Today I write about the day God set me free. It wasn’t long ago, matter a fact it really began as I listened to an audio book in one day. September 30th to be exact.
Before this point there was probably only one or two books, outside of the bible itself, that I can name that had a huge impact in my life. However, this book, just became number one.
The Holy Spirit used the words I was hearing to stop me dead in my tracks and see the truth for what it really was. It was hard and ugly, but here it goes…..
It was not truly about God for me. I had an idol, and the idol was, well, me. I once came to a realization similar to this, but never this deep, never to this extent.
As much as I tried to lie to others and even myself, the truth is what really mattered was the approval and praise of others.
Oh, how I craved the praise of men! Yes, you heard me right, not for God to be praised, but me.
I desired for people to sing my praises of how good of a wife, mother, and Christian I am. I wanted their approval, I wanted so badly to be enough.
When I got real honest with myself, if someone looked at my life an only said, “Wow, your God is really good” that wouldn’t have been enough for me.
I wanted some praise too, praise I didn’t even deserve……ouch! I know, ugly right?
I look back on my childhood. I used to make up stories, I would flat out lie and do things I never understood. Now I realize many, if not all, was done seeking attention and approval from others.
As long as I could hide, mask the real reason for why I may say or do this, or post that, than I was good. If it were truly about God, the fact that He knew the real reason/intention would bother me, but I just shoved it aside.
You see, as long as I can remember, I tried so hard to appear as perfect as possible.
If I felt someone appeared to look better than me in any way, shape or form, they became a threat. I tried so hard to be a “good Christian”.
I performed for others and to be honest, even for God! Although I tried to appear a certain way in front of man, behind closed doors I strived and strived at perfection as well, trying to perform for God.
I feared not being enough for God or man till I realized the most freeing truth…..I am NOT enough and I don’t have to be because He is!
This was a huge pill to swallow, realizing my idolatry, pride and selfishness. I cried so hard and fell on my knees in repentance.
Seeing the worship of the approval and praise of man for the sin it was, honestly caused it to become unappealing and distasteful to me.
How could I even truly love others when I’m so focused on myself?
Truth is, even the fear of what people are thinking of me, was rooted in selfishness and judgement of others. Projecting my harsh judgments of myself on them.
But God! His love and mercy is everlasting! HalleluYah!
He opened my eyes to this truth so I can be set free and be restored to a right relationship with Him. After seeing my true identity for what it is in Christ, I am now free to be imperfectly me.
I am free to scream on the roof tops that I AM NOT ENOUGH!
I’m just as jacked up as anyone else. I’m free to worship the true God and actually make everything about Him instead of just pretending to.
I’m free to stop running to all these dry wells for water that would keep leaving me thirsty.
A sip here and a sip there would give me temporary relief, all while His well was there the whole time to truly quench my thirst and satisfy every desire.
I am free to stop doing things for God so I can do things with God! I am free to TRULY love God and others instead of working to only appear I do.
I am free and you can be too. We don’t need to measure up, we don’t need to appear perfect or be enough because we are not, and that’s ok because He is! Look what God has done.
I am so thankful to have been torn open the way I had that day and continue to be as more an more is being exposed as I write this. If God had not done this, I would of remained in this invisible prison.
Isn’t it amazing that with all of that dirt, He loved me through it all and loved me enough to show me this so I could repent and run back to His loving arms?
Proof that there is change in me is the very fact that I’m writing this, exposing all and not caring about people seeing these dark places in me.
God did that! I couldn’t do it myself, I was blind and only God had the cure.
All because of Him, I am free! I couldn’t be more grateful.
By Kay Smith