You are Free.....Intro & To Be Free

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

I have been planning on reading You are Free by Rebekah Lyons since I bought the book last year as soon as it came out in February.  It stares at me and taunts me.  First from my book case and now from my side table of books that I have every intention of reading......but for some reason I don't.  

There was a purpose to purchasing this book.  It came out at a time that I was feeling pressured as an Elder, a Wife, a Mom, a Daughter, a Sister, etc...  I felt like everything in my life held me in a vice grip and wouldn't let go.  It was overwhelming and it was tiring.  I knew I wasn't dealing with anything in the way I should.  I was finding rest in all the wrong places - Netflix, YA fiction (I'll do a post on my favourites later), friends, shopping, food and of course my favourite......coffee.  But all these things continued to leave me broken and wrecked.  I wandered in the wilderness or what felt like the wilderness.  I felt alone.  I felt powerless.  Since last year, there have been a few occasions that I have felt true rest with Jesus but those have been fleeting because the battle still rages and the endless shells in this battle have left me shell shocked.  

The book description of You are Free is:

Have you bought the lie? Many of us do. We measure our worth by what others think of us. We compare and strive, existing mostly for the approval of others. Pressure rises, anxiety creeps in and we hustle to keep up.
Jesus whispers, I gave my life to set you free. I gave you purpose. I called you to live in freedom in that purpose. Yet we still hobble through life, afraid to confess all the ways we push against this truth, because we can’t even believe it. We continue to grasp for the approval of anyone that will offer it: whether strangers, friends, or community.
Christ doesn’t say you can be or may be or will be free. He says you are free. 
Christ came to make the captives free. (Galatians 5:1) Free from sin, condemnation, and comparison to name a few.  If I proclaim that I am in Christ than I must be accept this basic truth - I AM FREE.  Then why don't I live that way.  Why do I still live as a captive to emotions, sins, comparison, expectations, lies, and history?  Why do I not embrace His truth for me as His sister and co-heir?  Why do I question God and keep Him at arms length when all He wants is to embrace me and hold me and guide me to safe places.  

Now you may want to know why I am writing about this book now.  I have decided while I read this book I will be posting my journal responses to the chapter questions.  This will (1) keep me accountable to reading this book and (2) give me a space share my struggles in an authentic open way.  It won't be pretty, of this I am sure.  Nothing when it breaks ever is.  But in the breaking comes new life and hope and promise.  I hope you will join me on this journey and show me grace as I travel it with you.

Chapter One - To be Free

There are very few times in my life I have truly felt free.  I come from an abusive and neglected background.  My parents married because of me and this was not a marriage that should have ever happened.  There was cheating and abuse on both sides and I was in the middle.  Often, my grandparents had to come and get me (also known as we have to save that baby).  My parents divorced and we lived with my grandparents on and off for a few years until my mother's second marriage, which was no better than the third.  However, it was during this time period that I learned about Church. 

We lived in a military base in the middle of no where British Columbia (in fact, that base doesn't even exist anymore).  For some reason, probably because it was the social thing to do, I was forced to go to Catechism classes at the base Catholic Church.  I remember our Priest was a little man who was originally from India.  He was lovely and answered this little girl's question.   My family did not go to Church and never had in all my childhood.  My best friend's family did and I would sleep over at her house and we would go to Church together.  I loved that little congregation and the smells of candles burning and incense and the sights of the wooden pews, stained glass windows and the pomp and circumstance of a Catholic Church.  Many times to escape my wretched home life I would go to Church and I often beat the Priest there.  He always welcomed me and showed me love and acceptance.  I don't know what happened but after 8 months my parents informed me that since I was baptized as an Anglican I had to go to the Protestant Church.  I never felt the same way about this congregation as I did that small Catholic one.  The Pastor and Sunday School teachers didn't know what to do with me and I slowly stopped going to Church.  If I had been older (this all happened when I was 8) I probably would have kept going to the Catholic Church.  This Church and it's people showed me what it meant to be the hands and feet of Jesus and not surprising, it is the way I expect all Churches I attend to be now.  You never know when a lost little girl seeking true freedom and love will walk through those doors.

It's funny that the lies of adults slowly creep into our lives as children and society's norms become our chains.  I think back at that little girl who played with the boys and ran in the mud and biked everywhere and loved being outside.  I am sure those close to me are shocked at my saying this.  I am not really an outdoors person per se.  I love hiking but not a lot.  I will continue to assault your idea of me because I was one of the kids who regularly hunted for frog's eggs in the bogs.  I did things and went places that I have never allowed my children to do.  Of that I am sorry.  They'll never know playing outside until the street lights come on and only coming in for food (some of those boundaries have to do with the boys' autism though).  

When did I start to care what others thought of me?  When did my value come from my looks?  When did it stop being OK to hang with the boys?  When did I start to believe the lies?  I am praying that as I continue through this book that I will push through the lies and embrace the freedom that Jesus died on a cross to give to me.

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