Distress. Freedom.


Shackles of the Past

“Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered by setting me free.”
(Psalm 118:5)

Sometimes I feel like life over the past two years has been one big season of crying out to the Lord.

Newly married.

Moving across the country.

Living intentionally (and as a racial minority to boot.).

Distress.

and I cry out.

New opportunities.

New baby.

New neighbors and friends.

Distress.

and I cry out.

Car accidents.

Robbery.

Loss and lament.

Distress.

and I cry out.

Over and over and over again I cried out.

The academic year of 2008-2009 was the sweetest, most abundant (and sometimes hellish) season of walking with the Lord to this point in my life.  The Everest of my mountain-top experiences.   What I never expected was that in the years following, the years journeying down that mountain the trek would be so painful.

Distress.

Good things.  Gifts and snippets of grace all around.

But distress still.

Feeling like a dried up bag of bones, stripped of strong muscles and supple flesh.

Like a rosebush in the dessert, blossoms wilting and crumbling.  Beauty and grace fading daily and all but forgotten.

Distress.

And I cried out.

God had been so near, I could not bear feeling as though I were far away.
I grieved the distance, but I didn’t know how to resolve it.

Distress.

And I cried out.

Faithfully.

Day after day.

I cried out.

 

It is only now that I am beginning to see, the distress was setting me free.

The things that I wanted to change

or didn’t understand why they were happening.

The things that were so sweet and so good

the things that I should have been happy about but were so hard to accept in reality…

The tension

The pain

The bitter times

These things were drawing me out of the prison I didn’t even know I was in.

Like salt rubbed in a wound draws out the contaminants.

The stresses of life and the moments when I felt God had forgotten were drawing out those things which contaminate my true self and bind me from embracing the gift of who I am meant to be.

 

Distress.

Crying out.

Freedom.

 

“Out of my distress I called on the LORD;
the LORD answered by setting me free.”

Cry out, dismay not.

God is answering.

You shall be free.

 

 

 

Photo credit: Peter E. Lee

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2 thoughts on “Distress. Freedom.

  1. “God had been so near, I could not bear feeling as though I were far away. I grieved the distance, but I didn’t know how to resolve it. . . Cry out, dismay not. God is answering.”

    Beautiful! I so identify! Thank you.

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