My Freedom Day
If you’re a Christ follower, you likely remember the day that you made the decision to follow and give your life to God. That memory for me is a magical one. A skinny little ten-year-old girl held her best friends’ hand, walked down the center aisle at a tent revival in a small country town on a hot summer night, and asked Jesus into her heart. Magical, right? Insert record scratch here. Although I am grateful for the sweet moment when I gave my life to Him, my true freedom (in Christ) day was more than thirty years later.
When I was a kid, every Easter, my mom and I would watch The Ten Commandments movie. It’s the story from the book of Exodus in the Old Testament. The story of God speaking to Moses and rescuing His people, the Israelites, out of Egypt and out of slavery, and ultimately forging relationship with them while making the journey to the Promised Land. It’s where you see stories of The Ten Plagues, the parting of the Red Sea, and the Ten Commandments. It’s definitely worth watching. If you do, you’ll never read Exodus again without visualizing Charlton Heston as Moses.
The Israelites had been in slavery for four hundred years. Moses came to tell them how they could experience freedom. But for them to be free meant that Pharaoh, who they had been serving, would be angry (Exodus 5:21). The price for freedom from slavery didn’t seem worth the hardships they would have to face. They had become so comfortable in bondage that they didn’t know how to live without it.
The LORD redeemed Israel from slavery to Egypt in very supernatural ways. The Israelites had witnessed great miracles and yet one week into their journey out of Egypt, they were fearful and didn’t trust God (Exodus 14:10). The entire book of Exodus is about God hearing Israel’s cry for help, rescuing them from their oppressors and helping them find freedom. He didn’t deliver them out of Egypt to merely enter and enjoy the Promised Land only. God delivered them into freedom, so that they could really know and worship Him and enjoy intimate fellowship with Him. God tells the people in Exodus 19:4 that He had delivered them “on eagles’ wings”. Ultimately, they came to know God for His true character, as a compassionate and merciful Father. This led to their freedom.
For years, I had become quite comfortable in my fear and illusion of control. Fear of my kids making a bad decision in their life and the illusion that I could somehow control it. A late-night phone call from our twenty something son, seven years ago, was what brought me to Himself. Up until that moment, I had preferred to live with the familiar than being freed to experience the unknown. A poor decision was bringing a consequence to our son and I couldn’t fix it, take it away, or make it better. My fear was staring me in the face as I laid, curled up on our kitchen floor, and crying out to God. I can take you to the spot in our kitchen where that freedom came in. Not because that night was one of the most difficult I have ever walked through as a mother, but because in that spot God met me. I cried out to Him and that prayer took me into His presence and His presence brought me my freedom.
I wish I could help you understand the weight and burden that I carried around with me all those years as their mom. It was a weight full of anxiety, worry, and mostly the lies I told myself that I could somehow control and spend my days setting up detours for my kids. Detours that would keep them from all the consequences their decisions would bring. And some days I did just that and the roadblocks worked.
Since that late night in my kitchen, God has been so kind to me. He has helped me understand that just like the Israelites, I could choose to stay where I was, living in that emotional bondage or I could accept the freedom that He so generously offered me that day and I could continue to live in freedom that He offers me, everyday.