It seems ironic that God would use some physical pain I was experiencing to teach me about WALKING IN FREEDOM, but that is exactly what He did yesterday. Here is what I wrote in my personal journal:
“Body, soul, and spirit are designed to experience pain as a signal that gets me to act differently in response to the pain that I am experiencing. Pain is a message that something isn’t right and needs to change. My usual response to pain is to compartmentalize it/deny it/avoid it and continue on…
By not allowing myself to experience the fullness of my pain I am depriving myself of experiencing the fullness of my joy as well. Limiting myself in one area limits me in other areas as well. I cannot selectively compartmentalize my emotions.
My ‘normal’ has been to brace myself against pain (mental, emotional, or physical) and bulldoze through it as though it weren’t happening at all.
Pretend. Deny. Internalize. Keep my chin up. Be strong for others. Minimize my needs. Make myself useful, indispensable even. Earn my keep. Earn my place. Whatever you do, Anna, just don’t become a problem. As you know, problems are eliminated. Just continue on as though you are okay, because you don’t want to be sent back to Denver.”
***The light bulb goes on***
I realized through the journaling process that I learned to take on the weight of the responsibility for other people’s problems that I was never intended to carry. I was carrying burdens for others that I was never intended to bear.
I did this because I felt like I needed to earn my place with the people that I lived with. If I wasn’t useful then I wasn’t needed.
I learned at a young age to push aside
In other words, I learned to numb myself and PERFORM at all costs, to be USEFUL, even when it is to my own detriment.
Yesterday, that lie was uprooted. Here is what Holy Spirit said to me:
“Anna, I am going to work in the lives of others through you; not at your expense, BUT AT MINE.”
In other words, I don’t have to pay the price for the freedom of others. I can’t. The price for their freedom has already been paid in full…on the Cross.
The freedom that I have experienced and walk in was very costly to Him. The difference between me and others is that I have pressed in and availed myself of the freedom that Jesus died on the Cross to provide for me. It’s available to all who ask, seek, and knock for themselves. Too often I have found myself asking, seeking, and knocking on behalf of others. I was doing the work for them that they should have been doing for themselves. I was working harder on their problem than they were, as Danny Silk says. I was expending myself in a way that did not allow them to expend themselves in this process. What I was doing was actually not very helpful, even though my intentions were entirely pure (though selfishly motivated…ouch!).
The price for freedom has been paid. Jesus paid it all. It is at His Expense that people are saved, healed, set free and made whole. Freedom, just like Salvation, is a gift that must be received in order to be experienced. Those who are not free are in a prison that is locked from the inside, and the key is inside the prison with them. Nobody else can open the cell door for them. They have to want to be free. Sure, I could bust them out of prison from the outside, but that won’t help them stay free. They will only be imprisoned again because they didn’t learn how to stay free.
Two of my favorite Bob Hamp quotes are:
“Freedom isn’t the absence of something. Freedom is the presence of someOne.”
“Freedom is becoming the person that you were created and redeemed to be.”
Paul said to the Corinthians, “Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
The key to uprooting the lies, unlocking the prison doors, and to being set free is His Presence.