The face of freedom

IMG_0766This morning I was doing my work out with the girls. Gracie, one of the college students has an incredible gift of leading workouts and motivating us beyond our norm. (We call her Denise when she leads us!) She is a ballerina and completely embodies her (given) name.

Today as we were doing a plie tears filled my eyes. Though no one noticed, I became very overwhelmed. I actually get teary now simply thinking about it. The overwhelmed feelings came on me, as I had no idea from where the tears came. I frantically searched through the rolodex of triggers and experiences in my mind to see if I could discover the source of the tears. Memories, words and pictures passed through my mind as if one were watching a reel to reel film of my life in fast motion. As each memory passed, they left no mark. Not one. I had no idea from where these tears originated.

Then I whispered to Jesus, “help me! why am I crying?” At that moment an emotion filled me. It was so profound that I had to breathe in deep so I could take it all in.

The tears were a result of grief.

As I worked out and witnessed this young woman so free and flexible and light, I knew a deep and profound grief. The grief was not brought on by Gracie, no, the grief was brought on by my own choice.

Years and years ago I made an agreement with a lie that formed me. I gave this lie a tremendous amount of power and the lie actually kept me from so much good. As a child I always wanted to be a dancer. But no, I wouldn’t allow myself to dance. I wanted to be an athlete. But no, I wouldn’t allow myself to compete, let alone try out. In high school I so badly wanted to be a cheerleader. But, I would not allow myself to audition.  There are countless other experiences I neglected to give myself, as I was held captive to a lie. A lie that truly formed me.

These lies tempted me as though they were true and just like Adam and Eve, I took the metaphorical apple and ate it. In doing so, I made an agreement with the lie that I was fat. I made an agreement that I was ugly. I made an agreement that I couldn’t do anything positive with my body. I made an agreement that my value came from those places and for years and years…… and years those lies were an over arching guiding force for me. And today, as I worked out, I felt the loss of good. I felt the loss of life. I felt the loss of skills I wish I’d had. I felt the loss of experience and freedom.  And that loss caused me, in a moment of experiencing the good I had missed out on for all those years, to cry.

The grief was different than shame. Shame overwhelms and keeps one hidden and stuck, but grief, grief acknowledges loss and actually is a feeling that indicates the end of something. So in the same breath, I grieved the loss of so much life and good, because of an agreement with a lie, AND I also rejoiced as I know that lie is now gone. It no longer has any hold over me. Freedom washed over me just as the sweat from my workout.

When I realized I was grieving, my tears turned from grief to joy in an instant. I shall weep no more! I shall grieve no more. For I am no longer managed by the power of this lie, no! I am new.  The old has truly gone! It’s gone!

When I decided to come to Spain to co-lead this program I felt deep within me that God was inviting me to come to Spain to experience and walk in freedom. I felt an invitation to live into the healing, restoration and truth that He has given me in the past few months. And today, at this very moment, I know that freedom. I know it deep within me and it causes tears to come even as I type.

Truth always sets us free.

Lies always bind us up.

For years and years I was owned. But I am owned no more. The reality of Christ and his good and his truth rests on my chest that was once so full of anxiety, shame and fear. I am free and my face and body show it! My face once heavy with shame, now shines with light and freedom and beauty.

Freedom is not an allusive idea or concept. It is real and it is for each of us.

Each of us, at one point or another, were given an invitation to believe a lie. Each of us were tempted to believe that this lie was truth for us. And many of us, stared the lie straight in the eye and shook hands with it. As our hands held the hands of deception, its lies filled our bones and  laid heavy upon us, sapping our life, as a leech in still water.

I don’t know what that lie is for you. For some it might be that they aren’t valued because they could never be enough. Others were abused and believe the only time they have value is when their bodies are being used. Others may not have measured up to their father’s standard of manhood or their mother’s concept of beauty. And still, others may feel their only source of value comes through external beauty. Maybe you were abandoned by a loved one. Maybe you were never chosen for a team. Maybe people mocked you in a certain area or constantly told you you would amount to no good.

Again, I don’t know what lie has formed you, but today, I ask that you take a moment and ask Jesus, the very author of truth, to reveal to you where you have made an agreement with a lie. As the lie surfaces, stare at the lie, look it up and down and remove your hand from the handshake of agreement, and turn your back it. Do not look back. Walk forward. Walk away from that which kills, steals and destroys and walk towards life. Jesus says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life,” face him, listen to his words of invitation and run, don’t walk, don’t skip, don’t waste another moment of life!!! Run to Jesus and you will find life, life that is abundant and full.

I’d love to talk with or pray with any of you about this. Please feel free to email me or leave a comment and I will fight with you for truth.

Now take a moment and read words that are true. Allow them to wash over you like a hot shower on a cold day:

