Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (2 Timothy 1:6)

Let’s face it, when it comes to freedom in Christ, we trade our joy for doubt, our tenacity for fear, or (dare I say) our calling for a self-invoked punishment as if we are putting ourselves in timeout until we learn to “behave”. I don’t know about you but I’m tired of defeated living. As women of God, we were made for fire and I want “this little light of mine” to burn wild and free.
This particular piece of writing had me captivated as I was curating it while sitting with my legs curled close to my 20-week baby bump and my left pointer finger twirling a strand of hair as I sat, prayed, pondered and wrote. You see, this piece represents what A Woman Named Free was birthed from, raw and unrestrained life of Maria Bowersock.
I typically do not write poems, so I thought it would benefit you to have some instruction on how to read this piece. (pst…I may be breaking all the rules of poem writing by doing this, so … )
This particular poem starts with statements that I wrestled with at one point or another. I was sure these fierce times in life would slaughter me and yet because of Jesus, I safely stand. The poem then guides you through the time of my life where my feelings collided with Scripture and produce something miraculous; the moment in my life where something wildly beautiful happens. From here, you will walk with me down the road of intimacy as I talk to my Heavenly Father.
Most of these types of writings I ponder up with Him and keep them in the secret hideaway of my heart. Other times, the message relentlessly burns to my bones and needs to be released from my hideaway… {download and read by clicking below}

 

 

 

Facing Your Freedom [Free Download]

Stop the Name Calling: from Shame to Beloved

Stop the Name Calling: from Shame to Beloved

Sister, you’ve made choices in your life you thought you’d never make. The enemy wants to whisper sweep lullabies of shame over you. You wake up each morning clothing yourself in this shame because, after all, isn’t it what you deserve? You live, move, and breathe shame. None need to force you to wear the scarlet letter because you’ve taken initiative to put it on yourself. This is it, this is the place you will die … the place of shame. Yet, the more you read and know Jesus, the more he keeps being everything you never thought and nothing what you thought you once knew. His word keeps calling you out of shame and into his freedom but you don’t know how, you don’t know what that means (Romans 8).

You see, Satan wants your life yet God wants to give you life (John 10:10). Satan calls you Shame and God calls you Beloved. Abortion, adultery, divorce, broken relationships, destroyed testimony … Sister, Satan calls you by your sin but God calls you by your name. You are fully known by your creator and, if you are His, no longer is your name Shame but Beloved.

Aren’t you tired of letting the enemy rule your life and steal your testimony? Aren’t you tired of being tired and beat down by your sin? Woman of God, you are a daughter of the King and this is your heritage, so with some audacity and power of God, call Satan’s bluff. Enough is enough. He has picked on you for far too long. You have a testimony to tell and it’s time to throw that noose of shame off your neck, move freely in the Spirit and tell about God’s goodness in your life until he calls you home or he returns. This is the year of the Lord’s favor! As you read Isaiah 61, claim it over your life, you kids life, your family’s life, and let His words pour over you and breathe life into your dead bones as only His word can.

Love you, Maria

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Isaiah 61 : The Year of the Lord’s Favor

 The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me,

    because the Lord has anointed me

    to proclaim good news to the poor.

He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,

    to proclaim freedom for the captives

    and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor

    and the day of vengeance of our God,

to comfort all who mourn,

    and provide for those who grieve in Zion—

to bestow on them a crown of beauty

    instead of ashes,

the oil of joy

    instead of mourning,

and a garment of praise

    instead of a spirit of despair.

They will be called oaks of righteousness,

    a planting of the Lord

    for the display of his splendor.

 

They will rebuild the ancient ruins

    and restore the places long devastated;

they will renew the ruined cities

    that have been devastated for generations.

Strangers will shepherd your flocks;

    foreigners will work your fields and vineyards.

 

And you will be called priests of the Lord,

    you will be named ministers of our God.

You will feed on the wealth of nations,

    and in their riches you will boast.

Instead of your shame

    you will receive a double portion,

and instead of disgrace

    you will rejoice in your inheritance.

And so you will inherit a double portion in your land,

    and everlasting joy will be yours.

“For I, the Lord, love justice;

    I hate robbery and wrongdoing.

In my faithfulness I will reward my people

    and make an everlasting covenant with them.

Their descendants will be known among the nations

    and their offspring among the peoples.

All who see them will acknowledge

    that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”

 

I delight greatly in the Lord;

    my soul rejoices in my God.

For he has clothed me with garments of salvation

    and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness,

as a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest,

    and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

 

For as the soil makes the sprout come up

    and a garden causes seeds to grow,

so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness

    and praise spring up before all nations.

Have you ever been in such a bondage of sin that you didn’t even remember how to find enjoyment out of things that are good?

Have you ever been in such a bondage of sin that you didn’t even remember how to find enjoyment out of things that are good?

Have you ever been in such a bondage of sin that you didn’t even remember how to find enjoyment out of things that are good?

I’m sharing with you some scribblings I wrote back in 2010. This was the year I truly surrendered my life to the Lord. In my surrendering, I was scared and doubtful because I fed too long on things that nearly destroyed my soul. It was in this surrendering that this list (pictured below) was birthed.  I made a list of “holy hobbies” (go ahead, laugh … my mom did) to remind myself of things I once enjoyed and trained myself to enjoy them again. These are things that I could do that wouldn’t lure me back to the things, people, and places that had nearly destroyed my soul. I knew what “hooked” me so I stayed as far away as I could because, even as a surrendered Christian, I didn’t trust myself near those things, people, and places. You see, I now knew what the human heart was capable of and had the smarts to NEVER even peek around the corner (praise GOD!).  I was a new creation and even though I didn’t feel it, God’s word said so and I was ready to do different. So, I relearned what it meant to enjoy life without destroying my soul (read the full story here).

I’m not sharing this list with you to be cute or funny because, quite frankly, nothing about this time of my life was cute or funny. I’m sharing this list with you to show you just how deep my depravity was (so much so that I had to write out things I could enjoy without unraveling again). In addition, giving a real life picture of what “dying to self” looks like (Galatians 2:20), and that you can never be too far gone for Christ to not redeem and restore (Isaiah 61).

Girlfriend, it may be the silliest, childish thing you’ve ever done (like writing out a list of “holy hobbies”) but if it keeps you from a pit of sin, separated from God, and living in a life of shame, you go for it because the old has gone and the new has come (2 Corinthians 5:17) and if you are His, you are free indeed (John 8:36)!

 

 

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Great Follow-Up Posts:

Redemption of a Good Girl Gone Bad

An Addicts Confession

Redemption of a Good Girl Gone Bad

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A Quick Note From the Author: This is a glimpse of how Jesus saved my life. Ultimately our saving is marked the day Jesus died on the cross; however, we have free will and my free will took me down a path I never want to travel again. In addition, this piece is written from my experience and perspective. This piece is meant to share testimony to Jesus’ saving ability. To know Jesus more and to know Him personally, the only source is the Bible, his true word. 

 

 

Good Girl. 

I’ve spent much of my life having an idea of who Jesus was and found great satisfaction in being known as the “good girl”. I went on living this way for years until one day I didn’t. I made a public decision that dethroned me of my “good girl” title. The effects of that decision caused a wave of bitterness, anger, and resentment toward Christianity. Judgement sounds hammered loud from other Christians. One public mistake changed the way many viewed me, talked about me, and befriended me and I was tired, sad, and unable to live up to the Christian expectation.

Gone Bad. 

No longer wanting to be associated with Christians and being judged based on the (public) good and bad I do, I surrounded myself with people that didn’t judge me. It was during this time I fed my flesh most everything I thought it desired. The deeper I got into this bitter way of life, the more addicted to my bitterness I became. You see, I started out angry at Christians only to find out that the true anger and hate I had was toward myself. I fed on things, did things that only proved I was worth hating. I thought I was satisfied until I became bored and then it happened … it didn’t happen overnight but when it did it felt abrupt. I was hit hard with guilt and shame of the bitterness that became me, of the things I had done. As the reality of the things I had done came crashing in, I realized I didn’t know who I was anymore. Suddenly, I became tormented with these thoughts:

“I’ve gone too far.”

“I didn’t mean for my anger to take me this deep.”

“What have I done?”

“How was this worth it?”

Shame. 

I’m not talking about embarrassment or a little guilt here and there. No, I had done too much, hurt too many people, damaged my body one too many times to have a little guilt. Rather, I was so full of shame that I wanted to end it all, my life. I wanted to run and hide from the consequences and was willing to cower. At this point, I hated myself just enough to do it. At this point, my whole being became so consumed by shame that it was more than my body could bear and thought I had to do it.

Jesus. 

If you’d ask me years prior to this, I would have told you I have been a Christian since I was six years old. The truth is, it wasn’t until this particular season of life that I truly surrendered my entire heart to Jesus because, for the first time in my life, I saw the condition of the human heart apart from Jesus and was amazed (to tears) by his ability to love me still, desire me still, and choose me still. At the point of thinking I had to end it all, he saved my life. For the first time, I stopped trying to be “good” and just accepted that he loved me at my worst. In the summer of 2010, I finally learned what the human heart is capable of apart from Jesus, and I’ve never been the same since. It was that day I realized, I may not know what the future holds but I know one thing … I NEVER want to go back to that place of bitterness and shame again. I haven’t left Him since that day and since that day His word continues to prove he is more (more than I was told by others, more than my preconceived ideas, more than religion, more than being good, more!).

 

Click here to read: An Addicts Confession (from the Unspoken Broken) 

An Addicts Confession

This is written from the perspective of an addict who knows there is freedom in Jesus but has yet to experience for herself. Freedom in Jesus sounds so wonderful and simple, yet people that have tried to help her fail to realize something … she is an addict and an addict falls hard to the thing she is addicted to.
An addict is a tortured soul who knows the truth but feeds off lies (eventually confusing them for truth). If an addict stays too long here, they become unrecognizable. You see, addiction isn’t just to drugs, alcohol, and sex. Addiction is the very thing the enemy uses to torture your soul, question God’s goodness, and ultimately destroy you (your testimony, heart, all the good work God has done in you).
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” John 10:10

 

My body is driven by you.

My mind is consumed by you.

My life is encompassed by you.

My soul is tortured by you.

Yet,

You are not my King.

You are not who I committed to serve.

You are not sovereign.

Yet,

You are who feeds me (day in, day out).

You are who I get drunk on.

You are my addiction.

Fear.

Shame.

 

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Written By: Maria Bowersock