I was born in California, and moved to Colorado when I was 2 1/2. In Denver we met some lifelong friends, and had a sister and two brothers born there. Just six years later, my parents read a book about missions and decided to move down to Texas to join the ministry that had changed their perspective on life. I was raised in a very sheltered family, only knowing homeschooling, missions, lost people in other countries, the value of family, healthy eating, and eventually learned to 'fit in' to the lifestyle my friends had which involved wearing dresses and skirts all the time, turning an evil eye to dating and introducing the word 'courtship', having long hair, staying sheltered in my parents home until I was married and memorizing scripture.
Great values and ideas, for sure. No negative influence. Always modest. Thinking of others in other countries. Yet never knowing how to stand up for my faith. Always believing what everyone told me was right. Never questioning the truth or lack of truth behind it. Never wondering what God thought of it all.
Now that after 12 years of being in ministry, God showed us the truth of what was happening in leadership and allowed us to leave at just the right time...I'm beginning to question everything I once knew. I used to believe it all. Now I wonder what was true and what wasn't. The ministry hurt our family. Made us buy into lies. Deceived our minds and hearts without us knowing. We were in darkness, listening to whatever was said. The light that is shining now, is revealing the truth. How can I trust anything or anyone?
As the Lord has shown me little things here and there, I am starting to form my own opinions about where I stand in Christ and what I think He wants from me. And all He wants is for me to love and obey Him! All those wounds inside, all those beliefs I was taught, all the truth that was given, is now being used to solidify my identity in Christ. I am now free.
Growing up in the church I went to, we believed in courtship. I have now taken that into questioning as to the realistic aspect of it. Nowadays, dating is a common occurrence. Courtship is pretty much unheard of! And if there is a man that comes into my life that would like to pursue a relationship, how am I to know if he is the one for me without getting to know him? I'm not just going to wait for some guy to talk with my dad first and go through all the daddy things he would need to go through, to get to me :) That is where I have come up with a phrase called, "dating with a purpose." I am finally free.
Another thing I grew up doing is wearing skirts and dresses 24/7. If I didn't, I'd feel out of place and embarrassed. Now I've come to the conclusion that you can still be modest without going to that extreme. As long as you don't cause men to stumble, how is wearing capri's and a t-shirt bad? It's not! God has set me free.
Our family know people who stay at home with their family until their knight in shining armor takes them away. However, sometimes God wants us young ladies to wait awhile...and staying at home until that happens is not too practical. We can't learn how to stand up for the truth, if we're constantly in the truth. My parents have allowed me to pursue my dream of being a firefighter, which involves being in the world. The world being full on sin and sinners creates an interesting environment to say the least! I have now grown closer to the Lord, solidifying my faith in Him because I can stand up for what's right, Biblical, and godly in the midst of this fallen world. Being sheltered from the world I don't believe is right, rather having God shelter me and take care of me in the world while shining His light is a better idea. And then comes freedom.
Freedom is something that can only come from the Lord. Freedom is letting God control your life for His purpose, and not trying to please others. To please Him instead. Freedom is to let go of your burdens as His peace floods your soul.
"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord
is, there is freedom." 2 Corinthians 3:17
"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed."
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm,
then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by
the yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1
"In Him and through faith in Him we may approach
God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12
"But now that you have been set free from sin and
have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap
leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life."
"Live as free men, but do not use your freedom as a
cover-up for evil; live as servants of God." 1 Peter 2:16
"In my anguish I cried to the Lord, and He
answered by setting me free." Psalm 118:5
I was once chained to legalistic thoughts, bound to strict rules and regulations set by man. But Christ has set me free! I am no longer a slave and one who pleases men, but a slave and one who pleases God. He has already accepted me for who I am, not for who I once was or who I'll be later. I am His and He is mine. I am overwhelmed with the beauty of freedom, the depth of His love, and the pouring out of His grace.
Why are you hurting? Why are you lost? Pour it out on the Father who created you, and let Him set you free, yes free indeed!
He is worthy and greatly to be praised