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Dragonflies and Freedom

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burnded again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1 NIV

Freedom. It’s my favourite word because that is what God has done for me—given me freedom. For three decades I was in bondage to sexual fantasies about being with women. I tried everything I could to stop, knowing that this did not honour God or my marriage but I was unable.

And then one day my fantasy life burst into my real life and I was forced to do something about it. That “something” is the story of my book that is in the process of being published. God is so good and he rewards those who seek him.

Not quite two years had passed and I was seeing a counsellor who was trying to facilitate my freedom. God had done much towards that already but it wasn’t yet complete. I told my counsellor about a victory I had had the night before when I had been on the phone with one of my friends. The love that flowed between us was strong and my tendency was tu turn something like that into another fantasy. But this time I didn’t. I was amazed and as I expressed this amazement, my counsellor asked my why I couldn’t resist everytime? Did it have to be a one time event?

I stared at the wall as I pondered this question. I found myself in a dark, closed in hut, like the prairie soddies made by the pioneers, chains rattling from the heavy shackles and I asked myself. Do I want to stay here? Yes. There was a large part of me that didn’t want to leave the familiarity and comfort of this dark place I’d lived in for so long.

But as I wrestled with these thoughts, I found myself moving closer and closer to a light that had appeard.until I was standing in the doorway, still uncertain whether I wanted the light or the darkness.

One more step and I was out of the hut and into the light, free of the chains and marveling at the incredible view before me—the sky blazing with light and a field of flowering grasses before me. I began to run and dance amongst the flowers and all around me were iridescent dragonflies joining me in the dance. And when I looked back, the hut was gone. I couldn’t have returned had I wanted to.

I was free and I gloried in that freedom, checking myself against it in the coming days to see if it was really true. It was! Christ had set me free.

Alas, I made a series of decisions that returned me to bondage; a slavery that had the potential to be far worse than what I had left. I did not stand firm as Pauls admonishes in the verse above. Christ gives us freedom but that includes the freedom to go back to the mud.

“Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” I am so grateful that our God is a God of second chances. At the moment of decision, at the brink of the abyss, God sent me two friends to stand beside me and urge me to choose God. I did and the freedom that has come from that decision has been more wonderful than I could have dreamed. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.”

Thank you, God, for the freedom you have given me. May I never return to the darkness of bondage! Enable me to continue living in this freedom you have given me! Thank you, Lord.

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About the Author

DEBBIE HAUGHLAND CHAN
WINNIPEG, MANITOBA, CANADA

I'm married (35 years in December 2008) with four grown sons. I love my city (Winnipeg) and my country (Canada) and promote them both to whoever will listen. God (through Jesus Christ) is the biggest part of my life. I am learning to let him take control of all areas--though I do better at this some times more than others.

I have written a book that's recently been published about part of my journey with God. In it I tell how God confronted me with the same-sex attraction issues I've struggled with all my adult life and how he led me through them to a deeper and more meaningful relationship with him. God is amazing—his forgiveness, his love, his movement in our lives when we allow him and so much more. I suspect God will never run out of things to teach me or ways to make me grow and that’s a good thing (though often very painful).

I suppose I can say that what gives me the greatest pleasure in life is telling others about…

Memories of Mikael Vincent Tien Doe Chan

Reviews of Searching for Love

If you have read the book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it. You may e-mail me at debbiehaughland@gmail.com or post them in the comments section below.

A Real Testimony
I finished your book. A real testimony to what God does for us.
Leona March 3, 2009
I Had Tears Coming

I sat down to read it about a week later and ended up finishing it the same night. At first I admit I was a little bored and thought that the whole book was about a battle all in your mind, but as I continued reading this creeping thought came over me of a different...struggle in my own life, that I would never in my right mind have shared with anyone accept maybe God. I've mentioned your book to a few people because it stirs up age-old controversies that I have myself argued and wondered about, namely about whether or not homosexuality can be cured or just managed like alcoholism--you just have to stay away from temptation. I noticed at the end of your book that your struggle story …