On September 14, 2008 I wrote in my journal, “God has brought healing to my soul, freedom to my spirit – now I’m living to see where it all goes. I am loved [!!] is the craziest new truth for me; and I have put myself under God’s authority – an amazing place of freedom.”
In the newness of this love, I did something that was completely out of character for me...
To know I was loved was an entirely brand-new experience for me. It wasn’t for lack of people in my life saying they loved me… I know Tim loves me, my kids often say they love me, my in-laws are truly incredible, and significantly more than my own parents would verbalize their love for me. Yet, and I imagine many of you understand, as I heard the words my heart always qualified it in some way.
Now, even if nobody else said a thing, my heart was transported by the complete security and assurance of being truly loved. Then to think that this love was coming from God Himself – Almighty, Creator, Redeemer – well, that just pushed me right over the top. This was when I first noticed everything changing…
In his introduction to the book of Galatians Eugene Peterson, writer of The Message, states: “Through Jesus, Paul learned that God was not an impersonal force to be used to make people behave in certain prescribed ways, but a personal Savior who set us free to live a free life. God did not coerce us from without, but set us free from within.”
I’m so hesitant to write today – Peterson’s words exactly describe my experience. I’ve been completely set free from within, and that has changed everything for me. Yet I know so many who have had life hit them remarkably hard.
I began the Breaking Free Bible study in January of 2008. Life was generally good, but on the inside of me I was struggling – struggling with depression, struggling with being unreasonably frustrated with my husband, struggling with making suppers, struggling with housework, struggling with being consistent in spending time with God, struggling with life.
I had no expectations going into the study – perhaps indicative of another broken place in my heart from childhood – but I knew my only hope of anything better in life was in God’s Word. I knew I had to read it and let God have access to everything in my heart. I was more than ready to do that.