Do you remember the emotion wrapped up in Rapunzel’s first slide into freedom? She makes this decision to go for it, to chase after her dream of discovering the lights. After staring out the window for years and only wondering what it’s like, she finally takes the plunge!
The first taste of freedom is unlike anything she had ever experienced! Like any good Disney movie, the moment launches her into a melody of bliss.
“Just smell the grass, the dirt just like I dreamed they’d be. Just feel that summer breeze the way it’s calling me! For like the first time ever I’m completely free! I could go running, and racing, and dancing, and chasing, and leaping, and bounding, hair flying, heart pounding, and splashing, and reeling, and finally feeling… now’s when my life begins!”
Sometimes I wish life was always that way, but it’s not.
I remember the freedom of leaving the first spiritual “tower” of my life. It scared the crap out of me.
I hope everyone get’s to experience those “Disney Princess” moments where you frolic through the meadows, singing with arms wide open. Reality is, moments of blissful breakthrough are usually followed by a spiral of emotional attack. Doubt, fear, and shame in every form imaginable comes crashing in around you. For as much boldness and gumption it took to walk into your new-found freedom, Satan will attack you with just as much force to try to put you back into another form of bondage.
Rapunzel definitely had her freak-out session shortly after her dreamy aria:
Rapunzel: [Whispers] I can’t believe I did this. *I can’t believe I did this!* Mother would be so furious. That’s OK though, I mean what she doesn’t know won’t kill her. Oh my gosh. This would kill her. *This is so fun!* I, am a horrible daughter. I’m going back. *I am never going back!* I am a despicable human being. *Woo-hoo! Best. Day. Ever!* [freaks out] *Sobbing.*
Flynn Rider: [clears throat] You know, I can’t help but notice you seem a little at war with yourself here.
Kind of like Rapunzel, my first taste of freedom came before I really knew the full extent of my captivity. I was living a life for the Lord, doing all the right things and enjoying God’s love on a million different levels. I was in a season of life that seemed to be good. Then, my eyes were opened to the tower I was living in.
I had believed a lie from the enemy without ever knowing it, like Rapunzel believing the lies of Gothel. I listened to cheap excuses to justify my sinful behavior without ever questioning it’s validity.
After Christ delivered me into my new-found freedom, the ‘war-within-myself’ sounded more like this: Could I have really been so blind? Could I have really let myself live for so long in this kind of spiritual cage? How could I claim to have a relationship with God while still living in this crap? Can I even share this with anyone? What will they think? I’ll look like a hypocrite. If I was blind to this, what else am I not seeing? I don’t know, but I have to find out. Who can I trust to help me?
The “war-within” can look like all kinds of things. When it comes to walking in freedom, it typically comes down to this: counting the cost.
Rapunzel knew it would come at a cost to continue in her freedom outside the tower. She would risk disappointing her mother and maybe find out her dream wasn’t everything she hoped it would be. While she put on a tough face, with a frying pan for a weapon, there was a legitimate fear of what she would find out on her journey. In the unknown world before her, she was more vulnerable than she’d ever been. What if she was disappointed? What if she got hurt? Was it worth giving up the protection and “normal life” the tower offered her?
It is a lot like this in our journey with Christ. It’s a big deal when we make our first decision to trust God and step out of our comfort zone to follow the light, but we have to weigh the cost of freedom. It’s not going to be an easy road. In fact, God tells us few will find the narrow road and walk in its way. Sometimes it seems to hurt the people you love most. Sometimes you end up fighting battles you would have never had to face. Is it worth giving up a degree of safety and comfort? Sometimes our ‘towers’ are quite cozy. It may seem easier to go right back inside our cage.
At the same time, you realize that there’s more to God and the spiritual world than you’ve imagined possible, and you can’t help but go after it. It’s more real than anything you were ever told about life. You’ve tasted and seen the realness of God, and there’s no going back.
Have you taken the time to weigh the cost of following Christ? What have you given up to follow God? Was it worth it?
“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
“But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.” Philippians 3:7-8
*Read the first blog of the “Tangled” series here. *