Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Freedom Road

Though I've hardly kept my struggle with anger a secret here, it's been awhile since I've written about it.  It's been a very difficult few months for our family.  Though I've had moments where I've been able to parent with love and grace, more often frustration and anger have dominated my emotions and, I'm sorry to admit, my actions.

I've just finished an incredible bible study in which I was reminded of some basic truths, was encouraged to persevere in trials and given tools to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.  I stand on the other end of this journey praying fervently that it has not been in vain.  My natural bent and my reason tell me that children must obey their parents and when they do not, there must be quick and increasing (if disobedience continues) consequences.  While there is biblical evidence for this parenting paradigm and I have seen it work with two of my three children, I have seen it fail miserably with one of them.  It has set up a cycle of anger and misery here that can no longer be ignored.  Happily, I am finding that there is just as much biblical evidence for parenting with mercy and grace.  The struggle lies only in that being merciful and gracious to a disobedient and disrespectful child feels impossible- no, is impossible for me- in my flesh.

But, I am determined to break free of the bondage of unrighteous anger- for my sake, for my child's sake, for my family's sake and most importantly for Christ's sake.  I'll share with you here what God has been teaching me (through this study and in my personal quiet time) and what I am trusting He will use to refine me and bring freedom:
  • Anything that interferes with the effective, abundant, Spirit-filled life is bondage 
  • Breaking free of sin requires obedience- simple, long, even when it is hard, obedience
  • He is willing and able to break bonds- even the self-inflicted ones- oh, thank You, Jesus!
  • The war for freedom is waged on the battlefield of the mind
  • Behind every bond is a lie of the Enemy that I have believed
  • These lies must be identified and torn down
  • Truth from His Word must replace these lies
  • Sin will continue to grow when it is kept hidden in darkness
  • Biblical accountability brings sin into the light, provides structure to the process of breaking free and combats excuses
In future posts, I'll share the lies I've believed that have contributed to my bondage to unrighteous anger and the truths I've gleaned from the Word to combat those lies.  I pray that sharing my struggle will serve to help any who share it learn they are not alone, give them the boldness to bring their sin out into the light, teach them how to break free (even as I am learning) and give glory to the Son- for if He sets you free, you are FREE INDEED!

Finally, I cannot emphasize enough what an absolute blessing Beth Moore, her ministry and the Breaking Free Bible study have been in my life.  If you are in bondage to any sin, I urge you to do this Bible study!  (I could not do the study justice in a post, or even a series of posts.  My intention with this series on my blog is simply to share my journey in the hopes that it will spur you on to further study and relationship with the Lord.)

Steps on Freedom Road


Anonymous said...

Oh, Natalie...you have been and will continue to be in my prayers. I don't know if this is the big decision to which you referred a week or so ago, but this seems pretty big to me. My son is grown, yet there are some things that so relate to me and my current life. Thank you for your honesty and sharing. Love to you my sister in Christ!

Heidi... said...

Working through Breaking Free right now! As I was reading your post... I thought "hey this sounds just like something Beth would say!"

Natalie said...

@ Mary, thanks for your love and prayers! I so appreciate them and you!!! No, this was not the big decision I was referring to but we are moving ever closer to an answer. Hope to share about it here soon.

@ Heidi, isn't it GREAT?!?


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