Who Am I Becoming?

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Who am I becoming?
This is a question I ask myself often. It keeps my heart, mind and character in check.
However, in all honesty- lately I’ve been struggling with my answer.
I’m sure it’s part of the process. Part of the journey. Part of growing.
But I’ve always been a rule follower. I’m the good girl. The compliant and cooperative one. That’s me. Or… So I thought.
In fact, come to find out I actually just like the path of least resistance.
Why? Well, because ‘control’, of course.
Why control? Well, because of fear.

It’s an underlining root that’s been in me my whole life. Yet, not discovered until a few years ago. The Lord is continuously uprooting lies… but first he has to reveal them to me and allow me to process the pain with each discovery.
Don’t rush people past their pain. You don’t have to understand or make it better. You actually can’t make it better. Just let folks be where they are and love them as they process through.
Who am I becoming?
Today, I don’t really have an answer without making one up. So I’d rather just not have an answer. And that’s okay.
I’m just trusting God in the process. Exactly what He wants from us. I’m holding tight to His promises and trusting Him wholeheartedly.
I pray that I continue to become more and more a reflection of Christ. Even if that means lots of shifting and pruning and uprooting. I’ll take it.
He will complete the work He’s started. That’s for sure.

-April

Untainted

Wrists Tied in Chains --- Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

I’m stuck. Tears are flowing from my eyes but I really have no thoughts so I figured if I just started writing, I’d process something that’s clearly stuck.

So. Here goes.

There is a song by Hillsong Young & Free, called This is Living.  Last year I was in my kitchen making breakfast on a ‘normal’ week day.  This song was playing when these lyrics hit me hard:

“Waking up knowing there’s a reason
All my dreams come alive
Life is for living with You
I’ve made my decision

You lift me up, fill my eyes with wonder
Forever young in Your love
This freedom’s untainted with You
No moment is wasted

See the sun now bursting through the clouds
Black and white turns to color all around
All is new, in the Savior I am found
This is living now
This is living now”

Beautiful lyrics, right?  But here’s what really strikes me and often plays in my head: “This freedom’s untainted with You.”
Freedom with Jesus is untainted.
Untainted means: not contaminated, polluted, harmful or tainted.
Freedom with Jesus is untainted.
I’ve often been so perplexed by the fact that I have met so many Christians who claim the freedom that Christ died for and yet they live in bondage.  I, myself have been this person.  Claiming freedom and picking up chains of bondage – wrapping myself back into a prisoner daily.
On that particular morning when these words played over me – “This freedom’s untainted with You.” – It leveled me. The Truth is the Truth.
Freedom with Jesus is simple.
I continued scrambling eggs, digesting these simple lyrics slowly.
“God?” I questioned in the privacy of my thoughts. “If freedom is so simple, why do we live in bondage?”
His simple response to me, “Freedom is yours.  But you do have to defend it.”
My head shot up from my fixed gaze on scrambled eggs and met the eyes of my husband.
“We have to defend our freedom!”  I exclaimed.
I shared this revelation with my husband and could tell by his expression that The Spirit was opening his eyes to this simple truth as well.
Friends, freedom is untainted with Jesus.  So, if you are experiencing anything other than a freshness with freedom – it’s a lie!  It’s not from God.
It’s a lie set in motion to keep you in bondage.
We have to defend our freedom.  It’s not necessarily anything that can ever be taken away from us but folks are always after it!  This is why it’s important to guard your heart and mind.
Now, I know our battle is not against flesh and blood but there are little lies that show up when I least expect them (and when my guard is down).  The lie that was rooted in me as a young girl.  The lie that says ‘feel bad for being bright.  Feel bad for being bold and courageous.  If you ever do anything to take care of you – you’re selfish.’  Those lies scratch at my freedom.  They taint my freedom and present a counterfeit version that’s not from God.
I’m so grateful that the love of Jesus crushes every lie.  But, I have to choose to believe that His love crushes every lie. If I believe the lies – they hold power in my life and I ‘lose’ my freedom.
I don’t lose my freedom because it comes and goes.  No.  If you’re free – you’re free indeed.  But I lose my idea of freedom because every time I let it get tainted, I surrender it for the chains of bondage.  Bondage becomes a reality over freedom in my mind.
My choice.
Your choice.
Freedom is untainted with Jesus.  If you’re experiencing anything other than pure freedom, it’s not from Jesus.  There is a lie skewing your perspective of what living a free life looks like.
I refuse to carry bondage and claim to walk in freedom.  I just can’t.  I refuse to be a broken down, hopeless Christ Follower.  This is contradictory to all that I believe. It means Christ died for nothing.  He did not die for us to be slaves.  He died to set us free.  If we claim to know Him, claim His freedom and yet pick up chains of slavery … what the hell is the point?!?!   What kind of life is that?!
… To claim Christ’s name for cultural reasons?! To fit in!? To belong?!
You can keep all that.  I don’t want it.
Can you imagine a world where Followers of Christ actually knew the Christ we claim? Knew their identity?  Knew untainted freedom and defended it boldly?!
We’d see radical, effective change.  That’s for sure.
I don’t even know that this scripture fits in this blog but it’s what keeps coming to mind as I’m typing:
Ecclesiastes 7:27-29
27 “This is my conclusion,” says the Teacher. “I discovered this after looking at the matter from every possible angle. 28 Though I have searched repeatedly, I have not found what I was looking for. Only one out of a thousand men is virtuous, but not one woman! 29 But I did find this: God created people to be virtuous, but they have each turned to follow their own downward path.”
Friends – I am painfully hoping that we get a grasp on untainted freedom – and start fully living in that victory.