I’ve spent the last few months reading through the book of Jeremiah. The thing that struck me was how many times God gave His people the choice of whether or not to forsake their idols and worship Him. As I read, I realized how many times we have choices to make. In our relationships with family, friends, co-workers, and especially with God. These next few weeks I will be sharing a 5-part series on choices (Read other posts here). I look forward to hearing your thoughts on what helps you make wise choices.
Sometimes we have to choose to risk and change if we want something different for our lives.
As I watch my boy-men move toward manhood, I’m a witness to their struggle. They yearn to stay in the safety being a child offers. There’s certainly less responsibility for children than for teens and adults.
But, there are also fewer freedoms. And anyone who’s raised teens knows those years are all about claiming freedom.
Freedom from childhood boundaries.
Freedom to explore new things.
Freedom to discover who they were designed to be.
And . . . there’s a lot of struggle.
One boy is struggling with the idea of wanting freedom without responsibility. The thing we keep bouncing back to is that freedom is earned by showing responsibility. And when the responsible choices are ignored, freedoms are denied.
If we want freedom, we must make different choices.
Freedom from fear?
Freedom from rejection?
Freedom from the sense of being held back?
I don’t know what you’ve craved freedom from, but the above are a few freedom yearnings of mine.
Just like for my sons, if I want freedom from fear, I must make different, riskier-for-my-heart choices. I must be willing to trust my Father-God when He allows me into places that induce a fearful reaction in my heart.
Freedom from rejection will only come as I choose to put myself in a position of possible rejection. This is scary!
That freedom from being held back? Yeah, that sense of being held back is often me holding myself back out of fear.
How do we change so we can have freedom in those areas where we feel bound?
The more I think about this, the more I realize I’m bound when I believe and live like I am the only one who can control my life. I am the only one who can make the decisions. I am the only one who can protect myself from being hurt.
The thing is, I call myself a daughter of the King. My Father has so much more for me—for each of us—than I can conceive.
If I want to learn to live in freedom and the fulness of all He has for me, I must make some hard choices.
Will I choose to trust myself or Him when I’m in a fearful situation?
Will I choose to walk where He leads me even when the way ahead is foggy?
Will I choose to ignore the fear of rejection, of losing control, and move forward in trust?
God’s plans for His children are good, though they don’t always look good to a watching world. If we trust God, we can know that we know He will bring good from every situation. That good is often change on the inside as we discover more of who He is.
We will have trouble in this world. We will deal with fearful situations, with uncertainty. We will have painful things come into our lives.
But God . . .
He walks with us through each situation. He offers the promise of His presence, and that He will act on our behalf.
We just need to trust. And be willing to make a different choice than we’ve made in the past.
So, as I watch our teenagers struggle with what freedom really is—with who they are designed to become—I will encourage them to make different choices. To step out of the place where they try to control the outcomes and be brave in trusting God in the unknowns.
What about you? How have you encouraged your children to step out of the known and trust God? How have you let go of controlling your life and discovered an unexpected freedom?