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Free People, Free People

Updated: Apr 24, 2023

By: Ashley Marie

Three years ago I was covered in mud. My mind and heart were consumed by my limiting beliefs that God would never cleanse me completely.

Throughout the gospels, we see Jesus reach out to the broken and heal them. He performed miracles. He cast out demonic spirits. He always showed up. He never left His children in starvation. Sometimes we forget that the people in the bible were ordinary people just like us. They simply were people trying their best, fell short sometimes, and yet, received grace, reunited with their father and were blessed.

Ruth, Mary Magdalene, and the Samaritan Woman are beautiful witnesses of the power of redemption. I never saw these women as too broken, and yet I still placed myself in this box. No matter what I did, how much I prayed, how much I accomplished, I would never please God. In fact I did not have the ability to ever do that. I confessed my sins, I spent time with the Lord, I served, and yet, I was still chained. I didn’t allow myself to accept the truth that once we confess, we are united with Christ, we are cleansed and we are set free.

In time, I accepted that God forgave me but, I did not forgive myself and I needed support and guidance in order to fully heal. God uses other people to help us experience freedom. He doesn’t expect us to be able to handle our messes alone, instead he sees us, takes on our burdens, tells us to sin no more and provides us with the needed support in order to live out His calling for our lives.

In my broken season, I struggled to fully love myself. I did not feel pretty. I felt exposed. I felt as if everyone else saw me this way too. I worried that I was too broken. I became obsessed with my appearance because I felt as if that was the only part of myself that I had control over. And I hated that too.

I knew my presence was potentially damaging others because of my brokenness. I was unable to be present with those around me. I could no longer receive people in the way I once did. Negative thoughts consumed me.

When we experience freedom in our own lives, we are better equipped to help others experience freedom as well. God uses our sins to make us saints. God uses our stories to bring others closer to Him. Ultimately, God's plan for each of our lives is to glorify Him and grow His kingdom. But if we are chained, we can actually cause people to stray away from Him and lead people to darkness, rather than freedom.

I think of relationships. In relationships, our brokenness can be placed onto the other person. The beautiful thing is, just as our brokenness can break others, our healing can heal others as well. The moment I chose to seek help so that I could heal, I was then blessed with the ability to help others find healing as well. If God used my brokenness and redemption to help others, he sure can do the same with you.

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