I love the tenacity of the tulips, pushing through the rotting leaves and melting snow in the garden each spring. I love the first hint of green poking through the tips of the trees, and the return of the songbirds waking me in the early morning. I love the joy that long days of summertime warmth and sunshine bring to my soul. And I especially love the changing of the leaves and the cool crispness of a damp fall morning, with the first scents of pumpkin spices showing up in my favorite coffee shops.
The word “change” can invoke a variety of reactions in people. For some, it means hope and promise. For others, it only brings uncertainty or despair.
My journey has brought me to a place where I can embrace change, for where there is no change, there is no growth, and God has not called us to be stagnant. This doesn’t make change entirely easy, however. But change, like all things, is possible with God.
As I am enjoying the first taste of fall, I’m entering into a new season in my life’s journey too. I’m stepping out of the season I’ve called “In Recovery,” with its total focus on myself and my health and heart, and into the next, simply called “Mercy.”
As I consider the last nine months, I see a battlefield littered with debris, mostly pieces from the chains that I wore for so long and which are now finally broken and left behind.
The first chain fell the day I actually chose to admit I had a problem I couldn’t fix alone. When I broke the silence that had bound me and told a friend. The many, many times I doubted and even railed against God, against my therapist, against my own body… but fought through it, because I hadn’t come that far just to give up, more chains fell. Then there was the joy and celebration, the cheers, the hugs, the gallons of tears, and the sacred prayers of the incredible women who battled for me and with me, when I didn’t believe I could keep standing…
The remnants of my journey are all over the field, some of them gruesome, horrific events, but every single one worth it, for the freedom in which I now find my joy.
As I move into this new season I know the battles are not over. I believe they will continue to diminish, however, to minor skirmishes, farther and farther apart, until the battlefield is simply a memory.
Chasing freedom is not just a seasonal concept or a recovery journey, it’s a life calling, which I have committed to pursue no matter where I am living or what I am doing. And this calling is one thing that will never change.
Freedom From the Past (blog post)