I’m just going to go ahead and throw it out there that I will say this to my grave: there is power in a good cry and a nap. I believe in those things!
The past week has been miserable for me. Absolutely miserable. At every turn, my feelings were being hurt by my friends, my family, even people I don’t know well. Everything was hurting my feelings. I was constantly living in a heaviness of self-loathing and sadness and I was shutting down and barely leaving the house because I just didn’t want to be with people.
Merry Christmas, right? Ha.
Yesterday morning was the worst. It was like I had reached the very end of my rope. I couldn’t take any more of this sadness. I knew the truth. I knew I was allowing myself to wallow in heaviness when I didn’t have to, but for some reason I couldn’t shake it. My parents graciously referred to it as apathy, and they were right. I was allowing myself to hold onto my pain, to believe that everyone I love was against me, to believe that no one loves me because I’m just not good enough, when I know those are lies! How silly of me to allow that! And even after several conversations with my gracious and loving parents that spanned for days (seriously, we had nearly the same conversation for a week because I was continuously dealing with these feelings), all I could do was crawl to my room in my anger and heaviness and take a nap.
And for some reason, just like that, it was gone. Like gone, gone. It was as if Jesus had taken off this heavy, heavy coat I was wearing and I was finally free. Joy was rising. I felt more secure than I had felt in days. All the sudden, I was just okay!
And that’s the thing about Jesus. Even when I’m angry or tired he is SO QUICK to come to my rescue. He gladly pulls me out of the muck I continue to wallow in. He even comes to pull me out when I won’t do it myself. It was like He said “Enough, Mary Cate! You know the truth. We’re done here. I have joy for you!” And that was it.
I woke up and felt more alive than I have for days.
It’s crazy because sometimes I forget He has already won. He came to earth, endured the cross, and rose again to set captives just like me completely free. He already did that! I’m already free! And the only reason I’m stuck in my sadness or my bitterness is because I am choosing to stay there. I’m choosing apathy instead of fighting with the Truth and the Word. I just read a quote from a document entitled “Who I Am” which spoke to the core of my situation because it is exactly what I’m coming to realize. It says,
“This is your choice: You can live your life based on a lie and drown in conflicts or you can live your life based on truth and fly through each day in joyous freedom.”
Friends, it’s time to live in that freedom. It’s time to receive the joy that Jesus died on the cross to give us Hebrews 2:1-3 says:
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”
It’s already done friends! He came to set us free and therefore we are FREE. We only have to walk in that freedom! But we have to choose. It’s our choice whether we want to live in lies or truth. Jesus has placed his offer on the table and it is our turn to either pick it up or walk away. There is joy and freedom to be had this season. I know that at Christmas we reflect on Jesus as an infant, innocent and new to this world, but he already knew why he was here. He came intentionally, humbling himself to set us free. God’s plan was already in action, from the beginning of creation, and Christmas reminds us that Jesus has come to rescue us. Think about that! He came to rescue you, rescue me, from our sadness, from our sin, from our darkness and he came to bring us freedom and joy!
So what are you waiting for? It’s time to choose freedom. It’s time to choose joy. It’s time to replace the lies you’re believing with the truth of who Jesus says you are. To name a few you are:
Accepted (see John 1:12, John 15:5, 1 Corinthians 6:20, Ephesians 1:5)
Secure (see Romans 8, Philippians 1:6, 2 Timothy 1:7, Hebrews 4:16)
Significant (see Matthew 5:13-14, John 15:1,5, Ephesians 2:10, Philippians 4:13)
YOU are accepted, secure and significant. YOU are seen, YOU are known, YOU are loved. YOU.ARE.FREE.
It’s time, my friends. It’s time to boldly believe that was Jesus says about us is true. It’s time to let go of the past that we’ve been fearfully holding onto. It’s time to get free and pick up the joy that Jesus is handing us. It’s not always going to be easy, but it sure will be beautiful.
Jesus, I’m ready.
More of you, less of me.
(It just takes my breath away every time!)