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Holy Care for the Whole SelfSample

Holy Care for the Whole Self

DAY 1 OF 3

The Cost of Freedom

All freedom is costly.

Freedom from tyrants and dictators.

Freedom from slavery.

Freedom from debt.

Freedom from addiction.

Freedom from anything that shackles us.

Freedom is attainable. It’s just pricey. Including freedom from mental health issues.

I speak from experience.

Every time I make the drive to my counselor’s office, I’m a little shaky. I spend most of my time there listening to worship music and praying. Why? Because going to counseling is hard. I need to intentionally ask God to come into the appointment and give me the courage to say things that are hard to say, admit places where I’m weak and broken and damaged, and allow someone else into parts of me that I’ve buried for decades. If I want freedom from the scars of my past, I have to revisit painful memories and share uncomfortable thoughts. Sure, I could walk in and tell my counselor everything’s great, but that wouldn’t gain me any freedom.

I spend the drive home processing what my counselor and I discussed. I understand why she asks the questions she does and why I answer how I do, but still, sometimes, it’s hard. I do what? Because of why? But I don’t want to. That person will never change? Never? Deep down, I knew that, yet I was holding out hope.

I know this doesn’t sound like the most convincing ad to get counseling, but here’s the reason it’s actually an incredible idea. All that work I do before, during, and after counseling brings me freedom.

Freedom to know that I’m not alone. Freedom in the fact that I’m making progress. That I’m loosening old chains and slowly learning how to pull them off and walk away. Freedom in having words to describe my feelings and reactions. Freedom in the knowledge that if I keep at it, there’s even more freedom in sight. All of this is so liberating! It helps me breathe more deeply and feel more known. I understand myself better. It helps me fight for this human (me) that God created in His image and her mental health all the more.

But it costs me something.

Time. Dollars. And sometimes even opening Pandora’s box, which I’ve been fighting for years to keep bolted shut.

The apostle Paul tells us, “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” (Galatians 5:1).

Jesus has set us free. I’ve always loved the first half of this verse. Because, yes, please, I want to be free. But the second part matters, too. Jesus calls us to stand strong and fight to hold on to that liberation. Our mental health is worth fighting for.

Jesus doesn’t want us to be burdened by the scars of our pasts, the anxieties or fears that take over, or the depression or impulses that try to wrestle us to the ground. Our Savior wants us to be free. Jesus knows all about paying for freedom because He paid for it dearly on the cross. For you and me.

The price of my actual freedom—my freedom from an old way of life, past sins, who other people told me I was, fear—was paid outside the city of Jerusalem over two thousand years ago by my beautiful Savior, Jesus Christ. He paid the highest price of all—the price of His very life—so that we could be free. He wouldn’t have done that for us if He wanted us to stay in a state of unhealth, restlessness, or fear.

Paul reminds us: “Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” (2 Corinthians 3:17).

There is ultimate freedom in Jesus. He calls us deeper and deeper into it every day, into a life where we can be ourselves, unclench our fists, roll back our shoulders, stop running and hiding and obsessing—a life filled with joy and light. He knows it might cost us something—time, money, discomfort, work, facing our monsters. Jesus felt the glaring pain of nails being driven into His feet and hands—the sharp sting of a sword thrust into His side.

And Jesus also experienced the freedom of stepping out of the grave three days later. Walking lightly on feet that had previously endured so much pain. Freedom not just for Himself but for you and for me—for all our days. Our Lord invites us into this freedom—to walk out of our graves, to push back the stones that hold us in, and to experience new life for our souls.

Sure, it will cost us something. Freedom always does. But it will be so worth it.

Day 2

About this Plan

Holy Care for the Whole Self

Maintaining mental and spiritual well-being can be hard, especially if you don't have biblically based resources for developing a healthy mind and spirit. With personal stories and practical strategies, Laura L. Smith ge...


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