Say “Hello” to Freedom

I sat in the group room in my office, listening to the chatter and hostility of those that were ordered by a judge to be in that room.  They were angry.  Frustrated.  Sad.  Confused.  And they were taking turns expressing their feelings about having to provide drug tests.  That abstinence was “stupid.”  That they were just going to go back to using the day their case was closed.

“Enough.”  I said, in a loud “mom” voice.

The room became silent and I let the silence linger until it was uncomfortable, which always leads to shifting in seats and fidgety hands. 

“Now that I have your attention, I want to you to think about this question for a minimum of 90 seconds before you answer it.”

More shifting in seats, fidgety hands, and looking around the room to find anything else they could look at besides me or each other. 

“What would your life be like without drugs? Socially? Financially?  Emotionally?  Mentally?  What would your life be like if you were free?”

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In my career, I work with people who have substance use disorders.  And we talk about a lot of things.  But one of the hardest things we talk about is saying goodbye to something that must die within them if they are going to be healthy and whole individuals:  their drug use.  And it’s not just the drug use.  It's the lifestyle and relationships that come with it that they have to say goodbye too.  It’s a complete uprooting and upheaval of what is comfortable, and for many, all they have ever known.  It’s hard and it’s terrifying.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to someone or something that you loved, but knew it wasn’t beneficial for you? 

I have. 

One of the biggest markers of my journey to Jesus was the end of my relationship with my first boyfriend.  We met when I was 14, started dating when I was 16, and the relationship died when I was 20.  I honestly didn’t think that our relationship would last nearly as long as it did.  He had a track record of dating girls for a few weeks and then being bored and ending the relationship.  When we started dating I didn’t expect him to stay very long nor did I expect him to break my heart.  When everything was said and done and he was out of my life, it was the most heart wrenching and gut turning experience I had gone through.

We, as humans, have been designed to connect.  But unfortunately, in a broken world, sin has fractured our relationships with each other, and with things.  In my private practice and in the jails where I do assessments, I hear horrific stories of abuse experienced and committed.  I see the effects of things, whether it be an unhealthy desire for more and more money or an unhealthy relationship with food or drugs, on people.  Our connections are contorted and convoluted.   But despite something being unhealthy for us, whether it be a person or a thing, it can be so hard to say goodbye to the connection. 

Because of who Jesus is (God) and what He did (offered Himself as a sacrifice to fulfill the Law, therefore, reconciling us to Himself), you and I are able to live in freedom.  We do not have to fear death (Can I get a hallelujah?!), nor do we have to live in bondage to those people and things that burden us in so many ways (Amen!)

But, I don’t live in a way that exudes freedom.  I live as though I am walking on egg shells and still bound by chains.  There are so many times that I choose my connection with those unhealthy things rather than connecting with Jesus. 

As we study Romans 8 this year, we are learning, because of Jesus conquering death, we are able to truly live. In Romans 8:12-14, Paul is telling us that it’s time to say goodbye to those things that we are connected too that are hindering freedom:

So don’t you see that we don’t owe this old do-it-yourself life one red cent. There’s nothing in it for us, nothing at all. The best thing to do is give it a decent burial and get on with your new life. God’s Spirit beckons.”  (MSG)

If I have been set free from bondage, I should be living as though I am set free.  And that means I have a choice to make.  I am going to have to say goodbye to things that prevent freedom, or I am going to have to say goodbye to freedom and choose the things that hinder it.  We all know the right answer, but do we make the right choice?  Am I choosing Jesus? Or I am choosing the thing that cages me? 

What is it for you?  Maybe it’s a relationship with a person (been there), or a thing (Goodbye sugar).  Maybe it’s a past lifestyle and the choices that came with it.  Maybe it’s all of the above.  Whatever it is, you can let it go.   It may be hard (in fact it may be the hardest thing you’ll ever do).   I am confident that the Holy Spirit is putting whatever that thing is front and center in your mind as He is doing with me right now.  It’s time to say goodbye to it and say hello to freedom.  True freedom. 

I encourage you to spend some time in prayer today, sweet soul sister.  What is it, that keeps you from experiencing freedom in Christ?  What are you scared to let go?  Let Jesus minister to your heart as you pour out your fears, pain, confusion, anger, and maybe even mourning for that thing that is really a chain around your heart.  God’s Spirit beckons Beloved.


Megan Sinisi is one of our Refres{her} bloggers. She describes herself as a 30-something year old lady who is still figuring out who the heck she is and sometimes worries she is just crazy. Megan is a most of the time stay at home mom of 3 precious little “tyrants” whom she loves more than her own breathe and wife to an amazing husband. She absolutely adores a good cup of coffee, chocolate and peanut butter combinations, coloring, being crafty, figuring out homeschooling her children, being silly and laughing with her husband, and chatting with friends about embarrassing moments and deep things at the same time. She has a love and fervor for writing and is walking in faith that God is calling her to use the passion and the gift He has given her. She hopes that her journey encourages, challenges, inspires, comforts, and most importantly, shines the light of Jesus and the reality of His love, grace, and mercy. More writings can be found on Megan's blog at: https://myrenderingheart.wordpress.com/