In my travels as a national conference and retreat speaker, I observed that while we, as American women, are literally free, most of us are not totally free. Due to our own insecurities and painful past experiences, we tend to make rules around our hang ups, we allow our fears to limit our adventures, and we live smaller lives than God intended for us.
We tend to struggle with true freedom because it seems less painful to stay captive. We have so many comforts to prop us up, so many things with which to medicate our pain that we never really have to leave our captivity if we don’t want to. It takes courage and grit to embrace the bigger call on our lives.
As I pondered this idea of true freedom, I couldn’t help but wonder why so many of us are willing to stay captive – when we don’t have to – while millions today are held against their will in literal captivity.
Jesus wants us free. That’s why He came. It’s for freedom that Christ has set us free (See Galatians 5:1). The enemy wants us captive because it keeps us from being the radical world-changers God intended us to be.
A couple of years ago I had the idea to write a book that somehow connects our freedom with the freedoms of others. Though I knew this project would challenge and stretch me, I had no idea that I was about to walk into a battlefield.
I can’t begin to describe the opposition I encountered while writing this book. You know that poem, Footprints in the Sand? Well, my poem would be more fitly titled, Heel Gouges in the Sand. God, in His divine way, had to drag me through the process of writing this book because it was so grueling and costly at times.
My faith was stretched and challenged in big ways. I experienced several graphic nightmares; terrible sleepless nights; continual computer issues, harassing thoughts, health battles, and a constant sense that I was awaking a sleeping giant in my midst.
Day after day, hour after hour I pounded out the words in spite of the mental and physical exhaustion and my stirred up fears. But God was with me, cheering me on. And I am so thankful for His grace and patience with me along the way. Now that the book is in the hands of readers, I can truly say, it was all worth it.
Though I really didn’t have a fun moment during the whole writing process, I knew my assignment was an important one and I did my best to complete it. I will say though, when I held the first copy of Embracing Your Freedom in my hands, that familiar lump found it’s way to my throat and my eyes watered up instantly. This book was such a labor of love for me and my publisher did such a phenomenal job with the page and cover design, I was overwhelmed that God allowed me to be a part of this project. And can I say this? The finished product is simply beautiful.
Writing any book is hard work. And though my other books involved certain challenges and lots of discipline, this book took me to task in every way. Amazingly though, now that I am on the other side of this battle, I have a newfound conviction and courage to stand in battle. I am less afraid than I was before.
Isn’t that always the way it goes? We have to live our message – on a much deeper level than we’d like – before we are qualified to share it with a world in need.
My new book, Embracing Your Freedom, calls women to possess gritty faith and to tenaciously contend for their freedom in Christ. God has a big plan for our lives; He wants to use us in mind-boggling ways, but we will miss out on this great adventure if we choose to live small, self-protective lives and if we refuse to take on the giants in our land.
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