This week, Christine Caine shares about one of my favorite, bizarre, confusing stories from Scripture — when Pharaoh told Moses he wanted one more night with the frogs. What?! That’s crazy to sign up for additional time with a terrible plague, right? But, I think that story’s there because, just like Pharaoh, we delay our own healing and freedom all the time!
Until a few months ago, I felt stuck in an abusive relationship. This person has a lengthy reputation of being dominating, critical, negative, aggressive, selfish, gossipy, spiritually manipulative, and very time-, money-, and energy-consuming. And I felt trapped forever and was utterly wiped out trying to “nice” my way through any encounter I couldn’t avoid.
Have you ever been there? Have you ever been frozen in a bad relationship feeling powerless to do anything about your circumstances? Like the paralytic at the pool of Bethesda, do you feel unable to effect any healthy change?
That’s not walking in the freedom that God created us to live in and Jesus came on earth to leave with us!
Just as Christine said, we don’t have to spend one more night with the frogs.
Now that I’m a little further down the road to recovery, I recognize that this other person wasn’t the problem. I was.
I saw the damaging effects of this relationship even though they had always been part of my “normal”, and was exhausted from trying to manage this difficult person, but I never did anything effective and lasting to stop it! I was just like Pharaoh. Someday I’m going to draw the line. Later, I’ll deal with that better. It would cause too many problems to address it today. Tomorrow. Shame of what others would think, say, and do if I set healthy, godly, appropriate boundaries kept me bound up, shut up, and stuck in a prison of control, hurt, and frustration.
Number one: I started to seek a deeper relationship with God about the fact that I could change. I could start to negate the lies that I had no choice but to submit to the “frogs”. With God’s guidance, I could — little by little — find freedom in being and doing what the Lord created me to be and do.
Number two: Deciding. We can’t make any progress toward health without deciding to do so. Just like every single area of life, what we don’t work on degrades. We have to decide to keep moving forward. My Spirit told me: It won’t be quick. It won’t be painless. But, it will be worth it.
There is no such thing as a drive-through breakthrough. — CC
Number three: As Christine found in her journey of recovery, prayer grows and matures us by leaps and bounds! Every time I was tempted to circle back to that destructive, powerless way of relating, I stopped and prayed. Lord, if it’s up to me, I will remain shackled by shame forever. I need You to give me the right heart, right attitude, right words, and right actions that will set me free.And, I just started to walk in freedom. Step by step. Little bit by little bit.
You will heal as you go. The same God that did it for me, I know, will do it for you! — CC
Years and months later, I can finally say I’m free. I no longer feel frozen and trapped, nor do I feel guilty for drawing boundaries or saying what’s ok and what’s not ok. Because of the healing process God allowed in my heart, I can honestly say I love that person but don’t feel any need to cater to them, especially when it comes to pardoning their bad behaviour. I love this person wholly without any need for that love to be returned. That’s freedom. Praise the Lord! I am no longer ashamed, afraid, and delaying my own freedom. And, it feels great!
Prayer for the Week
Lord, we don’t want to spend any more time being shackled by shame. We don’t want to hang on to old hurts, abuse, suffering, and shame. We don’t want to be stuck in a prison when You came to set us free. Help us to decide to follow You walking in that freedom. We don’t want to look back any more. We want to look forward and be and do all that You created us to be and do! We love You. Amen and amen.
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What frogs are you still living with for “one more night”? You don’t have to be imprisoned by shame any longer! Today is the day to be set free!