Wednesday, May 4, 2011


My facebook friends status said simply:

"i serve a God that has come to set the captives free."

I read it. I re-read it. I choked up. I looked at it at least 10 times.

And every time I came back to it I felt a pull, a deeper meaning that was trying to wind around my heart. I kept thinking of these words, over and over.

Today I was driving Lily to school and those words flashed in my head again. Two days of this carousel going around my mind and I was about to come unglued.

"Lord, please just tell me what this means? Please tell me why this is so important that I can't get it out of my head?"

And my mother's face flashed in front of me, clear as day.

My mother.

My mother was a captive.

Captive to her own mind, which drove her to drink, to pursue men. Which kept her from ever caring for me like she should have. Which kept her from knowing where I was for years. Her own mind imprisoned her as surely as iron rails.

She couldn't love. She couldn't care. She couldn't function.

Severely bi-polar people cannot function unless they are medicated. Medication from a knowledgeable doctor, or self medication in the form of alcohol, drugs, and sex.

My mother was never diagnosed until she was terminal with cancer. She was then put on lithium. She was normal. She wanted to mend broken-ness. She wanted to live.

And then, she died.

Captive to a body riddled with cancer, even though her mind had finally been freed.

I used to be angry with God for those last few months. When she reached out to me. When she wrote to me, sent me money to visit. Begged me to come.

I was too angry then. Young and stupid. I didn't want to forgive her. I didn't want to mend anything. My heart was blackened and stilled with anger.

Captive, if you will. Imprisoned by unforgiveness and rage.

And so she died in a strangers house, in a strangers bed, with no blood family around.

Freed from a body of pain, and a mind of torture.

A captive set free.

He set her free from herself, from the bondage of mental illness and cancer. He resurrected her to Him, whole and without blemish. Without sickness or sadness or regret.

She was restored. She lives, even now. She was set free.

And today, I realized, so was I.

I was set free from the worry of where she was, and the pain of separation from her. I was freed from her presence here on earth, and the chaos she always came with. I was set free from obligation to her.

I was freed to forgive her.

And today, I also realized she will be RESTORED to me.

One day, I will walk into the gates of heaven. And she will be there. And all of the bitterness will be washed away with the redemption of Christ's love.

The moment she died, she was free.

And so was I.

I serve a God who came to set captives free.

Isaiah 49:

8 This is what the LORD says:
“In the time of my favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
9 to say to the captives, ‘Come out,’
and to those in darkness, ‘Be free!’