Thanks for your comment! 🙂

\o/
Praise Jesus!

24 06 2013
Pure Glory

So true how its easy to keep on the shackles because of familiarity. Wanting and taking the steps to change takes a mindset change concerning the past. I find I have to get sick and tired of being sick and tired to change.

24 06 2013
lessonsbyheart

Oh, me too! You’d think we’d give it up a little easier, eh? 🙂

\o/

25 06 2013
Pure Glory

Yes, especially knowing it is the wrong thing to keep.

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