Monday, June 01, 2015

a yoke of slavery

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. -Galatians 5:1

I have been set free.

...I allowed myself to be burdened, and now I am free again. 

I am realizing I need to find the old Kenzie. The set-free me that was confident, adventurous, fun-loving, and wholeheartedly following God. I have learned so much through recent experiences, one thing has changed: my naïveté is diminished and I have more of a backbone to stand up for my convictions.

I had allowed myself to bend and change. It happened slowly: inch by inch. I allowed myself to be controlled. I became hollow-feeling. I felt depressed and worthless. I would cry often.

I take responsibility for allowing this to happen. I should have had a backbone. I should have left this  sooner. But I thought by staying I was doing good. I believed lies. All of the red flags were there, I just wanted to ignore them. 

Praise God, I was empowered by a loving support group to move forward and out.  

God has forgiven me. That should be enough. But when one is in this mindset, one learns to twist blame around to themselves. Learning to forgive myself and see myself as God's beloved child is so hard.

The spirit laid Psalm 73 on my heart. I felt a surge of joy and a pang of sadness identifying with Asaph as I read his psalm.  
God is indeed good to Israel,
to the pure in heart.
But as for me, my feet almost slipped;
my steps nearly went astray.
For I envied the arrogant;
I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
They have an easy time until they die,
and their bodies are well fed.
They are not in trouble like others;
they are not afflicted like most people.
Therefore, pride is their necklace,
and violence covers them like a garment.

It is difficult to admit that I allowed myself to get totally swept up into things that in the perspective of God's bigness are flecks of mud, not worth a thought. I began to change my perspective from God to things in the here and now. Like Asaph, I wondered: 

"Did I purify my heartand wash my hands in innocence for nothing?" 

I started to wonder if God really even cared about what I was currently doing vs what I had been doing as I followed him. 
In hindsight, YES HE DOES CARE. But at the time I was beginning to be bogged down and not able to see with perspective; I doubted God's goodness and will.

I have been embittered by some circumstances. It hurts. I felt like God was silent, but it was from my own ignorance. I had been willfully ignorant, making it difficult for me to hear God. 
A few weeks ago I began to fervently pray and seek him, and as I became convicted, doors opened and truth was revealed. 

Restoration is underway. 

Knowing that the maker of the world cares this much for me, that he promises to uphold and love me... it's overwhelming. 

21 When I became embittered
and my innermost being was wounded,
22 I was stupid and didn’t understand;
I was an unthinking animal toward You.
23 Yet I am always with You;
You hold my right hand.
24 You guide me with Your counsel,
and afterward You will take me up in glory.
25 Who do I have in heaven but You?
And I desire nothing on earth but You.
26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength of my heart,
my portion forever.
27 Those far from You will certainly perish;
You destroy all who are unfaithful to You.
28 But as for me, God’s presence is my good.
I have made the Lord God my refuge,
so I can tell about all You do.
I have strayed from being who God has called me to be. But I know that in Him, He will guide my heart. He is my refuge and he is always with me.

I praise him for being my strength when I fail. I praise him for guiding me and for his goodness.

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