The secret of true freedom
More than 15 years ago I had an assignment to complete:
The task was:
To choose a picture out of several magazines and write down:
1.which person of the picture represents you
2.which person do you want to become
I chose the picture you see here.
I wrote down:
1. I feel like the dog, struggling, fighting against so many emotions and beliefs. Feeling miserable, full of confusion, frustration, feeling overwhelmed.
2. I want to become the one in the front with the red shirt. I want to live, give everything, with identity, unity, faith and passion.
I know these feelings of shame for who I am. This conviction of being unworthy to be loved.
I remember feeling miserable and undeserving, trying to live up to the expectations of those around me or even the expectations I had towards myself.
I know this painful feeling of shame, pushing me even deeper into that certitude of not being enough, not being capable, being worthless, unlovable.
I compared myself to those around me.
Fear, shame, pain, indecision, confusion, envy, frustration, feeling overwhelmed, suppressing issues, numbing thoughts, passivity and hopelessness… were all a reality of my life.
I was a Christian; therefore, I had heard about God’s love for me.
But somehow, this reality was out of my reach. After all, I knew how flawed I was. I was well aware of my weaknesses and incapacities. I tried hard to get somewhere, to fight my beliefs, to overcome my fears; to face my feelings of shame and worthlessness.
I tried to be a “good Christian”, yet terrified to let anyone get close enough to me to really know me… and discover how flawed and imperfect I truly am.
Today, almost two decades later, I become always more that person with the red shirt. – living a life of fullness, giving everything, with identity, unity, faith and passion.
What has changed? What reality has transformed my life?
I could tell you about many things that added up to where I am today helped me get where I am today.
About amazing people who loved me beyond my flaws, about insights I got that touched my heart enough to grasp and apply them, about the mercy of God who, in his infinity, gentleness and patience brought me all the way to this point in my life.
However, last Sunday in church during a time of Worship, I realized that there was a deep truth I would like to share with you, a reality that is so life transforming and beautiful I just have to try to put it into words in this article.
During this time of worship, we sang a song that went like:
…..My Beloved, You’ve captured my heart.
Won’t You dance with me
Oh, Lover of my soul
To the song of all songs?
With You I will go
You are my Love, You are my Fair One….
The phrase „lover of my soul“ touched my heart in a deep way.
This is it.
This is the reality that has transformed my life and still does.
There is a God who loves my soul.
A God that sees beyond my efforts, my achievements, my capacity. He sees beyond this image I try to represent on the outside; He sees the true me.
He sees our most hidden needs, longings, pain and dreams.
He sees our biggest failures, our wrong decisions, our compulsions or addictions – even those we are capable to hide from other people.
And still – He loves us!!
He longs to reach out to us, to find us and love us.
When I was seven years of age, I invited Jesus into my life – it was the day my spirit was saved and I became a child of God.
But it was the reality that he was the “Lover of my soul” that led me into freedom in my soul.
It was Him that created me with my unique DNA.
He put a unique essence within me that makes who I am.
He doesn’t see me by my achievements; he sees me for who I truly am, deep down, when no one is looking.
In the Bible there is a scripture that says:
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” ( The Bible, John 3:16 )
It doesn’t say: “He loves the ones who are great achievers, the ones who stay out of trouble and the ones who do everything right; “
NO! It says: He loves the world.
And we all know how messed up this world is.
How messed up you and I can be.
And yet, he loves us!
My relationship with God changed (and still is changing) since I understand more and more that He loves my soul.
The more I enter into this truth, the more does freedom enter my life.
The freedom to be me.
The freedom to let go of the picture of how I need to be – and to become authentic, real and vulnerable to be who God created me to be.
True vulnerability is to be seen, being known and being real. It is coming to term with our weaknesses and embracing them as gifts from God.
The more I can walk in this reality, the more I can let go of my fears and feelings of shame and inadequacy.
The more I enter into enjoying who God made me to be, the more I feel thrilled to be me: I have moments when I worship God for who he made me to be, simply because I see the blessing I can be in being me.
It comes with the understanding that I can only be me.
Who I am at the core has always leaked out, no matter how much I’ve tried to suppress or change it, believing that it wasn’t enough. Living it out enables me to love, to reach beyond myself.
We can only do this when we stop to constantly undermine who we are by trying to copy other people and trying to be them
The more I walk in this path, the more I see people around me with those same eyes.
I see their beauty, their unique DNA, their amazing wonderful essence, how God created them to be. I can see beneath their walls or fears or insecurities directly into their beautiful, unique being.
And I love that.
You see, it is truly so:
“Love your neighbor as you love yourself. ” (The Bible, Matthew 22.39)
You can’t love others more than you do yourself.
The more you love yourself, the more you can love others.
The more you walk with freedom, passion, in unity and love.
My prayer for you and for me is that we can experience this amazing God who loves our soul. That we can accept that Jesus died on the cross for us so that we can be transferred into his kingdom. That we can learn to live with royal principles and enter this process of transformation into His image.
We are created after His image and the more we look at him, and let us love by him the more we can all sing together: