How do you feel when you finish a monumental task? Yesterday, manuscript copies of Freedom for the Good Little Church Girl slid across the post office counter into the hands of another. Their weight earned them a numbered sticker, a pat on the head, and a place among the other packages. My “baby” will soon fall into the hands of those whose advice I’m seeking to help get my message out.
Yes, I could have emailed it. That would have been easier on my heart, but my old-school heart yearns for my readers to hold this freedom journey in their hands. They need to feel its weight, anticipate turning the page, and perhaps lift a hand in the air as their eyes reach that last dot.
Though it only took three months to do the actual writing, this story bobbed and weaved for fifty years. I am convinced that my first three books were God’s way of preparing me to write this one. Since I know the Spirit led the way, I’m anxiously anticipating seeing how God works out the distribution. I’ve planted the seed, my friends have watered it, now the increase is in God’s hands.
This seems like a good time to thank a few folks for their tireless efforts in proofreading. I had several family members keeping me on track: my dad, Mack Roberts; my aunt Wanda Akin, my precious daughter Jennifer Ellis, and my hero husband Ron Jackson. Who among us could survive without skillful friends who courageously speak the truth? Many thanks to Kim King, Charlene Miller, Erin May, Katie Wilson, Jamie Miller, Leslie Knight, and Phyllis Howell. I would also love to have your thoughts on this small portion of the introduction. If this speaks to you in any way, I’d love to hear about it. Thank you for walking with me.
Maybe you grew up showing your love for God by striving to do all the right things, but still felt the need to constantly prove your goodness. Perhaps, you became fascinated by knowing God’s word, but sometimes wondered if you were experiencing all God had in mind for you. Your passionate love of learning inflated your mind, but somehow your heart still felt depleted.
You may not know it yet, but freedom is what your heart longs for. Some of you believe you are the poster child for the Good Little Church Girls Club, but deep down you know there’s something missing. Others of you may feel bound by something, but you have no idea what it is – much less how to escape it. Maybe your friends labeled you the “Woman-Who-Has-It-All-Together”, but secretly you know that’s a big fat lie. And then, there are a few of you who want to better understand all those good little church girls that get on your very last nerve. You know! The ones who wouldn’t think of letting you in their club even if you did want to join.
I want to give you a peek at the inexpressible joy you will experience when you let God lift the window shades of your heart – the ones secretly lowered by unnecessary beliefs, unfortunate circumstances, or negative emotions. It could throw Light onto a freedom process that, at first glance, might seem unwarranted or perhaps too messy to consider – if not downright impossible. But freedom’s irresistible Light has the power to slowly beckon you out of your dimly lit room into the eye-squinting, toe-tapping, song-singing sunshine of real freedom in Christ.
Your journey will look different from mine. The covert emotional thugs holding you hostage may have different faces, but their motives, techniques, and determination will be the same. I am no theologian, certified counselor, or scholar, but I have earned an honorary doctorate in finding freedom. My seven-year journey led me straight into the loving lap of God, the gracious arms of Jesus, and the sweet, intimate fellowship of the Holy Spirit. If you aren’t there yet, that’s exactly what I want for you! It is possible.
Be warned! Pursuing freedom is not for the faint of heart. Nothing worthwhile ever is. However, once your toe hits the starting line, I think you’ll be all in. I feel your heart pounding! I see your toes on the line. Are you ready to begin?