As long as I can remember, I have worn a label I imprinted on myself at a very young age. Addict… The drug of choice may have changed over the years — alcohol, food…, but the label remained the same.
I exhaled a huge sigh of relief when my next online Bible study was revealed as Limitless Life: You Are More Than Your Past When God Holds Your Future by Pastor Derwin Gray.
I crave being more than my past. My dream is to be free of the prison cell addictions have kept me locked away in.
Pastor Gray defines a label so perfectly:
A label is a soul-tattoo that is ingrained deep in our hearts, so much so that it determines how we see ourselves. And how we see ourselves determines how we live.
A soul-tattoo… This is terminology I can so relate to. I have a few tattoos on my skin. As difficult and painful as I have heard they are to remove, I don’t think it compares to the work that goes into changing a soul-tattoo. Only one artist is capable of transforming this type of life altering tattoo…
He goes on to describe the beautiful labels Jesus wants to tattoo on our hearts and what they can mean to our lives:
The more you believe in Him and the labels He has given you, the brighter the colors of these new labels become. We begin to see ourselves as His Father sees us. And when that happens, everything changes. Life becomes limitless.
I know deep in my heart He has labeled me FREE. The ADDICT label I hang onto is self-inflicted and it’s time to let go of it and everything it has done to my life.
I remember the first time this concept of true freedom through Christ was brought to my attention. A dear friend asked if she could come over and spend some time praying for me. I will never forget her looking in my eyes and saying, “Do you want to be free?”
My immediate thought, holding tight to my addict label — Is that a thing? Can I really be free?
It has been many years since I have touched drugs or alcohol. I was 13 when I first earned the title of addict thanks to these substances, or as Pastor Gray so adequately tags them — idols. Unfortunately, when I gave them up all those years ago, I substituted food in their place. Food has become my idol, leaving me with that ugly label I can’t seem to completely lose…
Thankfully, the Addict tattoo I’ve worn for far too long is starting to fade. Just as the hideous barbed wire peace sign tattoo on my back finally faded away and was replaced with bright, colorful daisies, my soul-tattoo is changing. The word Free in a beautiful chain of flowers is being imprinted over that ugly barbed wire word Addict on my heart.
We can find true freedom and replace all the labels that no longer serve us. It may take some work. They may fade before disappearing, but I have faith all of my barbed wire will one day be completely gone…
Now the Lord is the Spirit,
and where the Spirit of the Lord is,
there is freedom.
~2 Corinthians 3:17