It’s like a bad episode of my 6oo pound life, I’ve never personally watched it, but I can imagine.
It started in my late teens, the problems… the thoughts… almost an addiction.
Then into my early twenties. The weight, it just got heavier and heavier. I didn’t even realize it was happening, I thought it was pretty normal. Like the freshman 15 that never actually stops accumulating, right? That happens as we age, huh?
It almost became unbearable at times when I thought about how much I’ve gained, how much it continues to conquer me, how truly weighted I am. How did it even get this far?
But the weight wasn’t gaining around my thighs, my waist, or my bottom.
The weight was in my heart, my soul, my Spirit.
I know you’re probably a bit confused, but the heaviest weight we will ever bare is of our own sin and shame, I can promise you that. I’ve felt it, the heaviest burden to carry… but I’ve also lost it. And I don’t think I realized how much it weighed until it was passed from my back, onto the feet of my Savior at the bottom of the old, rugged, cross.
“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.” Psalm 55:22
But what about when you don’t feel like Jesus deserves to carry the burdens you caused yourself?
This is the bubble of lies I lived in for years. After my shotgun wedding, teen pregnancy, and quick divorce, my entire life was a spiraling mess. I had grown up in the church, every Sunday and every Wednesday. My parents were great Christian parents, so how could my mistakes unravel into such a mess? I hated my life, I hated myself, and I was embarrassed to even hear the words, “God loves and forgives you.”
“God doesn’t want this mess.”
I thought to myself on so many occasions. But the truth is, I misunderstood the Gospel. I misunderstood my Creator and my Savior. God hates sin, so therefore, all my sin in a fiery basket of shame and condemnation? He must hate me too. I sure would.
But that’s not the Gospel.
It took a lot of retraining my brain and retelling my heart for me to realize…
You don’t clean yourself up to come to the feet of Jesus.
You come to the feet of Jesus and slowly, but surely, He washes you white as snow.
Guilt, shame, embarrassment, fear… those are the heaviest things on the face of this earth. They truly are. They’ll bare down on your heart and eat you from the inside out. It was the heaviest I have ever been, and the darkest I’ve ever seen the world. But once I truly realized what Freedom in Christ is, I felt as though I had lost 500 pounds – and the world became a much more beautiful place to be.
So how do we find our Freedom in Christ?
There are many amazing resources for this. My church offers an equipping class for this; the book and stories shared are incredible. I now proudly get to share my story at the classes as well. The book I personally have read is called “The Bondage Breaker” by Neil T. Anderson. I highly recommend the book to anyone who is carrying any weight or any misconceptions about our loving and grace-filled Father.
Here’s a breakdown of the steps to freedom, my friends:
- Renouncing anything of the world that is not the Word of God or found in the Word of God. – We are so accustomed to believing what we see is all there is, but if we truly believe that, we miss everything. Spiritual battles, angels and demons, it’s all real and it’s all around us. We have sins of the world that we put blinders over, it’s easy – but they’re heavy. Prayer to bring to light all the darkness in your life is a must, and God will reveal things of your heart that are heavy that need to be given to him and washed clean.
- The truth shall set you free! But no really, and in our lives, we know that Jesus is truth, God is truth, the Holy Spirit is truth. – A prayer of confession is vital. Get it all off your chest, hash it all out, straight to the Creator. He knows who the father of all lies is, and it isn’t you. He also knows the tests and trials you have faced that wear so heavy on your heart. Get it all off, place it at the feet of Jesus and claim the truths you do know and believe wholeheartedly.
“Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24
- This may be the hardest one, but it was the most needed for me. You’ve probably heard that bitterness towards a person is a poison you drink for yourself, and it is. I was certainly sippin’ on poison for years hoping it would kill the others involved when it was only killing me. Make a list… it’s time, everyone and everything you may hold any type of anger or bitterness towards. Jesus Christ died a horrible, torturous death on a cross for every single one of us, that’s right, every single one. Who are we not to forgive someone else? Make your list, you may even add the bitterness you hold in your heart towards God. It’s a hard subject, but it may be true for you like it was me. “How could He let this happen to me? How could He let this happen to my daughter?” My unforgiving bitterness wasn’t just towards my ex and “baby daddy”, it was towards the God who watched and let it happen to me. Pray over the names, over the situations, over your thoughts and where your heart is at. The devil loves a good bitter Christian, heavy burdened by self-poison. Pray it out, ask for help forgiving. It’s a huge step, but so necessary.
“Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” Hebrews 4:31-23
- A servant’s heart. No one likes the word submissive, especially not when you’re tangled in a rut of sin, shame, guilt, the works. But it is necessary. Your prayer for a servant’s heart is not only towards God, but towards the authorities in your life that God has placed there. We tend to be more defensive towards many things and people when we carry extra weight. Heavy hearts burden all. Pray for a submissive heart, to God and to those around you that He places in your life for a purpose.
“For it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure. Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and twisted generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world.” Philippians 2:13-15
- Oof pride. You may think, I am not prideful at all… well sister, then there’s some pride in there. I constantly have to check my heart for ugly prideful thoughts; they’re there. I think it goes along with the forgiveness as well… why can’t we forgive? We’re too good to admit we’re flawed humans too? We are the victim and we’re too confident in ourselves to allow someone their own pain and mistakes? It’s time for a humility prayer. Ask God to reveal to you all prideful thoughts and actions in your life, and bring them to light so they can be laid down at the feet where you never have to wrestle with them again. Ask for a humble heart, remembering that we are laying our mistakes and consequences at His feet, because He is above and we are below, yet He calls us friend, brother, sister, heirs to the Kingdom.
“Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.” Philippians 2:3
- This is where the rubber meets the road. Bondage. You may not know it, but you are in bondage to sin unless you find your Freedom in Christ. What are you in bondage to? What sins are you in a vicious cycle with of sin-confess, sin-confess. It’s time to bring them to light. Pray it out, confess and pray over these verses. Be real with God about your struggle, He already knows.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation He will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7
“Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil…” Ephesians 6:11-18 (Read it all, every day)
- Last, is freedom from generational sins, sins passed down we didn’t even know about. Pray for God to bring those to light. We want to walk as a child of God, a new creation, not bearing the weight of those who came before us that might still be affecting us.
“Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers…” 1 Peter 1:18
Remember this isn’t a quick hop, skip and a jump. It takes time, the process is challenging and heart opening. We exercise our bodies to lose weight we’ve gained through time of unhealthy habits. Now we have to exercise our souls and Spirits to lose the weight that so heavily brings us down and away from the feet of Jesus, the exact place we need to be.
Freedom in Christ website with resources and help:
Focus on the Family Freedom In Christ: https://www.focusonthefamily.com/parenting/freedom-in-christ/
The Bondage Breaker by Neil T. Anderson:
Sold at many bookstores, amazon and audible.
Also podcasts and teaching of Anderson: