April 4, 2021
By Julianne Hudson
A prisoner to my failures, I wonder how long I must fight? Heavy chains seem to drag alongside me each moment of my day. Are they invisible to those around me? I feel like I’m about to break and fall to the ground.
My past creeps in and I wonder how long this feeling will last? Is there anything I can do to get rid of these shackles? The struggle continues and I find myself defeated, isolated and saddened. My efforts seem to miss the mark and I’m unsure what I am supposed to do.
Have you felt this way? Maybe your Facebook memories remind you of who you used to be. Or an old friend tries to convince you to retreat to old behaviors. You try to make it through an entire day without putting yourself down, only to find that the silence at night screams, “You are unworthy! A mess!” Fear surrounds you because you are afraid of going back to the way things were. The toxic relationships, self-deprecating thoughts and corrupt behaviors that once defined you reemerge, clouding your every thought leaving you breathless.
We find ourselves rummaging through self-help books and trying to figure out how to get it together. But what if I told you there isn’t a five-step plan for letting go of the past? What if I told you there was a way you could be redeemed? Set free? Wouldn’t you do all you possibly could to snatch that freedom? What is stopping you from walking into a life of freedom?
Ephesians 2:6-9 (NIV) reads:
“And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.”
Take a moment to absorb the words of Paul. He is telling us that through God’s saving power, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can find a seat next to our Father above. Heaven holds a spot for us and it is because of the sacrifice of Jesus. Through our faith in Him, we are saved. This is the greatest gift we could ever receive!
You are redeemed through the sacrifice of Jesus.
You are set free.
What does this have to do with you feeling unworthy and chained to your past? ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING! Because you don’t have to live that way. You don’t have to carry the weight of the world and your past. I know I am redeemed. There are still plenty of days I feel unworthy and I don’t deserve a new name in Christ, but I remind myself of the gift Jesus gave me. An undeserved gift, yet graciously offered. An opportunity to remove who I was to become who I was always meant to be.
What is stopping you from accepting this gift? What lies do you believe that are keeping you from accepting Jesus as your Savior and walking in redemption? Do you want to be set free? Jesus freely gives so we can freely receive.
Photo Credit: Karsten Würth
Julianne, this beautifully written and poignant.