Courage is a big theme in my story, and I hope it to be in yours too.
One of my mantras I say to myself is this: I want the life God died for me to have. I am not talking about the prosperity gospel. I am talking about life, abundance, hope, love and meaning. I am talking about living the life that we were destined for.
I am talking about freedom.
St. Paul reminds us in Galatians that “It is for freedom that we are set free (vs. 5:1).” This freedom is never referring to the right to do as we please; rather it’s the power to do as you should. It is the power to love as Christ loves. Christ, the messiah, has set us free so that we might walk in the freedom of love, justice, and mercy and not be enslaved to the flesh (Rom 6:20). We know the slavery well:
Not feeling good enough.
Feeling insecure about anything and everything.
Hiding from relationships and feeling isolated.
Striving for acceptance and always finding it just out of reach.
Bonded to the same ol’ sins and hooked by the same ol’ addictions.
Eating a whole bag of muffins in one sitting… ok, that may just be me.
He came to set us free! To witness to His presence in a world that desperately needs it. But what does this practically look like in our day to day lives?
It means: COURAGE
I have a framed print on my bedroom wall that says, “Change of any sort takes courage.” My counselor gave it to me after completing my first year of therapy. We face change every day in our lives, even in small ways, and those moments require their share of courage. But for now, I want to talk about that deep, gut-wrenching, face-your-deepest-fear, transformative kind of change. The kind of courage it takes to walk with God in the deepest part of our hearts. The kind of courage it takes to be real and honest with ourselves about our brokenness, our need, our sin, and our inability to fix ourselves.
It takes courage to own our stories. It takes courage to own our failures without shame. It even takes courage to let Him love us in the places we fear we are unlovable.
It takes courage.
Few people talk about the messy journey to sanctity. Few people talk about the messy journey to sanctity. We like to preach love, (trust me – it is all about love). We have a God who gives us everything. Every hope, every possibility and grace… But he is a God who will ask for everything in return – every lie, idol, and pattern of sin- he wants you to surrender to Him.
What I have learned is this: the only way out of slavery and into freedom is through the cross.
If I could give two or three messages to the next generation it would first be the abundant, insane, unmeasurable saving love and power of Christ but second it would be Be brave.
Being Brave means we must have the courage to trust in a love story greater than our lies, our past, and our weaknesses…. It takes courage to wage the interior battle of the heart. The great news is that we know the story ends in victory: freedom, power, love, and hope.
The question becomes: will you surrender to the process?
Will you lay down your life for Love?