“Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
So I know a lot of people like to pick a word to help them set goals and define the upcoming year...I have never done that but as I have been praying and thinking about the upcoming year, I am thinking that writing down the areas I hope to grow and spend time focusing on them will help me be more successful.
As I thought about the things I'd like to see change in my life in the future there was a theme running through all of it. I have allowed myself to become shackled despite all that I know to be true.
“For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1
This verse above...I have read it many times...I know it is true...and yet I feel like I keep submitting to that yoke of slavery. There are so many aspects of my life that have become a weight that I feel chained too.
He HAS set us free. It is done. What an amazing gift. Yet, I keep refusing to graciously accept that gift.
My word for 2012 is FREE. I am going to make every effort to accept the gift my Father has given and REALLY receive it. I have struggled lately with anxiety. I feel shackled to financial burdens, educational burdens, church stuff, and just all around expectations that I hold for myself and NEVER live up to.
Expectations are huge for me. I see in my head how lets say, homeschooling should look...and guess what...NINE times out of ten it doesn't look the way I had imagined. I plan a picture perfect family fun day and it is wrecked because I am disappointed that it doesn't look how I had imagined. My house is never clean enough, meals never perfect, children well behaved enough. That isn't freedom...it is slavery...slavery to expectations...I resolve to accept my freedom in Christ and break the chains that bind me to my own expectations.
We carry a significant amount of debt, some from the stuff of life that no on expects and in the moment you just have to take care of, a huge portion for our college educations, and some just from poor decision making. This year, I resolve to break the chains this debt holds on us. This one has been huge for me. I never really thought it was hat big of a deal, and God has really shown me that our money cannot be used as His money when it is all tied down to debt. We are on a quest to financial freedom and we have made a plan.
We have struggled for several years now with the bondage that church can sometimes bring. Don't get me wrong...I am not here to bash any church or tell you that churches are bad, we have been blessed to be a part of a couple of really great church families with some really great people, but as I grow closer to the Lord I find that I am saddened by what the institution of church has become. I yearn for something authentic and convicting and we are praying through what that means for our family. I resolve to be open to whatever the Lord has for us in this area. I know that fellowship, teaching and worship are very important and we have been lacking in those areas.
Homeschooling, is an area where I feel especially chained. I think a large portion of that bondage comes from fear. I fear that I won't be adequate or that I won't have the tools to help these amazing kids be all that they can be and so I stick rigidly to a curriculum that just isn't really working for us...resulting in frustration as we merely go through the motions and just get by. This year I resolve to be intentional in my teaching my children and to have FUN with them. I pray to overcome the insecurities and cling to the truth that God CHOSE me for this. He chose me to be their mom and He will guide me in what is best.
Food, food is a struggle for me and let's be honest...it is a drug of choice for many of us. I am an emotional eater and since having Isaac I have packed on the pounds and while fretting about appearances is a bondage in and of itself, allowing myself to become unhealthy is not what God wants from me. This year I resolve to go to God first. I resolve to pray before putting anything into my mouth that it may be to nourish my body and not to numb my pain.
So I choose for 2012 to be the year of the Free for me! This will be the year that I break away from the things that are holding me back from what God wants me to be. I have to admit...sometimes I just want to take the easy route...I just want to be comfortable...and I am learning that God really isn't interested in my comfort...growing hurts.
God offers us freedom in Him. He has paid the price and given us a gift we don't deserve and I have been an ungracious receiver. I pray that 2012 is the year that I open my hand, receive His freedom and break the chains that are binding me.
“Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear?” Acts 15:10
“For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” Romans 8:15
“We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. He has delivered us from such a deadly peril, and He will deliver us. On Him we have set our hope that He will continue to deliver us.” 2 Corinthians 1:10
“In my anguish I cried to the LORD, and He answered by setting me free.” Psalm 118:5
“Since the children [are human], He too shared in their humanity so that by His death He might destroy Him who holds the power of death– that is, the devil — and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” Hebrews 2:14-15
What is your word? What are your 2012 goals? How can I pray fr you?