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Your Freedom Scares Us To Death

October 30, 2007

That’s what she told me … my mother, as I was saying good-bye and moving to another state. “Your freedom scares us to death!”

Now, while I was relieved that she finally admitted it … I had to step back again and ask, “WHY?”

Recently, I’ve been doing a study of The Velveteen Rabbit, or How Toys Become Real; and I’ve used a support book called, The Velveteen Principles. The Principles book breaks down about 12 principles of life that are found in The Velveteen Rabbit.

One of the principles that hit home during these past few weeks is that when one is embarking upon a journey to “REAL,” the first people who will create a blockade will be family. The author suggests that “Becoming REAL does scare and intimidate those around you who do not have the courage to take the journey.” Another thing about the journey to “REAL” is that becoming the REAL YOU, or the YOU that God created You to be or leading you to become … is FREEING!

But all that sounds a bit on the arrogant side when one is trying to communicate with or about one’s mother.

Then I came across another perspective while reading a passage and devotional thought on Gideon. The sub-title of the devotional was “be encouraged by your critics.” That automatically caught my attention for those are the voices that generally ringer louder in ones heart and mind … and cause the damage and faulty grid.

Here’s point one: For every battle God has a strategy! Hmmm. So rather than just pray about the battle, “ask the Lord to show you the strategy for winning.”

It’s a scary thing to embark upon a whole new way of life … a new direction … a new adventure. It’s a scary thing to know there’s a battle out there, and besides your own self-doubts, to have to hear the doubts and criticisms of the very ones who should be cheering you on. Gideon was certainly scared too, but God gave him a valuable piece of advice … for perspective (and maybe even strategy).

Gideon had serious doubts about his ability to see the battle through to victory. He was afraid and had expressed that to God, but God told him in Judges 7:10-11, “If you are afraid, go down to the camp and listen to what they are saying … and afterwards you will be encouraged.” Gideon did as He had said, and heard one man talk about a dream he’d had, and the other interpret the dream that basically said, “Gideon is going kick butt and take names.”

Gideon was encouraged and he did go into battle … and won.

After reading this passage, I thought about the circumstances with my mom and other family members. She said, “Your FREEDOM scares us to death.”

So I wonder, was my mother saying to me, “The REAL YOU scares us to death.”

Surely, a mother would want her child to be free … not in bondage … not succumbing to the sins of the past … or the status quo. Surely, a mother would celebrate the freedom of her child. Why would “my freedom” scare her so?

I used to work at a shelter for abused women. Too often, though they ran away to the shelter to be “free” of the abuse … they feared being free more than they feared the abuse. And we all stand back and say, “how could this be?”

As for Gideon, God had told him over and over … proved every fleece that he put out … and still Gideon had doubts. He was going up against the odds … all odds.

I’d think that FREEDOM is what every one would want and cherish. Why would my freedom or one’s own personal freedom be frightening?

Could it be that with FREEDOM comes responsibility? Accountability?
When someone else is on the road to freedom or “REAL,” could that be a reminder (not even a subtle reminder) of one’s own personal denial of or rejection of God’s calling, or a lack of trust.

I would not say that I am a pillar of trust. Leaving one life to begin another may be courageous in one person’s eyes, while in another it’s just “flighty.” I, like Gideon, have asked God for confirmation of this direction … this leading … and He’s confirmed it over and over again. And like my friend, Tim De Roos, said to me, “To not go would be blatent disobedience.”

Then, 5, 10, 30 years down the road, will I be standing by someone dear to me and saying, “Your FREEDOM scares me to death.” I hope not.

If Gideon had chickened out … do you think that the Isrealites would not have been rescued? I don’t! I just think that Gideon would not have been a REAL person who helped others find FREEDOM … by answering God’s call, following God’s lead and obeying God’s directions in spite of his fear.

Judges 6:16, “I will be with you …”

Oh, and by the way … after Gideon went down to the camp and heard what the people were saying about him, he fell down and worshiped God. What else is there left to do except that!

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