I took my daughter to the park today and rejoiced that it was empty. I could avoid awkward small talk! I ran around the playground with her feeling free and at peace.
Then an older woman and her grandson showed up.
I found myself in an old habit of wandering around the playground in a chaotic bee pattern trying to keep an eye on my daughter while avoiding getting too close for human interaction.
In a recent Freedom Ministry message, a preacher taught that repentance was a choice to change our minds so that God could change us. She said that when we repent we get the grace to change our behavior, but there are habits from old patterns of thinking that need to be broken.
I’d been repenting of fear, yet I caught myself still falling into old habits of avoidance behavior.
I heard the whisper of Holy Spirit in my ear saying, “Be the light.”
I remembered from a few posts back where Holy Spirit was changing my mindset from a pattern of fear to a pattern of possibility.
So rather than avoid an interaction out of fear, I chose to be friendly with the woman. Once I made the choice, I felt grace come to me for the interaction.
I asked how old her grandson was and said he was very sweet (he was).
But it was right after that I sensed her shift into defensiveness and the atmosphere became negative. It was a few moments later she was ushering her grandson home.
My first reaction was that I had “be’d” the light wrong.
I felt my mindset start to slip into feeling rejected.
But Holy Spirit brought to remembrance a time a few months before where we were at the same park. I was under a full blown attack from fear and anxiety. A woman full of light with 4 kids and a dog was there, and even though she had her hands full with her own responsibilities, she had shown me and my daughter profound love and kindness. I had remembered that the interaction hadn’t soothed the attack on my mind, it had exacerbated it.
She had been so nice and lovely, yet I was in a mental prison of fear and anxiety that human interaction made worse. Back then I’d done the same thing; scooped my daughter up and rushed her home so I could escape the mental torment.
Today, when I felt the atmosphere shift, I backed off from interacting with the woman, knowing that my interaction with her was probably causing more harm than good. I gave her space and prayed in the spirit for her under my breath.
Even though I had good intentions toward her, I knew my words couldn’t set her free. She needed Jesus and the power of the cross. My prayers might not have done anything today, but they were a start, and helped to fill some bowls in heaven for her that would be tipped out at the right time.
It’s only now that I’ve gotten some freedom that I can see what a prison the devil had me in.
I’d been so wounded by people that I was incapable of trusting anyone. Anytime I went anywhere, every single person posed a threat in my mind. It didn’t matter how kind or loving they were in reality, there was a constant paranoia they would be like the people of my past who hurt me.
Last night at Freedom Ministry, we learned that unforgiveness can keep us in this victim mentality because we don’t forgive those in our past that hurt us. It keeps us in spiritual bondage to the past and causes us to interpret situations through a filter of what happened in the past.
Even today, I assumed I was being rejected because I had been rejected in the past. But more likely, the woman wasn’t rejecting me, she was just under attack from fear and anxiety.
It showed me that I had gotten a lot of freedom last night, but there was more to come! Freedom Ministry deals with roots of rejection too!
In the past, I thought my fear protected me from getting hurt again, but now I see that it kept me in a living hell. My perception was shrouded in darkness and light was unable to get in.
The good news was that I got saved and found a ministry with discipleship at it’s heart. It took years of patience from leaders, but I’m seeing ever increasing freedom as I walk through the process of renewing my heart and mind.
I can see how I’m more free than I was yesterday, and how I’ll be even more free next week. As I continue walking, more freedom, healing, joy, and peace becomes available.