The Word Says in Jesus Christ…
I am faithful (Ephesians 1:1)
I am God’s child (John 1:12)
I have been justified (Romans 5:1)
I am Christ’s friend (John 15:15)
I belong to God (1 Corinthians 6:20)
I am a member of Christ’s Body (1 Corinthians 12:27)
I am assured all things work together for good (Romans 8:28)
I have been established, anointed and sealed by God (2 Corinthians 1:21-22)
I am confident that God will perfect the work He has begun in me (Philippians 1:6)
I am a citizen of heaven (Philippians 3:20)
I am hidden with Christ in God (Colossians 3:3)
I have not been given a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7)
I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me (1 John 5:18)
I am blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3)
I am chosen before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4, 11)
I am holy and blameless (Ephesians 1:4)
I am adopted as his child (Ephesians 1:5)
I am given God’s glorious grace lavishly and without restriction (Ephesians 1:5,8)
I am in Him (Ephesians 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:30)
I have redemption (Ephesians 1:8)
I am forgiven (Ephesians 1:8; Colossians 1:14)
I have purpose (Ephesians 1:9 & 3:11)
I have hope (Ephesians 1:12)
I am included (Ephesians 1:13)
I am sealed with the promised Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13)
I am a saint (Ephesians 1:18)
I am salt and light of the earth (Matfthew 5:13-14)
I have been chosen and God desires me to bear fruit (John 15:1,5)
I am a personal witness of Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8)
I am God’s coworker (2 Corinthians 6:1)
I am a minister of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:17-20)
I am alive with Christ (Ephesians 2:5)
I am raised up with Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 2:12)
I am seated with Christ in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6)
I have been shown the incomparable riches of God’s grace (Ephesians 2:7)
God has expressed His kindness to me (Ephesians 2:7)
I am God’s workmanship (Ephesians 2:10)
I have been brought near to God through Christ’s blood (Ephesians 2:13)
I have peace (Ephesians 2:14)
I have access to the Father (Ephesians 2:18)
I am a member of God’s household (Ephesians 2:19)
I am secure (Ephesians 2:20)
I am a holy temple (Ephesians 2:21; 1 Corinthians 6:19)
I am a dwelling for the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 2:22)
I share in the promise of Christ Jesus (Ephesians 3:6)
God’s power works through me (Ephesians 3:7)
I can approach God with freedom and confidence (Ephesians 3:12)
I know there is a purpose for my sufferings (Ephesians 3:13)
I can grasp how wide, long, high and deep Christ’s love is (Ephesians 3:18)
I am completed by God (Ephesians 3:19)
I can bring glory to God (Ephesians 3:21)
I have been called (Ephesians 4:1; 2 Timothy 1:9)
I can be humble, gentle, patient and lovingly tolerant of others (Ephesians 4:2)
I can mature spiritually (Ephesians 4:15)
I can be certain of God’s truths and the lifestyle which He has called me to (Ephesians 4:17)
I can have a new attitude and a new lifestyle (Ephesians 4:21-32)
I can be kind and compassionate to others (Ephesians 4:32)
I can forgive others (Ephesians 4:32)
I am a light to others, and can exhibit goodness, righteousness and truth (Ephesians 5:8-9)
I can understand what God’s will is (Ephesians 5:17)
I can give thanks for everything (Ephesians 5:20)
I don’t have to always have my own agenda (Ephesians 5:21)
I can honor God through marriage (Ephesians 5:22-33)
I can parent my children with composure (Ephesians 6:4)
I can be strong (Ephesians 6:10)
I have God’s power (Ephesians 6:10)
I can stand firm in the day of evil (Ephesians 6:13)
I am dead to sin (Romans 1:12)
I am not alone (Hebrews 13:5)
I am growing (Colossians 2:7)
I am His disciple (John 13:15)
I am prayed for by Jesus Christ (John 17:20-23)
I am united with other believers (John 17:20-23)
I am not in want (Philippians 4:19)
I possess the mind of Christ (I Corinthians 2:16)
I am promised eternal life (John 6:47)
I am promised a full life (John 10:10)
I am victorious (I John 5:4)
My heart and mind is protected with God’s peace (Philippians 4:7)
I am chosen and dearly loved (Colossians 3:12)
I am blameless (I Corinthians 1:8)
I am set free (Romans 8:2; John 8:32)
I am crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20)
I am a light in the world (Matthew 5:14)
I am more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37)
I am the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21)
I am safe (I John 5:18)
I am part of God’s kingdom (Revelation 1:6)
I am healed from sin (I Peter 2:24)
I am no longer condemned (Romans 8:1, 2)
I am not helpless (Philippians 4:13)
I am overcoming (I John 4:4)
I am persevering (Philippians 3:14)
I am protected (John 10:28)
I am born again (I Peter 1:23)
I am a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)
I am delivered (Colossians 1:13)
I am redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13)
I am qualified to share in His inheritance (Colossians 1:12)
I am victorious (1 Corinthians 15:57)

Now that is what I call truth! May these truths dwell in your hearts, may their reality fill you up and may they be the words that define you.

Be blessed!

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4 thoughts on “The face of freedom

  1. My friend, I read this and just ached to be next to you. I, too, agreed to this lie and have lived my life by its rule. I, too, wanted to dance and play sports but i quit or never tried when i felt fat, slow or clumsy. Your words have brought me hope. Pray for me to hear these truths and let them change me forever! I’m not the mother, wife or friend I want to be because of my body and health. I desperately want to quit smoking as my first step into freedom. Will you pray for that?

    Love and miss you! Lets be workout buddies when you get home 🙂

    * Kelly

    Sent from my iPhone

  2. Gal 5:1 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.
    Psalm 119:45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.
    Carrie- have you read The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown?

  3. This makes me SO happy. You are honestly the most beautiful woman I have ever met and have the privilege of knowing. Thank you for sharing your wisdom and life with us. 🙂

  4. My dear Cari
    Thank you for sharing all the truths of our Lord Jesus so we can read all these treasured words in one area! Amazing, truly amazing how Our Lord Jesus has so clearly spoken love and encouragement over us! Thank you also for sharing your innermost thoughts and tears with us! Your Willingness to be so vulnerable is very special! So many of us have different views/perspectives about are own bodies than What The Lord has of us! Lord help us each have that same view!
    Much love,

    Lynn Dennehy
    Ladera Ranch, CA
    Cell: 703-338-5783

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