I grew up singing songs and hymns centered on the idea of freedom. It sounded nice. Patriotic. Lighthearted. A little vague, but… nice. I didn’t see “freedom” as being centrally connected to the work of the cross, or even as something I desperately needed.
Then I found myself weeping on the floor of a dorm room, both in agony at my sorry state and in gratitude at the depth of grace. I started to understand freedom, just a little: freedom from the stain of sin on my soul, freedom from its eternal consequences, freedom from the very real cycle of addiction that can be found in a toxic relationship just as easily as in cocaine. Taking communion started to mean something, as I did this in remembrance and knew that my chains of sin were broken when Jesus’ body was broken.
And it doesn’t stop there, because Jesus isn’t just in the business of setting us free from. He makes us free to: free to receive love, free to give it wholeheartedly, even free to heal.
That one surprised me. Healing is complicated and sometimes feels like shedding old skin, leaving us exposed and vulnerable, but we are free to heal. We are free to let the Potter change our shape without owing an explanation to what we were before. We are free to mourn, free to rejoice, free to grow, free to not live in fear of the very things He has set us free from.
Now the songs and hymns about freedom are my favorite ones. It’s central to the Gospel.There’s much I still need to learn about freedom in Jesus, of course. I’m so glad I’m free to not have it all down just yet.
Missy is married to Chris and an amazing mother of two young boys. She is full of humor, passion, and wit. We are excited and thrilled to have her contributions on Substance Over Shadows.