lines

there’s something to be said about “that” moment. that moment you jump the line with your eyes squeezed shut…and slowly open them to find yourself still alive. the ground didn’t swallow you up. no lightening struck you down from the sky. instead, you find yourself in this whole new world, and wonder what had kept you from taking that leap in the first place.

usually it’s me. i’ve put those lines in place, and sometimes i can’t even remember why. quite honestly, it’s been an interesting life phase. when once i clung so tightly to tradition and how things were “supposed to be done,” i have now become the one who questions everything. i’m that annoying child that is constantly asking “why?”

and as i’ve crossed those lines, i’ve discovered something…

not guilt. not regret. not fear.

but freedom.

they were in place because i needed them: to keep me focused, or keep me safe…or — even though i didn’t see it at first — to challenge me to grow. to challenge me to question them, and to make that jump. sometimes they were my friend, sometimes they were my enemy…but they had their time. and i am who i am thanks to them.

sara

question everything.

why truth is so important…

nothing can betray our beliefs swifter than our actions. they are the springboard of all that we do, whether we know it or not.

why do i struggle? why do i find myself in bondage? well, the answer lies in my belief: is it truth, or a lie?

(i know my teachers/mentors will appreciate the use of this:)

believe > think > feel > act

what you believe affects how you think; what you think affects how you feel; how you feel affects how you act. if the end result is sin/disobedience, then your belief is based on a lie. ridiculously elementary, i know…but realizing that has allowed me to know where to begin as i try and figure this all out.

for me, this whole idea of freedom has been difficult to grasp. i’ve been so embedded with structure and routine and dos/don’ts, that i can’t see past the box i’m in sometimes. not to say that boundaries and routines are wrong, but like many other things used in excess, they can do harm.

as i’ve studied, bondage and slavery all coincide with sin. Christ set us free, truth sets us free. so my struggle has essentially revealed to me that my belief is rooted in some lie. no matter what i know, no matter what i tell myself, my thoughts, feelings and actions betray me.

so, what do i do now?

well, i’ve learned that knowing the truth is necessary to freedom. my life is testimony enough to that, and continues to be so. life continues to amaze me. and it never fails: as i stop and look back to thank Him for how far He has brought me, and serve Him wholeheartedly where He has me now, something happens to allow me to look forward to what’s ahead…as if it’s some sort of surprise that there isn’t all there is. there’s more. but hope requires some exercise in freedom, too, and that’s something i still have to work on.

but the story isn’t over. not yet.

sara

one small step at a time. no rush.

one word: freedom

last year i had some issues. i felt myself feeling restricted, stuck in a box, trapped in habits…and i can’t stand the thought of any kind of bondage. i desire freedom. i too easily fall into lines of legalism: dos, don’ts, musts, can’ts…so i do what i can to avoid it. growing up in an environment of restriction and legalism and spiritual abuse has turned me fearful into falling back into the old habits.

it’s hard to know when to draw the line. keeping what’s healthy and dismissing what’s not. staying motivated enough to keep up. my bible studying habits have suffered because of my fear of turning it into a chore:  i must do this a certain way and i can’t use that and this is the routine i must keep and if i fail in any which way or break a personal rule then…well, you can see the issue.

so in my effort to free myself from…well, myself, i stepped back a bit and tried to simplify. i tried not to heap so much guilt on myself when it didn’t happen…and then it started to NOT happen very often at all. my prayer life and relationship with Him didn’t seem to suffer, but i started starving myself, and have been since wondering why i’m suddenly so indifferent and frustrated. how could i have allowed it? getting to know Him is one of the most precious privileges i had come to love and crave…studying His word is a beautiful, beautiful thing. when did it start becoming a burden? how could i take something so wonderful and turn it against myself? really, i’m just ridiculous.

God is not a God of bondage. He set us free. He is also not a God of fear, and yet somehow that has crept its way into my life again. maybe i need to take a look at how the spiritual abuses are still affecting me.  i’ve had to be so diligent in so many areas of my life in my recovery to not fall back; it’s a constant thing, and it just seems like as one layer is peeled away, another is revealed. so here i am again…

so, while i’ve been opposed to making any kind of resolution, i am determined to deal with this. to achieve freedom spiritually, emotionally, socially, etc. because, really, the more i think about it, i’ve got a deeply rooted issue here.

(and now i have the mental picture of mel gibson screaming in my head.)

so, here’s to my one word: FREEEEEDOOOMM!!!

sara

i blame the OneWord365 initiative for this. i fought against the idea for a while, because, well…i didn’t want to be committed/restricted/on a bandwagon/whatever. and i actually had a different word to begin with, and then found myself fighting against the idea of changing it to this.

so…while i’m a few days late, here goes…