Just that one word elicits a host of connotations, emotions, and thoughts, even without context. Free can mean so many things.
What was the first thing that came to your mind when you saw the word “FREE”? Was it about getting things for free? Or was it bitterness about other people getting stuff for free that you don’t think they deserve? Was it about being free from something that burdens you? Or someone? Was it a memory or impression of what it felt or feels like to be free? Was it wistful and longing or was it hopeful and encouraging? Did you think about soldiers and wars for freedom? Did you think about your rights to certain freedoms?
Examine that. Sit with it.
Free is defined as without attachments, “not under the control or power of another; able to act or be done as one wishes.” It also means “not or no longer confined or imprisoned,” “not a slave,” “not subject to or affected by a specified thing, typically an undesirable one,” and “given or available without charge.”
There are many sayings about the nature of “free.” You’ll hear “nothing in life is free,” or hear about the power or need of “freeing your mind.” There are hundreds of songs that mention or basically worship the idea of being “free.”
Free will. Free trade. Free enterprise. Free spirit. Freedom of the press. It’s a free country. Land of the free. Leader of the free world. The truth shall set you free. Free calories. Buy one, get one free. Free range. Get out of jail free. Hands free. Live free or die. The best things in life are free. Nothing is free.
Our obsession with freedom is partly cultural. It is ingrained through the attitudes and words of the founding fathers of our country because it has informed the American way of life ever since.
However, are we actually free? What does is actually mean to be free? It seems we all have different ideas about that.
Many of us are slaves to our past and don’t even realize it. Because of hurt, we do self-destructive things to ease the pain, live the same patterns over and over, and close off our heart. We pretend we’re more in control of our lives than we are some of us have even convinced ourselves that we are in control. We think we are free but really, we’re trapped. If we would just let God in, he could heal the brokenness and set us free from the hurt and pain that binds us to self-destruction and inner death.
At House of Hope, our “theme” Bible verse was chosen for a reason:
The Spirit of the Lord God has taken control of me!
The Lord has chosen and sent me
to tell the oppressed
the good news,
to heal the brokenhearted, and to announce freedom
for prisoners and captives.
House of Hope exists to help people actually be free and the truth is, the earlier in life you become free, the better. The longer we live in self-destructive patterns, the harder they are to break. Regardless, it’s never too late to break the chains and overcome captivity. We know that God wants us to live an abundant life… that means one of thriving, not just surviving. House of Hope wants to help other be free so that they can have that life they were meant for. He wants us to love and be loved. He wants to take the chains off of our hearts.
So, this year’s theme for Give Local York 2019 is “FREE!” We encourage you to think about what you’d like to be free from and pray that you’ll give that to Him. We have a wonderful counseling staff that would love to help guide you on the journey to freedom. We also encourage you to invest in helping others be FREE. By donating to House of Hope, you help girls headed down the path of destruction find healing before they are entrapped in the vicious cycles of depression, domestic abuse, drug addiction, and self-harm. You help families be free from family dynamics that are keeping then from nurturing a healthy environment. We are to here to teach girls how stand against toxic culture norms, and teach their parents how to support their children in becoming healthy, strong, empowered adults. We are here to change lives, one teen, one family at a time.
Help us set the captives free. Donate HERE on May 3rd!