The Freedom Challenge grew out of one woman's desire to overome fear, explains Tina Yeager, director of The Freedom Challenge USA. Here she encourages all of us to face our fears
In 2010, Cathey Anderson, our late founder attended a conference. During the conference, the speaker challenged the audience to search their hearts and see where they still had something holding them back. Cathey realized she had fear. Cathey was terrified of heights. She set off on a journey to face her fears and overcome the bondage of fear in her own life. Shortly after that, she set out to climb Mt. Whitney with her husband Mark and a few others. She described that time to me as excruciating and at times terrifying.
Two world records
The Lord honored Cathey’s desire to overcome her fear and blessed her with a vision she never in a million years expected. After she summited that day, the Lord gave Cathey the vision of the first Freedom Climb. In 2012 Cathey and 47 other women from 10 countries summited Mt. Kilimanjaro, setting two world records. I was blessed to be one of those 48 women and it changed my life forever.
Since 2012, we have climbed multiple mountains raising over $4,000,000 allowing thousands of women and children to be set free from oppression and slavery. In addition, many climbers have accepted Christ or been set free of their own bondage on the climbs. All of this has happened because one woman - a mother, wife, grandmother and retired school teacher - set out to face her fears so she could be free of any strongholds the enemy had over her. In her freedom, she said “YES” to the Lord to go climb another mountain.
What are you struggling to let go of?
What fear or other bondage do you need to face? What is God calling you to do to face that fear/bondage? I want to encourage you today to search your heart and spirit and ask the Lord to show you what is separating you from that intimate relationship with Him that He so desires. Does the enemy have hold of you in any way? What are you struggling to let go of? Pride? Fear? Addiction? Past hurts or abuse? Will you take a moment now and ask the Lord to reveal to you any area of your life that you need to address or surrender to Him?
Past mistakes, hurts, abuse, failures, abandonment, lack of affirmation and so many other things that hold us back are traps of the enemy to keep us in bondage. I know personally that I have struggled with every one of those at one time or another. I believe that all Christians would share that they too have areas the enemy tries to trap them in. We have all been broken in one area or another of our lives. Let’s be real. The enemy knows our weaknesses and knows exactly where to attack us.
For me my past abuse, failure and hurts kept me in a place of fear. It actually paralyzed me as a Christian throughout my early teens and twenties. It was so freeing when I finally realized my identity was in Jesus and what He thought of me. My identity wasn’t in being the best business woman, mother, wife or other achievement that made me feel important. I don’t have to do anything to be loved by my Savior. I don’t have to achieve any specific goal to be valuable. He is the lover of my soul. I am His masterpiece.
“For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago,” (Ephesians 2:10 NLT).
I do not have to fear man, failure or anything else. He has created me just the way I am. Now I create goals that the Lord puts in my heart to achieve, goals that He has called me to accomplish, not goals to fill a void I still have in my heart. I do not have to fear.
“Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus,”(Philippians 4:6-7 NLT).
I simply have to trust in the one who loves me unconditionally. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths,” (Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV.)
New levels of intimacy and freedom
Life is a daily walk and each day holds new blessings and opportunities to overcome things. In my life, the Lord constantly reveals areas He wants me to surrender and trust Him more. However, since I finally surrendered my past to the Lord, He has taken me to levels of intimacy and freedom that I never experienced before.
He wants us to surrender our pain, past and strongholds to Him so he can give us the gift of true FREEDOM. He longs for us to be FREE. Peace comes in freedom. Are you lacking peace or joy? Seek the Savior’s face. Spend time praying, reading His word and in worship. He will reveal to you what it is you need to surrender. Seek a friend or counselor to confide in that can walk through this healing with you. You will be so thankful you did.
Here are some key scriptures to help you on this journey to complete FREEDOM.
Ephesians 2:10; 1 John 4:18; Psalms 23:4; Philippians 4:6-7; II Timothy 1:7; Proverbs 3:5-6; Jeremiah 29:11-14; Ephesians 6
You are loved and valued. May the Lord continue the work He has begun in each of us.