I stepped… slowly at first, then intentionally letting go… releasing myself into the cool water, allowing it to rush over me until I was fully submerged. I rested there for a moment, covered completely by the water, my senses fully aware of this covering.
Slowly coming to the surface,
I chose freedom.
I left the bondage below the water, drowned beneath.
I swam forward with new vigor. I took each step up from the water with growing joy and adrenaline. A burden that had once seemed part of me—accompanied by a hopelessness that I would never shake free from it—was no longer mine. With His help, I had emerged from the water without it…
I had emerged from the water free.
It’s not that this freedom wasn’t already mine. But I had been living as if it weren’t. Why would I, one offered freedom, walk in bondage? But I had been. It had been surreptitiously suffocating me. I was drowning by my own choosing. The tragic irony of a free slave… living as one I was not.
But no longer! For today I claimed His promise over me, a promise that was already mine, but that I needed to receive once again:
“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean…and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statues and be careful to obey my rules….And you shall be my people, and I will be your God” (Ezek. 36:25-28).
My idols… fashioned by unbelief. Unbelief that He was enough—enough to hold me through the devastating grief of death, enough to love me through the crushing heartbreak of rejection, enough to fill the void of the crippling oppression of isolation, enough to be my identity. That unbelief drove me into the arms of others, seeking something I could see, touch, cling to, believe in… But my search for satisfaction left me in shambles.
It left me in shame.
And today I left that shame under the water.
“Remember that I’ve been forgiven for this sin so I’m not consigned to commit it over and over again” (Elyse Fitzpatrick, Because He Loves Me).
“No sin can be crucified in either life or heart, unless it first be pardoned in conscience, because there will be want of faith to receive the strength of Jesus, by whom alone it can be crucified. If it be not mortified in its guilt, it cannot be subdued in its power” (William Romaine, The Life, Walk and Triumph of Faith).
So I let go. I let myself sink under that water and break out again into freedom. I let myself feel and accept the cleansing that was already mine. I released the shame, the guilt, the identity that I had accepted as my own. By the grace of God, I let them go under that water… and by the grace of God, I will leave them there.
I am free.
By His blood.
I am clean.
Through His Son.
I am shameless.
In His purity.
I am not who I once was.