When I entered recovery I had never experienced true freedom.
I yearned for it. I think I always had.
I had always envisioned a life of just being.
A life of feeling true contentment and having the ability to laugh and connect with other people and to enjoy my life.
This piece of scripture from the book of Psalms explains what my life felt like to me before I found my freedom.
It is how I felt at my very worst.
These words paint the most accurate picture of how my heart, soul, mind, and body felt when I wanted to die just so I didn’t have to keep experiencing failure over and over again; so I wouldn’t have to look in the mirror one more time knowing that I couldn’t hack this life thing like other people could:
For troubles without number surround me; my sins have overtaken me, and I cannot see. They are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart fails within me. (Psalm 40:12)
This is how heavy my life felt to me.
I truly felt alone and saw no way of redeeming myself as a human, as a mother, and as a woman.
I had become a slave to my choices.
My past barricaded me.
And I believed that I was not worth more than the lifestyle I chose and the trap that I had accidentally walked into.
I felt more shame than I can even try to describe and yet I felt nothing.
I was drowning and I was exhausted and hopeless.
When I finally felt convinced that:
A) I had a serious life-threatening problem that I couldn’t fake having control over anymore
B) That I wanted to try be free; to be the mommy that my son deserved
I felt ready to take the first step.
I admitted that I was powerless.
That I had become powerless over my current life situation. I had dug myself too deep.
And I would soon learn that I wouldn’t have to stay that way.
Through admitting the loss of control over my life, and admitting that
I was drowning in an intricate and complex mess that took years to piece together to make the perfect storm….. that.
That is where I actually found my freedom.
I was told by a room full of strangers- that my life did actually have meaning.
No matter what I had done, or who I had become, or how many warrants that I had, or how much I had stolen, or how many creditors were after me, or who had my name on their bounty list or how many people I had hurt…
I still had value and could STILL turn my life around.
God had a plan for me.
and new things were waiting for me.
There is so much freedom in knowing that I am no longer bound by the chains of shame and regret.
Freedom is a lasting and genuine feeling of knowing that we have power over our choices.
It is discovering that we have choices!
We can choose to believe that our past or our poor choices can have amazing and positive effects on our present lives!
We can choose to help others to believe in themselves.
We can share what we know, that there really is hope.
Our past does not have to be a burden that we carry around, but a blessing to be used for the good of other people who are still struggling with things that we know about and have felt.
Our past does not define our present negatively, unless we choose to let it.
To me, there lies my freedom.
My past no longer dictates my present.
My chains have been broken, and I have been set free.
AND THAT It is the best feeling in the world.
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