I am standing on the edge of this life.
I’ve been hit so many times.
I have fallen and gotten back up.
Weary and tired I stand once again.
I’m on the edge looking out. I must take this step to move beyond this place or I’ll die here.
I’m afraid to give up the past.
I’m petrified with the thought of tomorrow without it.
I have held on to my past for so long. It has become my security, my constant.
I have invested so much, to let go would be a great loss.
My mind battles with lies and truth.
My heart wants to surrender but I refuse to let it because what if… What if I let go of my past…then who am I? Where will go? Who will I become? Who will take the blame?
I feel as though I am wearing vests that are so heavy, they weigh me down. There are times I can barely breathe.
I am standing at the water’s edge, the cold water reaches to touch my toes.
The flow of the tide pulls at my feet to come in but I can barely move, I am bound by so much weight.
For the first time, I am looking at myself trying to see the me I had become.
God are you here?
You said let go of the past because you are wanting to do a new thing in my life. But these clothes are so familiar. I’ve lived in them for so long. I don’t know how to remove them.
I hear you speak to me,
“Those my daughter, are your grave-clothes, I have come to set you free. Put on My newness, My righteousness, a spotless gown made just for you.”
Oh God, I can hardly take the blame to see the shame I’ve caused. But I know you are here. You begin to loosen these vests, my flesh and spirit battle.
I reach down to remove the first vest.
This one here, is my unforgiveness.
I want to lay it down, allowing your blood to wash over me.
My body sways as though I could be pushed over. So I steady my feet deeper into the sand.
God, I want to freely forgive like you have forgiven me.
My second vest is my ally, resentment.
I pull my arm out of one side and the vest seems heavier than the first. I breathe, I push, get it off of me.
It wants to stay.
God are you still here?
Help me, rescue me from myself.
For so long I had fed my resentment the bitter fruit that had grown in the garden of darkness.
“Let go!” Your voice speaks to me.
I struggle a little more, a little more.
“I’ve got you!” Your voice assuring me again. “I surrender!” I shouted.
The vest is gone, my body falls to the cold, wet sand.
The salty water splashes on my face, stinging my eyes that are now filled with tears.
I struggle to stand to my feet, the load is lighter but heaviness is still there.
The third vest smells bad.
It is darker than the others.
I feels like it has become my skin.
I recognize its place in my life.
Written across the vest in all directions, are the hurts done to me by the people in my past.
Some of the words are written like a poem, I can feel my emotions stir.
I close my eyes and start to speak out loud the harsh words spoken over me my whole life.
“YOU ARE NO GOOD, WORTHLESS, YOU WILL NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING!”
The words come out louder and faster, I could feel myself wanting to agree just like I had done before. Instead I feel your courage and the voice within me shouts, “ENOUGH!”
I tug at the flesh-like garment, this ones has ropes tied in knots wrapping itself around me, I don’t know where it begins or ends.
I feel trapped, bound up, I can’t breathe.
Jesus take this from me.
I began to cry.
I could see the nail pierced hands loosen the ropes.
They lose their grip on me, I pull the vest over my head, the last cord wraps around my neck. The harder I pulled the tighter it choked me. I lose my breath and fall unconscious.
I heard his voice in the distance call to me.
“Rise up oh daughter of mine, I have come to set you free.”
The water covered my legs and hips. My back lay heavy on the wet sand.
I turned over trying to get to my feet, my thoughts unsure of what just happened. That’s when I heard it.
A sound so awful it scared me.
My eyes scanned the empty beach wondering what it was that frightened me.
Placing my hand on my heart that was beating so fast, I felt it.
The next vest was the closest to my heart.
The cold slimy parasites hanging on, sucking the blood that warms my body.
I could hear heckles of laughter, warning me to back off and not make another move.
This vest I knew all to well.
Years of anger had wrapped itself so tightly to my body I felt it drain my soul daily.
Anger had become my weapon.
I was certain never to let anyone near the door of my heart.
Anger was alive and well, attacking anyone that came near my soul.
I had learned to use it well, yet I was unaware at what I had become, holding on so tightly.
Raging in my heart, I could feel the chaos running through me.
With a loud voice I shouted, “LET ME GO!”
The anger stirred faster and harder like a ferocious demon.
“LET ME GO IN THE NAME OF JESUS!” I shouted, “YOU CAN NO LONGER LIVE HERE!”
The vest dropped to the ground!
I stood there almost naked when I saw her.
The abandoned little girl, frail and wounded, she was trembling, I could barely recognize her.
The voice of Jesus spoke to my heart, a song I remembered as that little girl.
He said “Come to the water, stand by my side, I know you are thirsty you wont be denied, I felt every tear drop, when in darkness you cried and I’m here to remind you that for those tears I died.”
The old hymn continued to play in my mind.
I walked into the ocean, reaching my hands to the bottom, I grabbed a handful of sand and I began to scrub my body.
The tears stinging my eyes as the salty water drips from my lashes.
I had prayed to one day be set free, but how, when, where?
Over the years I had lost all hope and I had learned to embrace my hurt.
I fed my wounds daily with self pity and pride.
I invited unforgiveness and anger to dwell in my heart as constant companions.
As though that wasn’t enough, I chose the weapons of bitterness and resentment to help protect me from hurt I didn’t want to feel anymore, but all to no avail.
I made myself a prisoner with my own pain, till I was so bound up and now held captive by the choices I had made.
I wasted so many years.
When I coud have been living, I was slowing dying.
Today I wanted to be set free. Today I was going to choose life rather than death.
Today I allowed Jesus to set me free.
I surrendered to the living God, I laid down my rights.
I put my hope and trust in the one true savior who is able to make all things new.
He has set my feet upon the rock and He has turned my mourning into dancing.
I choose to walk in his freedom and today I am free.
Thank you for loving me enough to die so that I could be free. I pray for the lovely soul who is reading these words. Would you let them know you are waiting and wanting to release them from bondage. Give them a glimpse of your power that will set them free and give them the courage to choose you over the lies. In Jesus name I pray ~ Amen.
His Grace Is Alive,