“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.”
2 Corinthians 3:17
Freedom can be found in the place between accepting that God's plans are different than yours and being able to accept and thrive upon that knowledge.
Several years back, I was a Ph.D. Student, studying Rhetoric and the Philosophy of Communications. I was finishing up my third year of coursework and beginning to contemplate my doctoral exams, dissertation etc. My plan was to enter the academic world with a mind full of knowledge awaiting the many opportunities to write, read, and teach about ancient philosophers. Looking back, this does not sound the least bit interesting, yet I confess this was my goal.
However this was my plan and my plan alone. I forged ahead without ever taking it to God. I believed that I was in the best position to make the decisions about my future and if I thought it was best, surely God would think the same. I became caught up in a world of accolades and grade point averages.
I believed that I was making decisions from a place of “freedom”. However the “freedom” that I was working from had very little, if anything, to do with God's idea of “freedom”, which I now know can only come from understanding, listening and accepting God's will for your life.
God spoke to me through an 85 year old assisted living resident and began to show me what His plan of “freedom” would look like in my own life. After spending a few moments talking with this very sweet lady, she asked if I could come back and visit. Her sweet face and tired eyes had me kneeling down beside her and telling her that I would be back. It was over the next several months that God began speaking to me, now I know that He had been speaking to me all along, I just had not been listening. After visiting with the residents at the assisted living facility and becoming fast friends with several of them, God began to lift the blinders from my eyes, heart and soul. He spoke to me about “freedom” and how His plans for my life would end my search for peace. He allowed me to argue with Him, telling Him that my plans were better for me and if I listened to Him, all of my hard work would be for not. Looking back, I am mortified that I ever thought my plans and ideas were better than His and saddened that I had been striving for earthly rewards instead of heavenly rewards.
He then lifted the blinders completely from my eyes (when He knew I was ready) and I instantly knew that His plan would allow me to experience the freedom needed to glorify Him and since this is the reason He created us, I began to find great comfort and peace in His knowledge, His plans and His will for my life.
He broke the chains of my earthly desire to selfishly succeed for my own reasons and allowed me to live life, with a sense of wild abandon and freedom... for Him!
Leigh Lowden is an author, speaker and ministry leader. Leigh ministers to assisted living and Alzheimer's patients, encouraging and sharing with them God's purpose and place in their lives.
She is humbled by God's presence in her life and dedicates herself to ministering to His people.
Leigh is blessed with a wonderful husband, two awesome kids and one very cool Golden retriever puppy.