Walking In Freedom

I grew up going to church every time the doors were open. I went to Awanas and memorized all the verses. I won the Bible drills, every time. I spent time with Jesus “first thing in the morning” because that’s what you were supposed to do. I did the whole read the Bible through in a year, every year. Sunday’s were days to rest. But really they were spent going to church, leader’s meetings, choir, Bible study, and then church again. All good things.The smell of that old building, the clanking of the air conditioner, it felt like home. It was home. I grew up there, I met Jesus there and for that I am eternally thankful. But I wish someone would’ve told me sooner that Jesus didn’t need for me to go to church, memorize scripture, or lead Bible studies. Jesus didn’t need anything from me.

Even though I knew I didn’t have to work for His love, I didn’t believe it.

I came to a point in my life, when my whole world fell apart. My mom was very sick and I was certain she wouldn’t live to see another spring. Every phone call, I would brace myself, just in case. A three year journey of infertility treatments, negative pregnancy tests, surgeries, and hormones left me with lots of questions about the God I had grown up knowing. I obviously didn’t serve Him well enough for my life to be in complete shambles.

And then one of those mornings, when I saw that lonely pink line for the hundredth time, He met me on the bathroom floor. All of the working, all of the striving, all of the trying to be enough, was just too much. My heart was so broken and so tired I couldn’t even pick up my Bible. There were days I didn’t know how to talk to Him, so I just sat with Him and He kept meeting me there.

I quit doing and just started being with Him.

He slowly began to take the truths I had grown up knowing, and lacing them with grace. All good things. All true. All of Him. But those things didn’t make Him love me. He started unveiling my eyes to look into His, and see what He sees back in me. I started learning that He wasn’t a god who was untouchable and unquestionable. He started meeting me at my dining room table and in the car and on the bathroom floor. I began to see a god I had only known in black in white, in brilliant color. I started crawling up onto His lap. I was able to lay my broken heart against His and listen to the cadence of His heart beating for me. He was near, so near I could almost feel His Daddy arms wrap around my broken body and weary heart.

I was free. Finally free.

My circumstances did not change. In fact, they got much worse before I was able to look back and see His faithfulness. But I was walking in freedom for the first time in my life, and those days, living in that newfound freedom with Him, were the absolute sweetest days of my life. After years of being bound to rules and begging Him to love me, I knew that His love for me was indescribable and there was nothing I could do to change it. Our journey together deepened. Our relationship of Him being God and me being servant changed. He called me friend. And I called Him lover.

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Rachel Ackerman Photography