When You Need to Break Free
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While it’s been quite some time, I remember the feeling well. The guilt. The shame. A label I never thought I would wear. DIVORCED. You can catch up on my story sometime, but last week I heard from a couple of you who have dedicated your life to Christ and you’re struggling with those feelings. What can you do when you need to break free?
Jesus has forgiven you. But you can’t seem to forgive yourself.
You want so desperately for the guilt and shame to be gone and you know Jesus has forgiven you. But you aren’t feeling the freedom God wants you to have. You feel bound by chains. You feel imprisoned. You feel like walls are closing in and you simply can’t seem to forgive yourself. You feel like you can’t move forward to obey God’s calling on your life because this, whatever it is, is holding you back, snagging every inch of your freedom to tell the world that you.have.been.forgiven.
Facing Guilt and Shame
Some of us who have no shame in telling someone the reason for our guilt. Maybe you are one of those and you feel like it can’t hurt to share it any more than it hurts to bear it. Perhaps you are someone who has held a secret from the past for so long that no one who knows you would ever guess that you, yes, you are capable of having performed this action or participated in this scene.
I don’t know what your particular issue might be. We all are sinners. But somehow we measure and weigh the problem, trying to capture it in tangible portions to process. Murder, abortion, addictions of all types. Hatred, gossip, or family relationships left barren and empty because of what he did or she said.
Years ago, for a long time, my guilt and shame was divorce. I felt that since I had grown in my faith, I should have been able to do more to make my first marriage work. I had a ton of why questions that wouldn’t go away. I felt ashamed that I brought divorce into my daughter’s life. I was disappointed that I had ruined my opportunity of “One man, one wife, for life.” The burden pressed on my soul and even when I was happily remarried, I felt embarrassed to have divorce as a part of my past for some time.
But oh we serve a God who is so much bigger than divorce. Or murder. Or hatred. Or estranged family members. Whatever is leaving you paralyzed, causing you to think that God forgives you but you still hate yourself? God wants to break that stronghold wide open.
Lazarus had been dead for three days when Jesus finally made it over to see the friend he loved. Mary and Martha sorrowed deeply and questioned…. Why had Jesus waited? He could have prevented this. The sickness, the burial, the tomb.
Maybe that’s your bitterness too.
Why did your brother have to be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
Why is your baby sick?
Why did you go through divorce?
Why do you live with the label of “former prostitute?”
There is no tomb that God cannot open.
From the moment I heard the words above, I knew Lazarus Awakening: Finding Your Place in the Heart of God (Bethany Trilogy (Quality)) would be life-changing for many. I can’t tell you how Joanna Weaver’s words have been freeing to my soul, reminding me that Jesus is calling me away from the graveclothes, away from the tomb, away from sin and the past. He is calling me to a new life in him.
Each day I have the choice to listen to Love call my name and draw closer to him. So do you. The question is: What first step will you take to begin the journey?
I’ll make a few suggestions. Get in God’s Word daily. Pray personally.
Maybe you could begin to stop thinking that God loves the world and begin to realize just how much he loves you.
This Bible study, Lazarus Awakening, will help you do just that.
Lazarus Awakening DVD Study Pack: Finding Your Place in the Heart of God
I knew I had to share it with you.
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
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I believe we all have some sin, some story to tell…or wish would remain hidden…or buried. Thank you for encouraging us to step away from the grave and to step our of our grave clothes into the hope that is in our future with Christ.
Love the post!
blessings from a fellow launch team member. #LazarusAwakening
Thank you so much for sharing your story and this info about the DVD study! Good stuff! Thanks!
What an amazing testimony.
This was timely for me. I don’t suffer shame from my divorce but my ex continues to try to abuse me even now that we are not married, he threatens to not pay his part of the settlement and the kids and I will have no place to live, etc. I know it will never end. Only 3% of abusers ever reform, and I am trying to learn how to manage this for the rest of my life (my youngest has autism so I am tied to my ex pretty much forever). I need to keep my focus on Christ. I am going to write this line down where I can read it each day: Each day I have the choice to listen to Love call my name and draw closer to him. I pray that one day my first thought when things are dark will be that He is with me.
Bless you, Sara. Life is hard, but God is good. He is with you each step of the way. Thank you for your bravery in sharing a little of your story with us.
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How could you know the one issue I have struggled with – Divorce. I faced the same feelings of guilt about the destruction of my first marriage and 24 years later the death of my second marriage. What devastation do my children experience emotionally due to that first divorce? “One man, one woman” the mantra I was taught until my marriage in 1981. Joanna ‘ s book #LazarusAwakening is leading me to start peeling away my grave clothes. Praise God my relationship with Christ is being restored. I have learned He loves me and always did despite the divorce. Thank you for sharing your story. Now I know I’m not alone in my feelings.
Oh Friend. You are definitely not alone. I love the back cover of the book… No more graveclothes…no more tomb. Love is calling your name. It’s a beautiful study. Thanks for stopping by.
Beautiful story. Thanks for sharing. So glad to serve alongside you on Joanna’s launch team.
Rachel, this is simply beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing! Your words are so filled with grace and redemption. It’s wonderful to be on the Lazarus Awakening Launch Team with you, what a wonderful study!
Rachel, this is so beautiful – you are such an encouragement to me to get in God’s Word daily! So fun to serve alongside you on Joanna’s team.
What a beautiful story of redemption, Rachel! Thanks so much for sharing Lazarus Awakening. I’m truly honored. Love you, friend!
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