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1.4.2020 – Learning to Live in Freedom

This morning, I knew right from the start what the Lord wanted me to write about….. or at least, I wondered if it could be the thing, because it was the “thing” that was really on my heart this morning from the very start.

Yet, I thought, “God, isn’t there maybe something else You would like me to write about this morning? I’ll just wait a little longer…I don’t really know how to write about thing thing that’s on my heart?”

(So I waited…. waiting…… waiting…. waiting…. nothing…… nothing…….just quiet…… and finally I go right back to the beginning of the thing that was on my heart this morning at the very start.)

So here I am, with this “thing” that I have on my heart, a fresh realization, an understanding, a celebration of a realization of freedom within me, in a certain area of my life that so troubled me for many years.

And even though I don’t know how to write about it just yet, I’m just going to trust Him and begin typing…

I am learning what it feels like to live in freedom.

I am learning what it feels like to step into this place of not caring so much about what other people think….

I’ve touched the edge of what that kind of freedom feels like and I am not turning back.

Last night during worship, I felt such a sweet “joy” during worship, I just wanted to savor the time, I just wanted to raise my hands to Him in adoration….

You might say, “Um, what’s so interesting or monumental about that?”

Last night connected me back to a time years ago, a time in my life when I could not even listen to worship music because it just grieved me so much….

(Yes, I was a Christian during this time. I was saved.)

It was a time in my life when I could not freely worship Jesus, I was stuck in so much oppression that I could not even worship Him in private.

Yes, I knew it was an issue. It was embarrassing. It was tormenting. It was something I wasn’t really able to talk with anyone about, other than my husband. I tried to hide it. If I did go to church, I would feel such a heavy feeling, such a dread, such a “how am I going to get through this” during worship at church because I didn’t have it in me to break through whatever oppression it was that I was facing. It made me want to run and hide, to get out of there, to avoid times of worship because it was just too hard for me to face…. I would just avoid it so I wouldn’t have to face it, and then just push it away until the next time, so that I could avoid it again, and then dwell on it and kick myself over it a little throughout the week, and then when it came to facing it again, I would avoid it and run from it….again.

This went on for a few years, and I had no idea what it was, what was causing it. It felt like the most ridiculous thing. It felt like some kind of muzzle, some kind of wall, some kind of stubbornness…. some kind of oppression that was connected to something in my past, and yet it made no “sense” why this thing should be happening in the present. Yet I felt something in my spirit wanting to fight and break through this oppression….. but I just didn’t have the strength at that time.

In my mind, it literally felt impossible to open my mouth, to sing during a corporate time of worship.

I had no idea how “easy it should be” to cut that illusion of a chain loose….to be free of this thing that was holding me captive.

What was this “oppression” doing?

It was preventing me from breaking through the barrier, because the enemy knew that if I began to simply open my mouth to worship Jesus, to praise Him, there would instantly be tremendous freedom, there would be tremendous breakthrough in my life, the enemy knew that he would have to flee in that very moment…..

This went on for years, and I managed to “hide” it well…

Until one day I had something “different” in my heart…… there was something in there that was rising up within in me in a way that enabled me to have the strength (that I didn’t have) to push through that first layer enough to open my mouth and begin to worship Him with the rest of the congregation. (I have this feeling that someone must have been praying for me, because it was a kind of breakthrough I never thought I would be able to have with my kind of track record at the time.) And by the way, that same day something rose up in me to go and receive prayer –something I was also afraid of, and it was the beginning of a major shift in my life…

You may think all of this sounds so silly…. and it was… it was just an illusion all that time, a silly paper chain that was keeping me bound…. but the moment of breakthrough was monumental for me.

…So back to last night…… as I was worshipping Jesus with the rest of the congregation, there was something within me that just wanted to savor this time, there was a sweetness I felt in connection with this realization that I could be there, open and broken before the Lord, lifting my hands to Him… and remembering what He had brought me though. Now free of that oppression that used to hold me.

Remembering Jesus as my Deliverer… it was like I began to reflect on the goodness of His freedom, it was like I began to reflect on this moment of “I once was blind, but now I see…”

It was a unique moment of realization, of such a radical difference between these two places in my life. I reflected on what He did in me…what He’s doing in me…. trusting Him for all the rest of the things He will take me through in my life as I walk this journey with Him.

I figure there will be some who will be unable relate to this interesting and rather odd story of mine…. and then there will be others who will perhaps be able to relate in a way that will blow them away to know that someone understands what they are now facing. (Do you know how many times, in my times of frustration I googled “cannot sing during worship” and couldn’t find very much other than people just wanting to learn how to sing better?)

I have this feeling that we’re all learning what it means to live in freedom every day — the issue may not be the same –you may think my issue is silly, and I might think your issue might not be too much of a challenge to face, but we’re all learning how to walk and live in the freedom that Jesus has given us.

There are many areas of my life that I am at the place of “before the breakthrough” and I am thankful that Jesus is going to take me through each one. He’s so faithful.

If you are in the place of being “before the breakthrough” I want to share this song…

“Praise Before My Breakthrough” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt

I know the tension of the now
I don’t always understand
I don’t always get to see
Everything
When I’m holding up my hands
When I’m counting every breath
Lord, all I need to know is
You choose me
You choose me
I’ll praise before my breakthrough
‘Til my song becomes my triumph
I will sing because I trust You
I will bring my heart, I will lift my song
When I’m listening for Your voice
And I’m shutting out the noise
I know that You will speak
Clearly
When I’m living out my faith
When I’m stepping on the sea
I know You take my hand and
Walk with me
Walk with me
I’ll praise before my breakthrough
‘Til my song becomes my triumph
I will sing because I trust You
I will bring my heart, I will lift my song
He who came in power, He will come again
He who heals the sick, won’t He move again
He who raised the dead, won’t He raise again
And I will sing, I will sing
He who came in power, He will come again
He who heals the sick, won’t He move again
He who raised the dead, won’t He raise again
I will sing, I will sing
Oh I will sing, I will sing
I’ll praise before my breakthrough
‘Til my song becomes my triumph
I will sing because I trust You
I will bring my heart, I will lift my song
And I’ll praise before my breakthrough
‘Til my song becomes my triumph
I will sing because I trust You
I will bring my heart, I will lift my song
I will bring my heart, I will lift my song
And I will sing because I trust You
And I’ll worship because I trust
I sing because I love You
And I’ll bring my heart, I will lift my song

Isn’t this the most beautiful verse about Jesus?

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is upon me, for the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed.” – Isaiah 61:1

Thank You, Jesus. 💝

-Heather 🌺

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