Freedom is treasured in my family. It came at a high price.
I spent the first year of marriage weeping intercessions over my husband while he braved the battlefields of Iraq. I grieved as flag-draped coffins increased by the day, and sometimes by the hour.
Four Marines fought their last battle alongside my husband. Countless others gave their blood, sweat, limbs, and years they’ll never get back. One coffin held a cherished friendship that began in boot camp all those years ago. My heart broke in a million unprepared pieces the day I told my husband over garbled phone reception that his best friend was gone. Nathan was killed by an IED hundreds of miles from where my husband was serving, but the fallout still shook him to the core.
Freedom isn’t free. Sometimes it isn’t fair, either.
Still, we treasure freedom so dearly, don’t we? It rallies troops to brave battlefields. It waves in patriotic shades of red, white, and blue. It hopes. It dreams. It cries out like morning Reveille within every heart, nation, and tongue.
Let freedom ring!
And yet, from the Garden to the Great Depression and still today, the ever-elusive search for freedom marches on. Sometimes freedom seems as distant as the sun.
Can it be found? Is it worth the cost?
The answer is found in where we ultimately place our hope, and in Whom.
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. (John 8:36)
God treasures freedom. He knows the cost better than any. He knew some would abuse their freedom. Some would throw it away. Some would trample on it, spit in its face, close their hearts to it, and mock the burden so many others have carried in their place.
And yet, God set this longing in our souls — to be free.
Men and women have carried the cost of individual freedoms on their shoulders for centuries. In this world, that burden is ours.
But eternal freedom is different.
God knew the weight and the cost of eternal freedom was too great for our shoulders, so He carried it upon His own. At Calvary, the burden of eternal freedom was lifted. For all who ask, they shall receive.
And here’s another reason to rejoice: There is no coffin. There is no grave. Jesus is risen and His freedom saves!
True freedom isn’t found on a battlefield, but at the cross!
So the next time you see a service member, thank them. Give them the honor they deserve. Because of them, we enjoy a precious glimpse of freedom.
At the same time, if freedom seems elusive, don’t be discouraged. Remember where true freedom is found. Thank Jesus. Put your hope in Him because in Him you can be free indeed.
Glory, glory, Hallelujah!
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It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)
Thank you for sharing my story. I’m honored to be a part of this wonderful community of encouragers!
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Thank you so much for sharing your story and for being such a brave part of this Nation. Our soldiers put themselves into harms way for our freedom, but you – the wives and families – who lose sleep , shed tears, and pray without ceasing for them are truly our backbone. Thank you for all you do and have done. Yes, our military fights for our freedom here on earth, but you are so right in pointing to the One who fought for our eternal freedom and to break the shackles of sin that bind us. May we always look to the cross for our ultimate freedom! Beautiful!
Bev, your comment brought tears to my eyes! Thank you for such kind words. What a miracle that we have a God who bore the weight we could not, and gave us a chance at something we could never have attained on our own — eternal freedom and salvation. We owe it all to the cross! xoxoxo
Lisa Anne Tindal says
Beautiful story. Thank your husband for his service to our country.
Thank you, Lisa. My husband would join the battlefield again in an instant if he could. But we’re blessed to have him home for good, helping to raise our littles. 🙂 My thoughts and prayers are always with those who continue to serve this great nation. May God shield them, and use all of this to bring His message of true freedom to every nation and heart.
Rebecca, so sweet to see you here today, friend. What a beautiful post. Thank you to your family for your service and sacrifice. ((xoxo))
Thank you, my fellow Compel sister, Brenda! I’m honored to be here. Thank you for your kind words. God has used all of it for his glory!
Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros says
<3 What an incredible testimony and thank you to your hubs. Your a blessing in my life, for sure, friend. I appreciate your iron sharpens iron. You've always been that for me. True freedom is in Christ Jesus. And although, dad is not here anymore, he lives on in me and in the memory I keep alive for my children. I've learned so much about him these last couple of weeks. The man who brought his remains home found me. We've been chatting it up and it's brought so much peace to my life. For his as well. Living with guilt is an enemy itself. I'm so glad you decided to write this piece. Sending love and wrapping you in hugs. <3 PS I got your birthday card. I see Jesus in you. An unlikely friendship and sisterhood forged through words and Jesus. God is the Most High and he saw to it that we would be sisters for all of eternity. Love you. I love your heart. I celebrate life with you today. xoxo
Carolina! Girl you’ve done it again! Ugly tears! I love you. I have loved watching the story of your father unfold before you. What a miracle! And that precious baby girl? His grand baby for sure! Thank you for being IRON in my life! More than that, thank you for being a friend. If you’ll notice, most of the disciples were “unlikely friendships” forged through Jesus. AMEN! You bless my life!
Michele Morin says
Thank you for the sacrifice of service. Thank you for turning the hard work of living through uncertainty and heartache into a glorious testimony of God’s faithfulness to lead you (and, therefore, us!) into Truth.
