Friday, July 1, 2011


I couldn't make up my mind about what to write about this July 4th weekend so I started with this...

On this Independence Day I am very mindful of the fact I walk around freely today because people have fought for the freedom I enjoy. The fact of the matter is that while America celebrates her freedom this weekend, there are an estimated 27 million people in the world who are slaves...more than any other time in history.  Did you catch that??  MORE THAN ANY OTHER TIME IN HISTORY.  In this day and age, how is that even possible??  

People throughout history have raised their voices to declare that slavery is an injustice and must be done away with.  I wonder what Wilberforce and Lincoln would think today if they knew 27 million people are enslaved.  The people who stood up for and defended the freedom I enjoy today didn't know me personally.  They didn't take a look at my life and deem me worthy of fighting for.  They intrinsically knew that human life was not property to be sold...that each person was valuable and should be given every opportunity to thrive. 

So, why is this any different for us today?  Why do we have a license to sit back and say "Oh, those poor people who are slaves. That's just horrible.  Who could do such a thing?  Well, I sure hope something changes soon...that's such a tragedy."  Do we not see that WE are the ones who must raise our voices just as the people who fought for us did many years ago? Don't we know that if we all just sit back and say "What a pity" that nothing will change?

After I wrote all that I changed my mind about what I wanted to really say. :) If you read my blog you likely are attuned to the issue of human trafficking, what causes it and what you can do to help stop it.  What you may not know (or not like to think about) is what keeps YOU behind bars so to speak. What are the things that keep you enslaved?  Are there chains in your life that only let you run so far before tripping you up and making you fall? 

Do you carry anger and bitterness around?  Maybe a poor self image that has sent you into an eating disorder. Are you ate up by worry?  Could be that you are plagued by a secret addiction of some sort.  Maybe you are locked up in your own cell because of fear and anxiety.  How about insecurity?  Or maybe good old fashioned guilt and shame?   

I think it's worth being said that there are many of us walking around enslaved by something that we were created to be set free from!  My top two beasts have been guilt and insecurity.  I struggled for years over things that had happened in my past.  I couldn't get over them and felt like I didn't really deserve to be rid of the guilt I carried.  I'll never forget what an eighty year old man named Jim Downing said one night.  He said that in ancient times as a punishment, an offender would have a dead body chained to his leg.  Wherever he would go, he would drag around the dead, stinking carcass and everyone around would flee.  Taking in the stench and the sight of a decaying body was enough to make anyone run the other direction.  Jim likened the offender to us and the dead body to our guilt and shame (insert whatever beast it is that you tend to haul around).  One big difference though...we carry the key in our pocket to unlock the chain and leave the dead body behind.  But do we???  Why do we continue to carry around things that Jesus came to set us free from?

Do we think that when we read in scripture that Jesus came to set the captives free, that that's only for the 27 million slaves in the world?  It's not just for them.  It's for us too.  Galatians 5:1 says " It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."  In other words, Christ didn't die a gruesome death on a cross so that we could enjoy our freedom for a day and then turn around and walk right back into captivity.  That is not how we are designed.  We are created to be people who walk about in FREEDOM, unencumbered by chains.  Our chains are GONE.  They have been broken.  

One of the biggest deceits of the enemy is to keep us thinking we are still chained when we are not.  Our past and our present do not hold us captive.  The labels that have been slapped on us do not define us.  What happened to us when we were young and innocent does not make us guilty.  Our physical appearance is meaningless because God looks at our hearts.  Our fear has been driven out by perfect Love - there is no place for it any longer.  Our addictions CAN be broken.  Our insecurity is a trap straight from the pit because we are children of God, sons and daughters of the King.  If we take time to really digest this it is life changing for us.  The lies that we believe can be dismantled. 

There is no dispute that we all carry around some amount of baggage.  Some of ours is heavier than others. But have we come to believe that this baggage will never go away?  That it will always rear its ugly head? If we have believed that, as Beth Moore says "we're going to have to let truth scream louder to our souls than the lies that have infected us."

There is no time like the present to break the chains of wrong thinking and to recognize that the life God has designed for you to live is one of FREEDOM and GRACE. 

He is good and He will walk you through letting go.  Some of these things we may have carried for years and our chains have become more like comfort blankets that we don't know how to live without. Maybe there's a lot of fear involved in what life looks like if we're not always getting tripped up by our chains.  But I am confident that the One who came to set you truly free will give you whatever you need to walk right out of your chains and into the life that you are meant to live in Him. He's done it for me and I am so grateful.  I am FREE.  


  1. Amy - I'm Anna Larson's Mom...I've enjoyed getting to know you and your family through this blog. I shared this post with my Facebook friends as I think it truly 'hits the spot' for all of us. Thanks! - Brenda Hodges

  2. Brenda, I LOVE your daughter, first of all! :) Thanks for your sweet comment. I still am in awe of the way that God frees us from our muck. Glad it resonated with you! Blessings!

  3. Great words of encouragement, sister!