no longer

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“I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God.”

He took my hand and walked with me and we stopped in front of girl who looked just like me. She was crying and couldn’t look up at us; she kept saying things that sounded like “shame” and “slave.”

And He told me “You no longer need to live in fear of what you’ve done.

You no longer need to feel defined by what little you have to offer.

You no longer need to feel defined by your former self.”

He took me to a 12-year-old girl who was crying. Her friends didn’t want to be her friends anymore; I reached to touch her shaking shoulder. He touched my shoulder and I realized He was the truest friend I’d ever had.

“You no longer need to feel defined by who loves you.

You no longer need to feel crushed if someone chooses not to love you.”

He led me to a stubborn teenager whose pride had led her to despair. She looked in the mirror at herself in a tutu and pointe shoes; she didn’t feel whole at all. I saw the emptiness in her eyes. I knew the emptiness. “You won’t find the loveliness you’re looking for in yourself.” I heard myself whisper.

“You no longer need to feel defined by what you can do.

You no longer need to feel defined by earthly beauty.

You no longer need to feel defined by the applause you try to receive.”

“I’m not who that guy says I am. I’m not who that girl says I am. I’m not who social media likes and comments say I am. I’m not who the grades, to-do lists, messes, and mess ups say I am. I’m not who the scale says I am or the sum total of what my flaws say I am. I’m going to stop flirting with the unstable things of this world so I can fall completely in love with You. I am loved. I am held. I am Yours. I am forever Yours.” The more intimacy like this that I have with God, the more secure my true identity is.”
Lysa TerKeurst, Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely

Then He showed me a girl who felt forgotten, a girl wanting to feel wanted.

“You no longer to feel defined by being invited, by being included.

You are affirmed by Me. You are included in My love. You are invited to feel full in me.”

Then He brought me to a girl clutching a worn book, a book full of love, a book full of mercy and grace, and I looked down and saw my own arms clinging to the book.

And I looked back up, and we were standing at the foot of a cross.

“You no longer need to feel alone or enslaved.

Because you are free.

I have set you free.

You are free.”

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
John 8:36

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