I was on Pinterest the other night, scrolling through pictures of cute little succulents, animals, and far away places, when a quote caught my eye. It was Galatians 5:1, which says, “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.”
What Paul (who wrote Galatians) is saying is that Christ has freed us from the bondage of sin – we are no longer slaves to our mistakes because Jesus paid for all of them when He died on the cross. Even after we get saved, we’re still going to mess up and make mistakes and sin, but we don’t have to worry about it because Jesus has already paid our ransom. On top of that, we now have the Holy Spirit inside us to help us resist the temptation to sin in the first place! Because of these things, we are truly free.
But I don’t live like I’m free. I don’t know about you but I definitely carry the burden of my sins even though I no longer have to. Not only do I feel enormously guilty for past mistakes, I also fall back into the same old cycles and habits I used to fall into. With God, all things are possible – but I don’t live like they’re possible. I live like I’m not strong enough to make it through the day, like I can’t carry my burdens anymore because they’re too heavy and I’m exhausted. But God has made it so that I don’t have to carry all that crap around with me anymore! I can live free of the sin that used to have a hold over me.
This last week has been incredibly difficult. There have been a lot of changes at work (most of them negative), and there’s been family drama, and I’ve just been under a lot of stress. Because of that, I started pulling out my hair. At first it was just a little bit but it quickly escalated into obsessive pulling, standing in front of the sink for several hours at night just pulling, pulling, pulling uncontrollably like a broken robot stuck on the same task. After a few nights of this, I had a bald spot the size of a golf ball on top of my head and it was really difficult to hide. That made me panic and stress out so I pulled even more hair. I felt like I was losing my mind! I literally couldn’t even think about anything else except pulling hair. My fingers were screaming at me to pull and pull and pull. I had to do something…so I shaved my head. And I cried watching my three-inch-long hair fall into the bathtub in little curling tufts. Months of growing my hair back – gone. And when I looked in the mirror, I was a different person. I recognized that sad, pitiful, bald girl because I’ve spent a lot of time with her in the past. But I missed the prettier, more normal-looking, and much happier me that I’d been five minutes prior. I don’t know when I’m going to see her again.
And I thought about Galatians 5:1. I’m not a prisoner to this stupid habit, or at least I don’t have to be. My God can overcome anything which means I can overcome anything with His help…so why am I still living like this hair-pulling problem controls me? Why am I letting it control me??? I can’t do that anymore – I have to take control back and kick this habit.
I believe with all my heart I was made for more than this. I was made for more than spending my nights crying and pulling hair, and then spending my days feeling ugly and wishing I didn’t have to leave my house. There has to be a way I can beat this with God’s help. I honestly don’t know what else to do…I’ve tried everything I can think of to beat my Trich. Therapy, fidget toys, wearing a hat, meditation, etc. Everything. But that can’t be it; I can’t give up. I won’t roll over and take it because my God is a mighty God and He is capable of helping me beat this. I believe that.
Christ has set me free. I need to live like it.