but the life you already have.
(Side note: I DO know how I would react since I have LIVED this event. And trust me, I didn't think about grabbing the typical things. I didn't care about pictures. I didn't care about my Bible. I didn't care about my favorite pair of shoes. I didn't care about my jewelry...I didn't even remember my dog!!!! Want to know what I asked to grab? MY NEW STEREO!!! Granted, I was only 15 at the time, but it still stands to reason that in that moment when you are going to have to walk past FLAMES in order to get OUT of the house...you do not know what your priorities would be. And it wasn't until after my dad screamed at me to get my brothers out of the house now and go call 911 at our neighbors house across a corn field, that my brain began working and I thought, oh yeah, we may need blankets too since its OCTOBER. Run back INTO the burning house to the basement for blankets in the dryer. Excellent idea. But hey, we made it out just fine and it was a good learning exercise in survival.)
SO back to my original thought...unless you are in the situation and feel that you can make a good assessment based on what you know, but are not personally IN that situation, your opinion (while you think its valid) is nothing more than a JUDGEMENT. And no judgement is a good one. Especially when its been unsolicited.
Today I had an epiphany. Somewhere along the line, I had CHOSEN to live in bondage. Why would anyone choose this, you ask? Let me tell you. I was taking responsibility for actions that were NOT mine. I knew that the offender would never take responsibility and so its was easier to take the blame. It was easier to have the fingers pointing at me because maybe I could do something about it. Definition of insanity: to continue to do the same thing and expect different results. CASE IN POINT. NOTHING WAS CHANGING. I just got the point where I'd had enough and like a volcano, I BLEW MY STACK. NO MORE. ADIOS; BYE-BYE. It is absolutely suffocating to live in this particular kind of bondage...like you are treading water and are exhausted, desperately gasping for precious air. And I was even listening to people, whom I love and some I even respect (and some I have zero respect for, could absolutely never see again and be completely happy with- even grateful for; oh but maybe this is too showy? Probably. Whoops), putting expectations out there that were probably meant well, but were definitely not God inspired nor relevant to my particular situation. It has taken some hard core prayer and counseling to get me to the point where I am today. I have CHOSEN FREEDOM. I want to begin sucking the marrow out of life again! I want to start living in the FREEDOM that JESUS GIVES ME. God's love is EVERLASTING. He's paid for it all and wow, HE LOVES ME! The line has been drawn in the sand...and HE IS STANDING NEXT TO ME!
I am Job. God was saying one thing and Job's friends were saying another. And like Job, sometimes its a heck of a lot easier to listen to the opinions of others...especially the wagging tongues and pointing fingers. Somehow trying to bend to the accusations that were being hurled at me, I sought hard to find where I had blundered. Good grief, what a lesson in STUPIDITY! I found where I had completely screwed up, but it was NOT where these stupid accusations were. In fact, I should never have remained silent. I KNEW what God was saying, but listening to the OPINIONS of others, who only knew in PART or receiving 'advice' that was so completely ugly and RIDICULOUS was killing me inside. And its not the knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are hated so passionately, rather its that I allowed myself to actually believe what was being said! Its terrifying to stand up for yourself and doing what is right, regardless of how unpopular it is. I'd MUCH rather have trouble while I stand firmly in God's will than be out of His will and encounter anything else. The question that I would LOVE an answer to is this: what if the tables were turned? I bet Job's friends would be singing a MUCH different tune.
Living in that bondage robbed me of precious time with my beautiful children. It robbed me of joy. It robbed me of happiness. It robbed me of security. It almost robbed me of my marriage. I have a miracle that God has given me...its MY LIFE. MY FAMILY. MY CHILDREN. MY TIME. I won't be wasting any more time living in bondage. I'm free to live my life securely in the grip of Christ's hand.