I've been thinking a lot lately about freedom and healing. I wrote a lot last month about finding my brave and I guess that's just another word for freedom. Free to live out from under the bondage of fear. It is also another word for healed. Even though my heart has been broken my God has been my healer. Even though I feel like all I have is ashes he comes near to me, draws me close and breathes new life into the hollow places.
And as I have been moving forward these last few weeks there has been a big question at the front of my mind... Now what? So you have found freedom and healing and brave - so what?
We have a saying at my church "freed people free people" When we find freedom we pass it on.
Here is the truth: I do not always feel free. Not really. I am very much aware that I have a very long way to go. I tend to be more aware of my remaining brokenness than I am aware of God's healing. I tend to focus on all of the ways that I am still bound up instead of celebrating my freedom in Christ.
Sometimes this awareness of brokenness is helpful - if I'm able to speak about it honestly I think it encourages others who are struggling that what they feel is more common than they might think, and that they are not alone.
But I also think that this awareness of my brokenness sometimes leads me to hang back from serving others. I don't feel qualified for X, Y or Z because good grief I'm still struggling with A B & C!!
I believe that if I have been loved by God I need to pass that love along. I have been healed and I need to be willing to let people get close enough to see the scars. I have been freed and I need to be willing to make myself available to those who are taking their first baby steps out of bondage and say " I've been there. Our God is so very faithful. Yes, you'll fall. God never leaves you because of it. You might not make a lot of progress in a day or a week or a month or a year but give it five years - watch what God will do - He has done amazing things for me and in me and through me and he isn't finished with me yet. He's not finished with you yet either."
God hasn't set me free just for me. He set me free to be a message of freedom to others. He hasn't healed me just so that I can feel more comfortable or so that I can sit up on a shelf as a trophy of His awesomeness - He healed me to be an example of healing and to be a living breathing testimony that God can do anything no matter how big or small.
Once my heart changes, my eyes start to open and my hands start to find the first steps. I don't know what all that will mean in the coming seasons.
I heard this song again on the radio yesterday. Every time I hear it I get chills because it took me such a long time to understand the truth and the beauty behind this song. On the surface this song seems to be about a marriage relationship but I think it applies to all of our other relationships too: