By Sue Nichols
I’ve had the privilege to be part of the Freedom ministry for two and a half years. God has had a way of putting a theme over each of my semesters. At the beginning of 2015, He had me face my anger issues. Most people who know me would most likely not use the word anger to describe me. However, there was something within me I couldn’t contain and the people most affected were my husband and two daughters.
I had the desire to stop. I did well for a period of time but then like a freight train it would come spewing out of my mouth. As I prayed and pleaded with God to help me stop, He convicted me of two things. I had a bitter root against my mother and only love could truly overcome the anger that was embedded deep inside me.
First, I had to deal with the bitter root (Hebrews 12:15) I’d placed against my mother. I can remember the day it happened. I was quite young maybe 4 or 5. I was playing and very happy. When all of a sudden, my mom is screaming and yelling at me. I ran to my room sobbing. As I cowered in the corner, I placed a bitter root against my mother saying I’d NEVER be like her. What is interesting about a bitter root is that it becomes a boomerang. You actually become something you despise and what I’d begun to realize was this anger within me was tied to that.
After breaking the bitter root, I consumed myself with love and loving my mother. I read about love, I meditated on scripture about love, and I practiced putting love into everything I could. The outcome was amazing. I had turned the corner and things that would have triggered my anger in the past don’t have that effect anymore.
Heading into the second half of the year, God did it again. The theme was “Claim it.” He told me to claim the truths in the Bible and stand on his promises. Jesus said on the cross, “It is finished.” (John 19:30) God wanted me to claim this statement and walk in the freedom He had purchased through Jesus and designed in my life. When the spirit of fear, anxiety, or worry was trying to affect me, I claimed the power, love, and sound mind God had already given me. (2 Tim. 1:7) When I messed up, instead of beating myself up I claimed His grace which is sufficient because His power is made perfect in my weakness.
I challenge each of you to ask God what theme he wants to place over your life as we head into a new year. Ask Him where you should start, what to read, and for Him to place people in your life to help mentor you into the freedom He has designed for you in your life. You might be surprised how God answers you.