Purposeful Faith

Tag - freedom

The Key to Freedom

Blog Post by:  Abby McDonald

“It’s not about you.”

The words hit me with a palpable force. My pride wanted to take over and convince me that the statement was a lie.

But deep down, I know it was the truth. How long had I been running from God? Months? Years? I couldn’t remember the last time I just rested in the comfort of his presence.

Like so many young adults, my feelings toward the church had become jaded after high school. Leaders who I looked up to had let me down. I’d been hurt by people I trusted, and projected their faults onto a perfect God. I turned my back on Him and the church and for many years, I ran.

Now I had a new baby and a husband, and I knew I needed to somehow get it together. I was trying so hard to behave, to be the perfect wife and mother, but I knew I was failing miserably.

We had recently moved to a new area and begun attending a church, and I attempted to play the role I thought I was supposed to play. I abandoned destructive habits. I watched my mouth. But my heart was still guarded and hurting.

A bitter root had planted itself deep within me, and I didn’t know how to displace it.

As I was sitting on the couch one chilly fall evening, I read those words in the opening chapter of a book about our life’s purpose.

“It’s not about you.”

Something inside of me unlocked. I realized that all of my focus for so many years had been inward, but freedom comes when we fix our eyes upward.

When I turned away from God my focus was on myself. When I strove to behave and be the model church attendee, my focus was on myself. Suddenly, instead of fixating on me, I centered my thoughts on the One who gave me life.

Our sacrifices will never replace what God desires from us the most: a surrendered heart.

James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will exalt you.”

Humbling myself begins when I say, “God I may not understand everything that’s happened in my life or what you’re doing, but trust you.”

I trust that He is God and that if I love him, he will work it out for my good. (Romans 8:28) I trust that his thoughts are higher than my thoughts and his ways higher than my ways. (Isaiah 55:8)

With a surrendered heart, I see that God is sovereign even in the midst of uncertainty, turmoil and heartbreak. I see that because we live in a fallen world, suffering is inevitable but also a means of growth.

As I focus upward and outward instead of inward, that bitter root begins coming undone, and what was once resentment turns into gratitude.

Is there an area of your life where you’re holding on to bitterness toward God? Can I encourage you to take the following steps?

Pray. Ask God to give you clarity. We serve a big God and our questions do not scare him away. You may receive answers and you may not, but presenting your requests to him will bring peace.
Be honest. God already knows your heart. Don’t be afraid to tell him.
Thank. Thank God for all the blessings in your life. One of the best ways to displace bitterness is with a thankful heart.
Read. Immerse yourself in God’s word. His Spirit will speak to you and bring you understanding.

Friend, as you read this today, I am praying for you. I believe that God is going to do amazing things through you. There’s only one step left to take: Surrender.  Find the Key to Freedom.

Until we meet again,


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Why Can’t I Be Better?

Have you ever had that pull on your heart?  That ache that tells you that something is not quite right?  The persistent call that tells you that you have messed up yet again? The one that makes you ask, “Why can’t I be better?”

It’s a feeling of shame, mixed with regret, all combined with a ton of guilt.

I hate these feelings sometimes.  Even worse, I hate how I feel when I am not sure what I should do.  I hate not knowing if I will ever “be better”, “do better” and “love better”.  I hate feeling like I will never get it quite right.  I hate feeling afraid to take the risk to go “there”.

Sin weighs me down. It crushes a spirit.  It burdens a heart.  It stifles a purpose.

Sin comes and:

  • It laughs at us
  • It makes us afraid
  • It shames us
  • It makes us uncertain
  • It tells us, “why bother?”
  • It condemns us
  • It defines us
  • It confirms we can never change
  • It makes us self conscious
  • It covers us in chains
  • It discourages us
  • It attempts to hold us back from our purpose
  • It steals peace
  • It embarrasses us
  • It robs us of joy
  • It lies
  • It hurts
  • It lasts
  • It scars

It knocks on the doors of our lives attempting to lure us.  It stands ready to rob us.  And after it does, it leaves us injured, broken and lying on the floor unsure what to do next.

But it is in this place of vulnerable pain where our hurts drive us to admission.  It is in this place where we have to take a risk.  Where we have to step out of our comfort zone.

And, it is in this exact place where God is best seen.  This is where we see him from an authentic, open and receptive heart.  And, when we come to God, he heals and binds up our pain better than we could have ever imagined.

When we confess, and move towards God through changed actions, he comes to us – and we come to him.

And he says:

  • I forgive you
  • I love you
  • I will embrace you
  • You are my workmanship
  • Your actions don’t disqualify my plans
  • Your sin doesn’t mean you can’t win
  • Your ways don’t supersede my ways
  • I am more successful than your failures
  • My grace extends further than your guilt
  • I live inside of you.  I can’t give up on myself.
  • You are more than a conqueror because of Christ Jesus.
  • You are my work-in-progress

Do you believe me?  

If so, let it go.  As far as the east is from the west.  Let. It. Go.

Watch me work.

I can change you.

I am perfecting the beauty that is “me” within you.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)