Can I tell y’all how happy I am that I have finally gotten off the operating table?!
I suspect it probably started as soon as I started attending my new church in Houston back in August 2017.
As is His way, He gently eased me into that room, because I wouldn’t have willingly gone in otherwise, lol.
The Word reminds us that it is sharper than any two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, joint and marrow. (Heb. 4:12)
And cutting with the Word of God is definitely what I receive at my church, which is a good thing.
However, let me explain a little further about some of the things I have been learning as I have been waiting and in surgery. (Side note: this is one of the many things God desires to do while we are waiting– cutting away things, habits, old patterns and pruning us so that we can go and bear more fruit in this season.)
A Firm Foundation and Proper View
One of the things that I firmly believe is foundational in our relationship with the Lord, and thus with others, is to have a healthy and proper view of God and His love for us.
Recently, in my quiet time with the Lord, I was reminded of this as I read my devotional that morning:
There is nothing I could ever do to earn the love of God nor is there anything I have to do.
Just let that truth sink in for a few seconds…
Understanding this and then embracing it is critical. It’s what helps us to become secure and unshakable.
Having an improper view of God and His love will lead to an unhealthy thought life and as a result, poor choices, unhealthy decisions and relationships. (Don’t believe me? Read a part of my story here.)
Embrace His Truth
When we enter into a relationship with Jesus Christ, it is important for us to know and embrace these truths:
- The endless treasures, God’s riches that we inherited when we became His children, and the promise of His blessings are readily available to us all (Ephesians 3), equally, no matter our color, culture, class, gender, etc.
- We need to know God’s love, believe the love He has for us and put our trust in it. (1 John 4:16, NLT)
- We need to understand this love and become deeply rooted in it. (Ephesians 3:16-19, this entire prayer is beautiful!)
- The only way to define real love is to look at the Cross of Jesus Christ and the sacrifice He made for us. (1 John 4:10, NLT)
Only when we have embraced these truths can we truly live a life of love that Paul references in Ephesians 5:2. We can only do this through the power of the Holy Spirit.
When I live from this place of truth and this firm foundation, only then can I freely love-unbound.
As I sat with this truth that morning, I heard the Holy Spirit gently speak to my heart.
He showed me an image of God unraveling me, letting me loose and me then running freely, with vibrant colors-hues of purple, red, orange and yellow-all around me:
Over the last several months, as God has been stripping me, cutting away at things in my heart and pruning me, He has been bringing up some pretty deeply embedded things from my past.
I had slowly been becoming unglued over the last several months-unbound really.
He kept bringing things to mind, getting to the root and revealing to me why there were certain unhealthy patterns and behaviors still present in my life, that had been unknowingly passed down. (I kinda forgot I had prayed for this!)
Two trips that I took recently revealed even more, and instead of making me feel like running away so I wouldn’t have to face it, I chose to sit in it and let the Lord reveal more of Himself to me.
It wasn’t until this particular morning, however, when the Holy Spirit spoke to me, that I finally understood that I was still bound in my mind and thus my heart, with a faulty thinking/understanding of His love for me.
This was also the day He was setting me free in this area, unraveling me so I could love freely once again.
Then, the Lord showed me another image, that of a mummy that was bound.
Immediately, I was reminded of Lazarus in John 11:44 when Jesus said,
Unwrap him and let him go. (NLT)
I heard God saying that it was time to:
Unwrap [her] and let [her] loose. (MSG, emphasis mine)
The tears began to cascade down my face as I thought about what this really meant for me.
Over the years, little by little, my trust in people–family, friends, men, and myself–had been broken and damaged, and it had bound my heart, thus distorting my view of God and His love for me.
It started back way earlier than I had initially thought, something the Lord revealed to me during my recent local missions trip.
This particular morning, the Lord had not only led me off of the operating table, but out of surgery, through the recovery room and now, I was in a regular room. (This DID NOT all happen in one day, but I was finally able to pinpoint the specific periods I was in different rooms over the last several months.)
He was removing the bandages from my heart that had been wrapped and bound for so long I thought they were a part of my attire.
I recognize now that part of that binding was His doing, for my protection, but it was also as a result of my past experiences.
In recent weeks, He had also reminded me that while it is my job to guard my heart (Prov. 4:23, NLT), it was not my job to protect it.
That was His job.
While I am still sore and tender from the surgery, and I will be for awhile, I can rest in the fact that my Master Surgeon, who is within me, is ready to make the necessary adjustments so that I can fully heal well and walk in the wholeness that was already mine.
It sure feels good to be unbound.
Help me Father to just respond to Your love rather than try to earn it. Help me to live from this place and this foundation of truth because there is such a peace and a sense of relief that comes from that place. It allows me to love freely, to give love freely, while expecting nothing in return. Help me to rest in the truth that whom the Son has set free, is truly free (and unbound) indeed.
In Jesus’ name,