Friday, December 14, 2012

middle places: in the middle of freedom

"There's a love that lives in me 
For You Lord, my savior King
Breaks the sin that's binding
And brings me to a place of freedom" 
- Highlands Worship lyrics 


Set me free from my prison, that I may praise your name. 
(Psalm 142:7)


I've been writing and documenting my life, albeit inconsistently, for most of my life.  From the diaries and journals of my youth to the over-a-decade old geocities personal websites.  I had a blog before there really was such a thing.  I have grown up with a desire to both keep an account and share life.  After I surrendered my life to Christ, the focus of my life - and my writing - changed.  As I began to walk "the narrow path" I believed He was leading me to, I changed the name of my personal blog and began to write about the journey along that path.  It was, and is, a place for me to simply document the places along the path, pouring out whatever is within me.  I've written through the dark places as well as the hilltops, the moments of running and of falling, the moments of wondering and those of wandering.  My writing is simply the overflow of my heart. 

All that to say, in sitting down to write in the predawn hours, I don't really get to choose that which flows out through my fingers.  Prompted by His spirit, my fingers touch the keyboard and by way of something I will never fully understand, words begin weaving.   This morning, I'd be remiss not to share that which is currently overflowing:  freedom....

This past weekend, I attended a retreat called LIFE - which is the culmination of a twelve week study on freedom in Christ.  It was incredibly powerful, breaking through layers of bondage and baggage that I didn't even realize I was [still] carrying.  But the most powerful of all was a session on "soul ties".  These are the ties that can stem from any relationship that attaches to your mind, will, and emotions.  They can result from both impure and ungodly relationships:  sexual intimacy outside of marriage as well as friendships that are unhealthy and ungodly.  They are ties that bind and restrain us, influencing our will and our choices.  Ultimately, these ties act as a spiritual umbilical cord; they can steal our joy and our ability to connect intimately with God. These are the relationships that act as poison to our very souls, hindering and often destroying the consistency of our connection to Christ.  They are the relationships and ties that are constantly pulling us away from Christ - and away from biblical principles of living instead of towards the freedom of living in His will.  

Relationships can be broken, but only God can permanently sever those unseen ties that bind us to our past.

It was a neatly packaged, beautifully delivered message that, in a matter of moments, began to wreck my world - and open the eyes of my heart.  The weight of my sin had been lifted at the moment of my salvation, but I had been dragging the chains - and the spiritual umbilical cords - of my past along my path, and collecting even more ungodly soul ties along the way.   

We were each given little blank white cards.  During prayer, we were asked to write the names of those that came to mind.  My card was filled with ink, smeared with tears.  A lifetime of these "ties" that were within me flowed out of me, and were now scribbled on this card in the palm of my hand.

At the end of each session, each person prays with an intercessor.  I can't describe this.  Just know that it is both biblical and amazing.  Worship music filling the sanctuary, I stood in line with some other girls from my study group waiting for the next available intercessor.  We stood with these graffiti filled cards in hands, tears streaming down faces, freedom was coming.

We were a line of prisoners, moments from release.  And we didn't even know it.

Praying with the intercessor for chains to be broken, she pauses and whispers in my ear, "now, tear the card up".  She continues praying.  I continue weeping and I begin to fold the card.  Head bowed, tears dripping down through my fingers, the card was damp and literally, coming apart in my hands.  I slowly began to tear it apart, over and over.  Tattered shreds.  "Now, let them fall to the ground," she whispers.  Let. them. fall. to. the. ground.  The words were still ringing in my ears, reverberating through my spirit - and my heart - as they began to fall.  These were not just torn and tattered fragments of paper, these were fragments of shackles, falling hard.  I half expected the ground to shake under their weight, having just unleashed thirty-six years of chains.

The prayer came to a close and I paused, utterly shocked at the weightlessness of the moment.  I turned to go back towards my seat, reluctant to walk away from this moment that had just changed. my.life.  Scattered bits of paper covered the floor all around me.  Remnants of the chains of others that had been shredded, torn, and cast to ground.  We each stepped on them as I walked away through the rubble and into freedom...

and we sang...

"The enemy is under your feet, we are free
We are free!
Death has been defeated by love, you overcome
You overcome!"
Hillsong lyrics



This Christmas, embrace the gift He came to give:  Freedom!



original post here at MiddlePlaces:





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