The journey to full freedom can be gut-wrenchingly hard. “Deconstruction” has been unsettling as I leave behind long-held mindsets of what is and isn’t acceptable. What is happening is that everything that has “propped me up” no longer works. Lord, you know I love you. I just want to understand. As painful as it is, going back to where I was before I started this process is unthinkable. As I’m beginning to know and live my own truth, I’m happier in the midst of the confusion because this is real, and it is an answer to my prayer to love Him and know Him more intimately.
Part of living my own truth is understanding that I’m an introvert and a highly sensitive person with a need for much solitude and peace, and along with that, greatly affected by overwhelm and overstimulation. This is the way God designed me, and for most of my life, I haven’t respected it. I’m looking at Romans 12:1-2 from The Passion Translation on my little chalkboard in my office, my Scripture for this year, and I see progress. I have stopped imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around me, and I’m in process with the Spirit of a total reformation of how I think. Finally, I’m beginning, a little at a time, to discern God’s will and live this beautiful life.
I know I’m not alone in the way I feel. So many others have gone before me, but I am late to the table at age 65, late for my own feast. Being “wired for compliance,” I didn’t ask many questions—well, some big ones I did. Looking back, my questions were always about judgmentalism and “the rules,” my sense of justice kicking in. But staying on board and drinking the Kool-Aid limited me. Most importantly, it limited using my amazing mind to think and to reason, to come out of the box of false identity. As a result, I’ve been nibbling, scarfing down a bite or two or three at a time, but never feasting.
Why does religiosity (legalism) continue to rear its ugly head and stuff believers into old wineskins? This only divides the Church when Christ has called us to unity. In Jesus’s own words, you cannot put new wine into old wineskins because the fermentation of the new wine will cause it to burst—it just doesn’t work anymore (Luke 5:36-38). And look at verse 39: “And no one, after drinking old wine wishes for new; for he says, ‘The old is good enough.’” Are we uncomfortable with freedom? They say there is a high recidivism rate when an inmate is released from prison because he can’t acclimate to the world as a free person. Is it possible that it’s easier for us obey the law than to step out into freedom?
There is nothing to fulfill when we come to Christ because He fulfilled the Law. It really is that simple. The Lord has prepared a table for all of us in a spacious place. I know He is calling me to come sit down with Him and taste and see that He is good, that He is for me, and that I am His beloved. I never want to settle again for “the old is good enough,” because that leaves Christ out of the picture. He is always calling us up higher into His ways and His love. It may have taken me a while to get to the table, but there is a seat open for me. There is one for you also. Let’s go and feast together!