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Monday, May 25, 2009

Freedom Reigns - Letting Go

I am a first born. I had an approval addiction.

In an attempt to always earn gratitude, attention, and worth, I became an overachiever. I made A’s. I cleaned my room. I took care of my siblings. I took on my mother’s problems. I helped my sister pay for her wedding. I took in my brother at age 14. I worked 40+ hour weeks on top of being a mother. I tried to do everything. By the time I was an adult I was burnt out and bitter. I had so much resentment towards those who didn’t give me their approval. It became so bad that I was angry at myself for not achieving certain things. But God revealed something to me one day.

I was in bondage.

Approval had become a false god in my life.

He revealed to me that my expectations of myself were causing others to expect the same of me. When I couldn’t deliver I began to have the same expectations of others to soothe my pain. After all, if they couldn’t do it then they shouldn’t expect me to. This was a vicious cycle.

Besides, if my mother wasn’t capable of raising her son then how could she expect me to be a perfect mother to him? I was only 24. What did I know about raising a teenager? That is what I thought. However, I still felt it was my responsibility to be the mother he never had. I felt like I had to save him.

I began to fervently seek God and pray for the bondage to be broken. At a woman’s conference I prayed as loud as I could for the generational curses to be stopped at my generation. I got on my face and begged God to take this away from me.

Then, one night, He said, “I already did.”

When? I still feel the same! Why do I still feel like I am shackled? I could not lift my arms in praise since they were bound to my ankles. I could not sing songs of worship because the posture I had to take constricted my voice. I was not free. Why?

I began to feel the words that were coming forth in worship:
Where the spirit of the Lord is
There is freedom
Where the spirit of the Lord is
There is freedom

If you're tired and you are thirsty
There is freedom
If you're tired and you are thirsty
There is freedom

Freedom reigns in this place
Showers of mercy and grace
Falling on every face
There is freedom
Tears began to stream down my face. I felt God holding me. He was speaking to me through this song…
We lift our eyes to Jesus
There is freedom
We lift our eyes to Jesus
There is freedom

Freedom reigns in this place
Showers of mercy and grace
Falling on every face
There is freedom

Jesus reigns in this place
Showers of mercy and grace
Falling on every face
There is freedom

I heard Him say “let go.”

“Let go of what?” I asked.

“Control” He said.
Whatever you're burdened with tonight
Whatever you struggle with tonight
There is Freedom
There is freedom

Nobody is looking at you tonight
Nobody is looking at you tonight
The eyes of the Lord is moving to and fro throughout the Earth
Seeking an heart that's completely His

“But how do I let go?” I asked Him.

God said to me, “Look down”
When I looked down at the chains that bound me…

…they were already broken.

All I had to do was take them off. They had been broken the whole time. I had prevented my own freedom.

With my eyes closed and tears pouring from my eyes, I went through the motions of removing the chains from my wrists. I didn’t care who saw or what they thought. I just did it.

I raised my hands higher than I ever had before. I began to jump up and down, smile, and sing louder than I ever had before.
Jesus you reign in this place
Showers of mercy and grace
Falling on every face
There is freedom

Freedom reigns in this place
Showers of mercy and grace
Falling on every face
There is freedom

I had to give up control of my emotions and mindset to God. I accepted my freedom from this bondage.

I sometimes still fall back into this old mindset. It is during these times that God reminds me to remove the shackles and to stop holding on to things that I think I have control over.

"I will walk at liberty and at ease, for I have sought and inquired for [and desperately required] Your Truth and Your Wisdom." - Psalm 119:45

"The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed." - Luke 4:18

What are you holding on to?

I'd love for you to visit me at my personal blog: Amy

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Blogger Denise said...

This was so awesomely beautiful, bless you.

August 3, 2007 at 11:33 PM  
Blogger Christine said...

Aside from your specific circumstances, this could be me you describe. This is an eye-opening post for me. Thanks, Amy!

August 4, 2007 at 11:44 AM  
Blogger Dawn ; ) said...

as Christine said ~ you could have been describing my life too. thank you for sharing, I really needed this today ~ I have fallen back into my old habits and I don't like it. I desire freedom and its mine for the taking. ;D

May the Lord continue to bless you and yours.

August 5, 2007 at 12:38 AM  
Blogger Laurel Wreath said...

from one oldest child to another, you wrote this about me huh? Great article Amy.

August 5, 2007 at 4:28 PM  
Anonymous Lynn said...


So many in bondage. Praise Jesus....He as already freed us. Powerful post and well written. Thank you.

August 5, 2007 at 5:17 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

The falling "back into this old mindset" is the stumbling block, isn't it? We've got to not only know that we're free, we've got to STAY FREE! I'll keep falling- it's a sad truth- but I'm going to fall forward into His arms.
He'll keep lifting me up.

August 6, 2007 at 9:02 AM  
Blogger The Preacher's Wife said...

Beautiful imagery...reminds me of a story i read once about how circus elephants are held by a tiny chain around the ankle they could easily break, however, they are resigned to bondage...

praise God you weren't...

blessings on you!


August 6, 2007 at 10:31 PM  
Blogger Vicki said...

Wonderful, truthful and timely. Thanks for writing this!

August 9, 2007 at 8:28 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What an eye opener. I too am in this bondage. With God's help, I hope to remove the broken chains. Thank you.

May 25, 2009 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, my, my, my. This sounds so familiar.

I've fallen into the approval trap so often. God pulls me back on the path with this:

"Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ." Galatians 1:10

Thanks for the meaningful post.

May 25, 2009 at 9:56 PM  
Blogger Lis Ann said...

This was so perfectly timed, thank you. God has really blessed me through you today. :)

May 26, 2009 at 1:25 AM  
Blogger BizzieLizzie said...

WOW Amy - powerful post! (((HUGS))) and Blessings your way!!

May 26, 2009 at 5:21 AM  

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