When you decide to live free

DSCN9564editConfession: I can know the truth about something for a long time before I learn to live comfortably in it. It takes a lot of times of living something new before it feels like it fits.

I’ve written tens of thousands of vulnerable words since seeing that Christ-like serving requires exposure. Daily practiced the truth that my willingness to rest brings God glory. Kept stepping into my God-given mandate to say yes to what I’m called to and no to other things.

I’m just beginning to savor the joy of these freedoms. Just beginning to see that each of them is freedom.

At first each felt more like hardship.

That discomfort has often caused me to question whether I was hearing truly. There’s a place for that. I don’t always get it right. But I’m learning that far more often when I start to live something I’m pretty sure God is saying—when I’ve heard his voice through Scripture and prayer and one or two wise and trusted friends affirm that I seem to be on the right track—the discomfort is not because I’m hearing wrong but because my body and brain are made to resist change.

Holley Gerth explains it in her marvelous book You’re Going to be Okay: Our brains and bodies are made for homeostasis, which means that “we always seek ways to return to the status quo. That serves us well most of the time. For example, physically we sweat so our temperature stays steady. . . . Emotionally we eventually even out even after a tough day.” The downside is that “when we seek to alter a pattern in our lives, we always feel resistance.” (p. 91)

God brings us into the wide open space of freedom (because he delights in us!) But then we have a choice. We can let fear keep us walking in tiny, tight circles, still in effect chained to our old life though the ropes have been cut. Or we can accept the initial strangeness of the wide open space and explore and enjoy and make our home in His love.

Freedom only becomes ours when we live it.

So I’m choosing to trust God when He tells me he delights in me and that caring for myself is a way of loving him.

I’m choosing to trust God’s desire to make my heart beat like His gentle, forgiving heart, and when I mess up, I’m refusing to try to pay for my sin with guilt and self-condemnation.

I’m choosing to step out of the shadows of insecurity and say yes to being my true in-Christ self, offering bread to a starving world.

This matters. Every time I choose to keep walking in the tight little circles of the way I’ve always thought instead of stepping out and walking free with Christ, I push Him away. I hurt myself and others, depriving them of what I’ve been given to give.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Gal 5:1)

God brings the freedom; we choose to walk in it. Care to join me?

4 thoughts on “When you decide to live free

  1. Hannah says:

    THIS IS HUGE. I know the truth but I resist the change. Those tight circles have made a deep rut.I see that I am free. Breaking the pattern is hard. It is so easy to slip back into the rut. Each day is a new start. I must keep in mind ” His mercies are new every morning”. love you Hannah

  2. Jo Dee Ahmann says:

    I will join you, Carolyn. He gave me that word yesterday, “Freedom”. Forgiving is freedom, loving is freedom. You just explained so well why it is difficult. Thank you.

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