Merriam Webster definition: n. “the quality or state of being
exempt or released, usually from something onerous”
Two words that reflect themes woven through my life as a Christian are FREEDOM and IDENTITY. I grew up in the Deep South in the 60s & 70s in a traditional, conservative family where gender roles were clearly defined. The [implied] mindset of being ‘just a girl’ didn’t sit well with me and fueled a need to prove myself. The first step in my emancipation involved leaving the South and completing my formal education in the Pacific Northwest. Breaking free from a long-term, dysfunctional relationship and spreading my proverbial wings allowed my fledgling faith to take root. My identity in Christ began to bud and with it, a measure of freedom. But an addiction to sugar and routine binging created a hideous self-loathing that held me captive for several years until I journeyed to China in the mid 80s to teach English. In those days there was little sugar in the Chinese diet and I was set free from being a junk food junkie. This happened in tandem with God speaking to me through Psalm 139 and convincing me that I was fearfully and wonderfully made. Persuaded of my worth, a new identity began to form. The inner transformation had an outward, noticeable effect and I returned home at a weight I’ve maintained to this day.
Freedom is a multi-layered, lifelong process, which for me is best reflected in the word sanctification. God begins a good work in us when we receive the gift of salvation through Christ. He continues that good (refining) work and sees to its completion by the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit. We taste freedom each time we exercise our choice to align our will with God’s will. Yielding to the Holy Spirit frees us to become who we are meant to be.
What does freedom mean to you? What freedom have you tasted? From what do you still long to be set free?
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
…being confident in this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
Jesus says, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
To read more of Cathy's writing, go to her website at cathyfortleyland.com