Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Many A Chain: Discovering the Freedom Thieves in our Daily Lives

The sky was gray, again.  The Spring air seemed to be retreating to Winter's hold, rather than reaching out to the shine of Summer.

I was home alone.  And by alone I mean there with my three little superheroes.

One of them kept saying "K, Mommy? Ok?" 

The itch of my nose warning me of the threat of tears was pretty constant. 

"Pull yourself together, Hamby."  

Because everyone refers to themselves in maiden-name-third person when trying to fabricate a self-addressed pep talk.

But the sky was so gray and substantial, pressing down on my shoulders. 

My body went through the motions: reading a book about dinosaurs, hide-and-seek, and then later pushing a swing, but my mind was skipping from one fear to another.  The what-ifs...the if-onlys.  

I stood over my mom's stove, my stove for the time being, put my invisible stethoscope around my neck, and diagnosed myself.  

It's anxiety, Rebekah.  Just an anxiety attack.  Just like when you took your nursing boards, 7 years ago. Just calm down. Stop thinking about the hurts, the fears, the what-ifs, the if-onlys.

I tucked away my superheroes into their secret hideouts.  (Which is the only way to convince them to nap).

And I limped to my Bible and my journal. And I cried.

I cried for a miracle of my soul.
For peace.
For help.

I released every fear that was eating me alive, from my heavy shoulders down. 

I cried out a confession that the Giants in my life owned my mind and heart, rather than my King.

Mostly, I prayed for freedom to move forward.

But once I finished educating God about what was going on, and what He needed to do, He opened my eyes to the reality of that afternoon (and probably that entire week).

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." Ephesians 6:12 

Oh.....Maybe this wasn't the time to self-diagnose an anxiety attack, or think about my lack of seratonin? (Though I strongly believe there are times to make those conclusions.) Maybe the freedom-thief was the Enemy.

I crawled into the bunk bed secret hideout with my miniature super hero who couldn't find his super power of sleep.  And moments later, as the 2-year-old snores began, I let out an inward groan before the Lord to be delivered.

Delivered from the enemy who wants me in irons of fear and disillusionment and negativity and and and....and.

I contacted two different friends to pray for me.

Two hours later, in a curious moment alone, I felt a physical lift in the room. My neck jerked around, as if to see a physical explanation for the change my heart felt at that moment. 

I all but heard the clanking of chains falling off my ankles. 

I looked down and only saw freckled ankles that haven't been shaved in a week. :) (I know, GROSS.)

As the hours passed that Friday, my mind continued skipping--but not from one fear to another--but from images of David standing over his Giant--fallen
Rahab standing out of the distance of her Wall-fallen
Peter standing within the boat with the Waves-fallen.
Each of them more free than minutes before.

The next two mornings I was awoken at a much earlier hour than normal. Awoken with an undeniable invitation to run to God. 

It's like I broke free from my Enemy's hateful grasp -for but a second- and I took off running.  I heard the shackles fall and the invitation to hope simultaneously. 

Run to Hope.

Run to Freedom.

The life-sucker-doubt-giver lost his grip for a moment and I hauled booty. (Can I say that? :) )

I ran away from the captivity of my greatest enemy, and rushed for the freedom of my greatest lover.

I think, as women, we often live without the freedom we were intended to live with. The chains are sometimes from the Enemy, but many chains are self-induced, and subtle. Our desire for control, our expectations, our disappointments, and our fears can all help fasten chains to our ankles and nail our hearts to the floor. Every lie that we adopt, pet, and carry around withholds a portion of freedom.  I see many of us just accepting a partial amount of freedom in Christ. 

It shouldn't be this way. In a season where I'm pretty raw before the God that loves me, I have asked Him to show me EVERY lie about myself and about Him that serves as a iron cuff on my heart.

I hope my transparency is ok with you.  I hope you don't read into my honesty---I am in a good place.  I am crawling a steep climb up the mountain of maturity and sanctification, but I am not alone.    I am processing our life's change, one layer at a time, with my hot husband, family, and friends right there. But I firmly believe in the power of candor and honesty to inspire, encourage, and bring us all closer to the God that loves us. I believe that recognizing the spiritual battle that compounds my other struggles is one of many layers of finding a deeper freedom yet. 

What about you?  Have you ever sensed that the Enemy of God doesn't want you to experience the freedom of Christ?  Have you recently broken free from some lies, but you now need to sprint away, with your gaze on hope?

1 comment:

  1. Yes! All I can say is yes when I read this. Beautifully said. I'm with you in this faze.