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Have you ever been in a relationship and realized that you just can't get into it like you want to because your mind keeps telling you to hold back?
What does it mean to be free to love? Don't we experience love everyday? How can you love God and not be free to love man? While talking to a good friend of mine, someone whom I love and admire, when I realized that I am not free to love.
I create all of these rules from past experiences to protect myself, when all I am doing is shutting myself out. I am in bondage - self inflicted bondage, because I bound myself by these thoughts that if I do this or act a certain way I will be safe from the foolishness that awaits. In reality I am going against everything I believe in! Christ came so that I might be free - yet I have taken that freedom and given it back to him thinking that I can protect myself. Where is the trust I should have in God that he will protect my heart, that he will provide what I need? How do I pray to him everyday, sing songs of praise to him and walk around in bondage?
Paul speaks about this self-bondage in Galatians. "You foolish people of Galatia! Who has put you under an evil spell? When I preached, I clearly showed you that Jesus Christ had been nailed to the cross. I would like to learn just one thing from you. Did you receive the Holy Spirit by obeying the law? Or did you receive the Spirit by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? You began with the Holy Spirit. Are you now trying to complete God’s work in you by your own strength?" Galatians 3.1-3
Oh foolish Keisha! Who has cast an evil spell on you? All of these broken relationships I've had lead me to this aweful place. This feeling of entrapment within myself, the constant struggle between my heart and my mind. I usually take time after each relationship to get through the hurt with the intentions of not bringing it into future relationships but all I do is put them away and tell myself I'm good, I'm ready to move on, never realizing the state of denial I am in. When someone wants to love me I begin to discredit them because of certain triggers that cause me to compare them to past relationships.
What a messed up state of mind when love is who you are, yet you are unable to give of yourself lovingly to one person. You open your heart to so many others but shut down when someone of the opposite sex shows interest.
I am not free to love.
The more I say it, the more I realize a deeper need for deliverance, the need for God to remove these strongholds. How can I expect people to see God's love in me when I won't allow myself to love and to be loved - fully without restriction. I keep telling myself I have to be in control of my feelings, in control of me, I can't like him too fast, I won't fall in love, falling hurts I would rather walk into love with someone. I've been told several times by different people that I'm holding back and when I let go how powerful I would be. I understand what they are saying now, I'm realizing what I need and only God can truly free me from this hold I have on myself. These thoughts that permeate my mind and cause me to turn away.
Paul alerts us to true freedom and while I experience true freedom, I go right back to slavery out of fear. But God has not given me a spirit of fear but of power, so why do I consistantly fall back in? Because I am not consistantly seeking his face, I am not putting him first in EVERYTHING! I pick and choose when I include him and most times it's after the fact. I act first and then think. How many of us have been there?
The Bible specifically says "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need." Matthew 6.33
But seek first - not second, not after it falls apart but first. God have your way in me today, guide me in your will, lead me where you want to go. What is it that you will have me to do today? This should be my daily prayer. I want to be free to love, to trust God more than I do now. I want to consistantly seek his face. I need to be free, otherwise I will die in bondage and Jesus' sacrifice will have been in vain for he died to set me free. I must repent and ask God to forgive me for mocking him and for abusing his love.
"So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don't get tied up again in slavery to the law." Galatians 5.1 "What is important is faith expressing itself in love." Galatians 5.6
I will be free to love and I will start today. I will pray and ask God to help me let go of anything that is holding me back. I will forgive everyone who has hurt me and forgive myself. I will open up a little more each day with someone new and allow myself to be. I will trust that God has me covered and will show me where I need to be. His word assures me that he is in control and I will accept that. I will practice depending on him and not me, move myself out of the way so that his work can be revealed through me. I wrote a song a while back called "Ready for Love" and I am ready, God's love will lead to true love and so I will continue to read and study the word and watch as he reveals himself to me even more allowing me to love greater than I've ever loved before. If you are dealing with this same issue I want to encourage you today. God will and he can, you just have to choose to let him into your heart and let him have his way in you. I know that once we keep him in the front everything else will be just as it should be.
Keisha Natalee Cole
She Speaks I She Writes I She Lives