When I was a younger woman, around eighteen or so, I used to feel so confident about my life that I thought I could do anything and destiny would always pull me toward a happy ending. It would all work out. I had no sense of precaution. I was naive, curious, and rebellious–a bad combination.
And yet, here I am–wife of a wonderful man, mother to five beautiful children, with a new child growing in my womb–and I sometimes catch myself nostalgic about those “freer days.” Those irresponsible days. But was I really more free than I am now?
As I pondered this the other day, I realized that even though I thought I was free at eighteen, I was actually confined.
- I was naive. I didn’t understand the world, I didn’t understand other people and, especially important, I didn’t understand myself. I didn’t know why I did the things I did–I just reacted. My emotions governed my actions, and not my mind (and certainly not the Holy Spirit!).
- I was curious. This can be a good thing, when counteracted by a due sense of caution. Yet, I was curious to find out about things that were off limits, and I didn’t know how to put on the brakes. I didn’t recognize the warning signs of this is getting too far, you’d better stop now while it’s not too late.
- I was rebellious. At the time, I didn’t understand what I was rebelling against. I just knew that I was unhappy, and stubbornly insisted on doing whatever made me happy. I foolishly thought I knew better than my parents.
The immature young woman that I was, was NOT free. I was confined by my own inexperience and unwillingness to listen to others who did have experience. I thought I had the whole world before me, and that happiness would inevitably be the outcome of whatever path that I chose. I didn’t have the vision to see where all my bad choices were taking me, and therefore did nothing to change course.
I was imprisoned, and didn’t know it.
Now, a little older and more experienced, I understand more about the way things are. I know not to indulge my curiosity in dangerous pursuits. I realize that to submit to God’s wisdom, as revealed in His word, brings life and true happiness. I know to listen to the advice of others that I respect; and even though I don’t always have to take it, I at least give their advice thoughtful consideration.
And I have the freedom to choose to live my life the right way. Not only do I now know more than I did what the right way is, I know I can count on God to be there for me when I follow through with doing what I should. I have seen firsthand how God guides, and how He provides, and how He comforts. When I live my life by faith in Him, I am freed from having to worry about the outcome; after all, He is in control of the results, all I have to do is obey. That is freeing.
What I am now is not “imprisoned”–having responsibilities is not the same as being imprisoned. But what I was before, now that was imprisonment: my own foolishness led me into Satan’s traps, and I was held captive, for awhile, to do his will–held captive not only by the enemy of my soul, but by my own sin. Now, I have been set free by God to do His will, and there is nothing more exciting and beautiful!