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claiming freedom one step at a time

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BY CHAQUANA TOWNSEND

It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians 5:1

As I write this blog, I am writing as a woman who is slowly allowing God to break the chains I have allowed to entangle me for years. I am writing as a woman who is constantly recognizing her overwhelming need to be renewed, cleansed, and transformed through the power of the Gospel. I am writing as a bound woman desperately fighting for her freedom. My sin and the lies of the enemy keep my heart beat down, but when I run to the throne of grace and allow my Savior to fill me with his presence and change me through his living and active word, I am changed, wrecked, and overflowing with joy! I have made a commitment to fight for freedom and walk in it. Here is a small piece of my story:

I come from a very dysfunctional background. For as long as I could remember, I have always longed to be loved and accepted by anyone who took the time to show me the attention my heart desperately craved. My father and mother scarred me very deeply and taught me this agonizing lie that I have believed for years: “You are worthless, so find your acceptance and approval somewhere because you need some worth.” I completely forgive my parents for the physical and emotional abuse I endured as a young girl; however, I fight that lie every single day.

Working in the trenches of urban ministry and having close relationships with different people, I have learned a hard truth about myself: I idolize the acceptance and approval of others. I have given mere humans beings (the children, parents, and staff at Common Ground Montgomery, along with others) the power to squash me if I don’t feel accepted by them. The Lord showed me the depth of my idolatry in the fall of 2013. When I faced this reality and cried out to God every single day for his divine intervention, I have literally seen changes in the way I interact and love on the children, parents, and staff at CGM. I can honestly and confidently say: I don’t need their acceptance and approval because I know that God accepts and approves me because of Jesus! What a freeing and amazing truth! Does it hurt when people reject me or don’t accept me? Absolutely, but my worth and value is not contingent on being accepted by them. My worth and my value is found in Christ alone. He loves me and is crazy about me! He showers his grace and love on me every single day, and I am so grateful. He has broken the chains that I have allowed to entangle me for so many years. So when my flesh is tempted to revert back to slavery, I simply fix my eyes on Jesus.