It has been a while since I have been able to sit down and write. I have been spending some much needed time reading and learning. I have been asking God to speak to me and He has been faithful to show me things I need to see. I have recently been reading You Are Free by Rebekah Lyons. God is showing me so many things about myself in this book that I would like to share with you. If you are a people pleaser or performing for others in order to gain their approval, then this book is for you. Go get it!!!!!
Have you ever read a book and you underline almost everything you read because it relates so much to you? That has been me since I started reading this book! She is helping me see so many things. In the past, I would push myself and push myself until my body couldn’t take any more. I would literally make myself sick trying to please and perform for others. I was in a vicious cycle for many years. Rebekah writes, “I couldn’t hear God’s voice when my head was down, when I was pushing my own agenda or working to please others. I wore myself ragged trying to be enough, and it wore me out. I longed to be free.” I underlined those sentences and wrote out to the side, “Me”.
Can anyone else relate to that? Have you been running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off trying to make everyone happy? It’s exhausting! And more important, that isn’t what God wants for us. I knew deep down inside that this wasn’t freedom in Christ, but I didn’t know how to stop this vicious cycle. I had been this way my whole life and I didn’t know or understand how to change. I had been working my whole life to make people happy and I didn’t know how to stop. It was killing me and I didn’t know how to change. Rebekah states, “Growing up, I never understood my longing for approval was really an unquenched thirst for Jesus and His unconditional love for me.” Boy, could I relate to that statement!
There have been many layers to my issues. I have had to slowly go through them in order to be set free. It hasn’t been a quick process for me. Work, performance and pleasing were deeply ingrained in me. I was on the extreme end of the scale with those things. They consumed me. Rebekah writes, “When we become enslaved to anything, we miss out on a life of surrender and peace. A life where God is the Good Shepherd who gives us everything we need. A life where we lack nothing.” Boy oh boy is that true! I was missing out on so many things and I don’t want you to miss out on these things! I don’t want anyone to miss out on the freedom that Christ can bring us!
While I have been reading this book, I was reminded again recently that God made us to be human beings, not human doings. She says, “We cannot prioritize our doing before being, our assignment before healing, our service before freedom.” He wants us “to be” with Him much more than He wants us “to do” for Him. It took me a long time to see that. When I can be alone with Him, I am so incredibly happy. And, if I can be alone with Him outside in my backyard, then I feel like I hit the jackpot. When the sun is shining and the wind is blowing, I feel peaceful. I love to bask in His creation. I simply love being alone with Jesus. But there are still days when that “to do” list looms in the back of my thoughts. I see so many things that need to be done and it distracts me from being with Jesus. So, I am confessing to you that I haven’t completely arrived to where I want to be, but I am working on it! (ha ha!)
Because of my anxiety issues, I have struggled so much with feeling abandoned and alone even though I knew in my head that God was with me. There was a disconnect between my heart and my head. Through my journaling, God spoke to me, not audibly, but He showed me that my feelings stemmed from a childhood of abandonment. Of course that made perfect sense to me, but how do I get over feeling this way? He asked me, “Do you want me more or do you want healing?” I answered, “I want both!” I have to be honest here. Why couldn’t I have healing and have more of Jesus? Well….. He began to show me what I needed to focus on. I will share His wise words with you.
“Little one, I hear you and I see you. I want you to trust me to help you. Look to Me first. I am enough for you. You don’t need to strive or perform for me.” Those words…..”I am enough for you” haunted me. Did I really believe He was enough for me? Obviously I didn’t. I needed to be reminded again that He is enough for me. If He chooses to heal me of my ailments, then He will. He is more than able to do that and I know that, but I had my priorities screwed up. I wanted healing more than I wanted Him. I wanted answers more than I wanted Him. He needed to point that out to me.
I needed to thirst more for Him than anything else in my life; even more than healing. Rebekah points out, “We are hardwired to thirst. In fact, thirst is said to be the strongest of all human urges. When we are thirsty, we will do anything to be filled.” So, I got down on my knees and cried and confessed to Him how I felt. I confessed that I was still striving and performing for others. I asked for His help so I could only thirst for Him and His will for my life. I confessed my need for His living water because He is the only one who can truly satisfy my soul.
So, friends I am learning day by day that I need to change. I struggle in certain areas, but I am asking the Lord to change me. I am going to leave you with a prayer by Rebekah Lyons. “My prayer is that we will begin to receive healing from our deepest wounds and discover that restoration brings true freedom. As we abide in God’s presence, where He informs and sustains us, we can serve from a new place of freedom. Confession, whether it be a confession of repentance or a declaration of truth, begets freedom. There is no shortcut or strategy. This is how we run free.”
I want to hold hands with my Savior and run free and I want that for you too!
Psalm 143:6 “I spread out my hands to you; I thirst for you like a parched land.”
John 4:14 “But whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”
Until next time….