Completed Week 5 homework in Breaking Free and though I've done this study before,God allowed the homework to stir up some old memories and revealed something about myself that I had not realized before. A missing piece of the puzzle of why I tend to over-react to stressful situations the way that I do seemed to fall into place. Some things are too painful to discuss, but I can tell you that out of childhood trauma came my inability to distinguish what I was responsible for and what I wasn't responsible for, and this affected me greatly throughout my life. I took too much on myself all the while believing I was supposed to do so but deep inside knowing I couldn't handle it. Throughout my life I vacillated between self-pity ("this is too hard for me") and self-hatred for being weak ("I'm supposed to be able to do this.")
I believe that is why I felt such a relief when I finally cried out to Jesus. Finally, it wasn't all up to me. I knew Jesus would help me. Throughout the next two years, God showed me through my circumstances, Bible teaching, and honest prayer that it is possible to turn your life over to Him and that He truly will take care of everything that concerns you as you love and obey Him. I couldn't believe how wonderful and kind and loving He is. That's when I began to pray that He would help me love Him as much as He loved me. It amazed me that all this time, He had known me, had loved me, and had waited for me to come to Him so He could free me of the yoke I was strangling in. A yoke of my own making. I had struggled so long and so hard on my own--doing life my way, and it nearly killed me. I believe that's why my heart is tender to the part of Elijah's story where the angel tells Elijah, "The journey is too much for you." (1 Kings 19:7 NIV) I tear up just about every time I read that or remember it. I'm typing through tears right now.
The truth is the journey really is too much for us without Jesus. I'm still learning day by day what it means to walk with Him, to love Him, and to be loved and cared for by Him. Nothing compares to being yoked with Christ Jesus. Rather than feeling restricted, I feel a wonderful release! Instead of feeling trapped, I feel as though I'm walking in a spacious place. When I meditate on my Savior--His greatness, holiness, power, and majesty--I realize that nothing is too hard for Him to handle; nothing is bigger than He is. When I remember that I am united with Him and am one with Him in spirit (1 Corinthians 6:17), I walk in freedom from bondage. The past does not define me...Christ Jesus defines me. In Him, I can react differently to stress and chaos because I have His resources to draw upon every minute of the day.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." Galatians 5:1 (NIV)