I've been on several trips over the last couple years, and each one has taught me and changed me. Each one a stepping stone to greater trust and greater love, in God, in others and even in myself. But this last trip was extra special. There are so many reasons why it was an amazing trip, yet there was something more that I've struggled to put into words, a giant leap into greater contentment and feeling more alive.
I finally realized heaviness was broken off me in South Africa.
Lev 26:13 ...I broke the bars of your yoke and enabled you to walk with heads held high.
When I arrived in South Africa, I was still carrying around the charred remains of things I knew were dead and gone, but wouldn't leave behind due to pride, perhaps? Feeling the need to continually suffer the consequences, my own version of a scarlet letter? Whatever the reason, by the time I left, the yoke had been broken, and I didn't even know it was happening.
That is, until I felt the lightness of freedom!
Gal 5:1 It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.
Looking back I see God's hand at work, gently lifting the weights off. Being able to share my story without motive and be validated and accepted the way I was, caused guilt and shame to crumble to ashes. They're gone. There is less need to have people in my life and more enjoying of those that choose to be. Friendship is a fine art and not everyone is an artist. Even my longing for a sense of family feels less acute and is shifting into something new and bigger. A knowing that as a child of God, he will always provide the right family members at the right time. They might not always be the same people, but He is always the same God.
God came to break us free.
Isaiah 9:4 ...you have shattered the yoke that burdens them...