Monday, October 03, 2011

Breaking Free - The Beginning of My Journey

I've started a new journey today.  After ignoring several women throughout the years who have recommended this to me, I've finally picked up Breaking Free by Beth Moore.   My church was gracious enough to offer a book/resource to our small group leaders, and this, by no small coincidence was the one I chose.  Time for honesty. 

For almost a year now, I've been meeting with a Christian counselor to help discover some of the reasons why I've pursued contentment, affirmation and stress relief in places that aren't lasting.  Even though I've been fighting and desiring for these habits to disappear, the draw to these shallow comforts seems relentless.  And finally, this past Monday, God, by His grace and patience with me, began to peel back the blinders for me to see. 

I've been reluctant to write about it because a life of defeat and continual battling isn't a story that many want to hear- or is it?  I found that as I have read the first two chapters of Beth Moore's book, I've acknowledged and had a quiet relief that other women - Godly, educated, and driven women, have experienced brokenness like I have. But, Beth challenges the reader to take it one step further. This isn't a book that you can just read. It's interactive - it requires action and a Bible (or a Bible app, for you smart phone users)  She wants us to...(ready for it?)...memorize Scripture. 

The last time I committed a passage of God's Word to memory was probably sometime in a while ago. I grew up in a Christian school, so Bible memory was associated with weekly quizzes and tests that assessed if I had actually memorized the verse. My dad and I would spend time each week memorizing the Word together. At the time, it was about the grade, but even now, I still remember verses from my 7th grade Bible course taught by Mr. Dudics. Verses like Hebrews 11:1-3, 2 Corinthians 10:5, James 4:7.  The memorization of His Word has proven fruitful and necessary time and time again. I still go back to 2 Corinthians 10:5- "We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of Christ. We take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ."  His Word is integral in our healing. 

I want to invite you into this journey with me as I read Breaking Free.  I'm at a place now in my life that I am ready- truly ready - to find the kind of freedom that I can raise my voice and dance over. I'm ready for the kind of healing that is demonstrated in the secret crevices of my heart and in the community that I live in. It's a bit terrifying to bring you with me, to be honest, but my hope, much like Beth's is for the reader, is that someone - even if it's one person- will read this and feel both a sense of relief and a call to action to address the strongholds in their life and find lasting freedom. 

The verse for memory this week: 

Isaiah 61:1-4
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor, he has sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; to grant to those who mourn in Zion- to give them beautiful headdress instead of ashes,  the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;  that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified. They shall build up the ancient ruins; they shall raise up the former devastations; they shall repair the ruined cities, the devastations of many generations. 

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