God is amazing, isn’t He! I’ve written about this before — how I’m so thankful God chose not to answer my prayers to keep my husband from war. Through it, He has brought blessings and growth I never could have received otherwise. Trusting in Him isn’t always easy – but it ALWAYS brings blessings! Thank you so much for your comments. xoxoxo
Well said, RebeccaLynn – and to Bev, I’d add to that backbone the families who stand faithfully by those servicemen who come back disfigured, damaged without and within. Let us not forget them, ever.
Freedom – so greatly prized and cherished by immigrants here in Canada – and it is daily being thrown away, starting with the dropping of the Pater Noster in schools.
After the last world war, my beloved Grade 2 teacher went with her fiancé’s mother to collect his posthumous medal from King George Vl. On her return from London, she brought me a small paperback of watercolours depicting London during the blitz. Each page had a rhyming couplet; the last one is forever stuck in my memory:
For Freedom never can be left to chance –
True freedom’s price is constant vigilance.
To all who serve and keep vigilance, God bless.
Amen, Elizabeth! Thank you so much for your beautiful comments. When nations fail, our great God will not! Praise God! xoxoxo
Your story about the finished work touched my soul. Thank you for your courage and thank you sister for our shared love of Christ and His love for us all. Thank your husband for my husband and I for guarding our freedom as well. Glory to God
Your comment blesses me! I will let my husband know. All glory to God, indeed! xoxoxo
Such heartfelt truth by one who has lived the reality of the costs of freedom. Thanks RebeccaLynn for sharing your heart and reminding us of where and in Whom our true freedom comes from. Happy to share these truths!
Thank you so much, Jill. And thank you for sharing! xoxoxo
Kristi Woods says
Oh Rebecca, this piece is absolutely beautiful. A special thanks to your husband for serving – and you, too. (Because we know it’s a family affair after all, right?) True freedom comes from Jesus Christ – hallelujah!
This means so much from you, Kristi! It’s a family affair … and His family! xoxoxo Thank you so much.
Jennifer Crismon says
Thank you Rebecca for sharing your journey to freedom … Thank you for reminding us of the blessing to live in this great country and the willing sacrifice of our military, police and fire personnel. Above all, as Christians we are learning that no matter the circumstance, “If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Thank you so much! The selfless sacrifices of others humbles my heart. And yes, what a beautiful hope we have in Christ – and that we can celebrate that death did not claim Him, nor those who are His. Amen!
Cheri Johnson says
Great word and beautifully written. Thank you, Rebecca Lynn.
Thank you, Cheri! xoxoxo
Linda McClellan says
Thank you for your story. I was in my late teens and early 20’s when i was affected by the Vietnam War. I lost some high school friends but I was a “hippie” and of course they were all trying to get out of going. I’ve grown and become a Christian and think a lot differently. Your blog gave me a feeling of peace that surpasses what is going on now. No matter what N. Korea is doing or what we’re going to do. I will always continue to pray for our men and women out there giving sometimes their all. But you reminded me that I have the only freedom that counts and that is the promise of God that he is by my side and I can look forward to eternal life. That is our true freedom!
Oh Linda. Trust me, I know the feeling of not wanting to walk into danger. It doesn’t feel natural and I honestly still don’t know how men and women do it on a daily basis. But even more than that, to know that Jesus gave his life for us – with no medal, no reward, nothing in return except knowing it would bring us life and reconciliation with Him. I can’t fathom His love. But I am so eternally grateful for it! Thank you so much for you comments. They have blessed me more than you know. Praise God for the day we will be in Heaven with one another and Him. Until then … let us be His hands and feet!
Thank you for sharing Rebecca! Really touches my heart. Huge thank you to your husband for his serevice! Blessings and love xoxo ❤️❤️
Thank you, Stephanie. I’m so glad it touched your heart. It brought me joy to write it! Blessings and love to you, too. xoxo
Laura Ashley Pagenkopf says
I loved reading this! All so very, very true. RebeccaLynn, you’re story is powerful and encouraging as you have walked the price freedom so closely. The Cross is the ultimate freedom. P.S. I am a member of COMPEL too and have loved every minute of it since March. It is growing me as a writer and daughter of the King!
Thank you, fellow COMPEL sister! As Christians, we are all (to an extent) walking the price for freedom as we share in our Lord’s sufferings and work to bring others the good news of the cross. We are in this together! I look forward to connecting with you!
Rebecca L Jones says
The 4th of July is about freedom. It is another day to say thank you for the service of our military men and women.
Amen! Thank you! xoxo
Beth Williams says
A hearty thank you to you, your family & especially your family. We have freedom in this country & in Christ. It seems that people don’t appreciate their freedoms. They would rather “spit” in the faces of those who gave everything. We have a huge division in this county & lots of civil unrest. People don’t care about the sanctity of life. They just live in the moment & do what suits them. Almost like Sodom & Gomorrah. Praying for all our military families. The wives/husbands & children at home give up just as much as those serving!
Wow! Such a powerful post! Our husbands may serve for the freedom of America, but Jesus died for the eternal freedom of all! Amen! Many blessings to you and your family!
AMEN to this blog post !! Thank you for dealing with the rough stuff, and staying sweet and motivated for God.
Bless you in your ministry.