When a new realization is accepted, often what follows is a new freedom and sense of peace. Some people voice it this way: “I’ve made my peace with….” What is this freedom? What is this peace?
Recently I spoke with a woman who was blazing mad at her husband. As we talked, her realization was that it wasn’t her husband she was mad with at all – it was her father and a dishonoring culture of women from which she came. Each time her husband acted in any way that smelled like her beginnings, she withdrew and stopped talking. Even as she realized this reality, she couldn’t accept it. The consequences were too costly. She couldn’t imagine confronting her family even though they held to a culture that dishonored and hurt her. She remained stuck in one set of responses and a resigned state of inward agitation.
In contrast, another woman, coming from an exceedingly painful background, came to realize that the way she had been taught to handle pain had hindered rather than helped her. When her “aha” moment came, she absorbed the truth and asked for some time to think about it. Returning the next day she said, “I don’t want to be hindered as I go forward. I want all my options available to me. How can I change?”
When, like the first woman, we get stuck in our own unwillingness to accept the new lights of truth God gives, our relationships and life freedoms get smaller and smaller. We don’t necessarily feel them shrinking each time, it’s more like waking up one day to the realization that we have become someone we didn’t expect. Someone more resigned to life than at peace with it. Someone with constrained, careful movements rather than expansive, generous ones.
It might be worth considering here the nuances between the freedom to move (I can move if I have to) and the freedom to move at will (Hey! Look what I can do!!). Similarly, the nuance difference between resignation (it’s ok, I’m used to it) and peace (I’m at rest because I know God is working in us all).
What enables us to move freely? To be at peace?
I think perhaps it is the confidence we have or don’t have in Jesus…the way he seems to us as our relationship with him unfolds in the context of our lives.
So, we must get curious…. who is the God we see?
Who is the God we see shining lights of newness for us? What does he look like to those who accept the light and move into it? What does he look like to those who hang back, waiting for another light? Who does he look like to you?
Note: For the month of July we will be taking a wee break for vacation so won’t be posting any blogs! Look for us to start back on the first Tuesday of August! We hope you take some time off too!