We leave the church building inspired and filled with Truth and encouragement each Sunday … and somewhere along the course of the week, often we find ourselves in need of a little bit of something to help us through.

Welcome to Extra Strength: a mid-week pick-you-up for the soul. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom for extra encouragement and challenge. 

Extra Strength

Selfie: Free {Sunday, April 26, 2015 }

By Hyacynth Worth

Sometimes it comes up in casual conversation with strangers that we are getting ready to add two extra children to our family by means of adoption.

Almost always, when we mention this, people offer unsolicited questions, opinions and observations. And normally we are in the grocery store and it’s the end of the day and our boys resemble something closer to wild animals than human children.

We often hear:

“You are really going to have your hands full!” and “Wow, four kids! You may never get another date night again!” and “How will you ever get away?”

Yes, our lives are going from full to overflowing.

Our schedules are going to go from steady to booked.

And my personal time is probably going to go from slim to slimmer.

It’s true. Having four children, two of whom may need some extra special care and attention, doesn’t scream freedom in way, shape or form to most people who are looking from outside into our lives.

If I’m being honest, I have wrestled HARD with this, too.

I like date nights. I like weekend getaways. I like going to conferences. I like going to Starbucks alone. And I also enjoy going to the bathroom alone, which seems like it might get a little sketchy again with adding a three year old to the house, as we’ve found that three year olds don’t see doors as privacy enforcers but rather suggestions that can be bulldozed in order to get to the person they want, which is always mommy in my house.

bottom line 4.26.15So, yes, as we went from planning to adopt no children in this season, to adopting one teen, to adopting a teen and a toddler together, I have had quite a few conversations about me losing my freedom again after only having regained just slices of it during the past few years as our boys have grown more independent.

But I have to tell you, God has used this experience to set me free in ways I never knew I was captive.

Before we began our unintentional adoption journey, I didn’t realize how enslaved I was to anxiety, worry, fear and selfishness.

God has used so many of the peaks and valleys on this adoption road to reveal them to me, and He’s graciously been leading me and wooing me to find my freedom in Him.

As I’ve become more of the person I feel like God has meant for me to become, even with losing much of my freedom to do more of what I wish, I feel like I am becoming more alive than I ever had been before when I was more enslaved in the tangles of ways I didn’t even fully understand and when I wasn’t doing what I have been made to do: and that’s mother four lovely, beautiful, bright worthy people and advocate for other children who need families.

If we are to live truly free lives, we cannot be slaves to all that seeks to keep us captive: fear, worry, anxiety, jealousy, anger, selfishness. All of these keep us in chains and keep us from becoming the people God has created us to be. God, in His goodness, seeks to free us from these bondages so we can freely be the people He meant for us to be — each of us a beautiful reflection of Himself.

This week, as we seek to entrust God with the thoughts that keep us captive and in bondage, simply acknowledge these thoughts to God and ask Him to help you take each thought captive. Measure each one against His truth and if it doesn’t fit, kick it out and replace it with truth.

Maybe that looks like not buying the lie that you are not good enough and instead replacing it with the truth that you are loved and wanted. (John 3:16)

Maybe it means rejecting a worry you have and acknowledging that God says He will care for us and meet our needs. (Matthew 10:31)

Or maybe it means replacing envy with gratitude and being thankful in all circumstances. (1 Thessalonians 5:18).

Whatever is keeping you bound in chains, give it to the Lord, replace it with His truth and keep moving in His grace toward being the person He created you to be and doing what He has made you to do! It’s there that we find our fulfillment and freedom.

IMG_2528Hyacynth Worth is beloved to God, wife to John, mom to two boys and author of Undercover Mother. She also works as the Online Communications Coordinator for Immanuel Church.


Be Challenged:  This week, acknowledge the fact that freedom doesn’t mean calling all of the shots but rather in means surrendering to God.

  • Ask: “What would it look like if I willfully gave up my sense of freedom to live accordingly to God’s purposes?”

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