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"I Can Live My Life in Freedom"

John Caldwell shares about how God met him on a recent mission trip to South Africa and opened his heart to the truth about our Father's love and John's true identity as a kid of the kingdom.

Two of my favorite people I met in South Africa were Channan (shoulders) and Junior (waiting patiently to play rugby again).

About two months ago, I was in Badplaas, South Africa with a team from theHeart working with the Emoyeni ministries there. There I was reminded of my true identity. My identity as a child of God. I came into the trip with the mindset that I would experience God in a new way, and of course God blew my expectations out of the water. He is good like that.

Afraid to Be Alone

I have always struggled with thinking I’m not good enough. Thinking I don’t deserve grace, love, and all other good things in life. I am extremely critical of myself and have been for a very long time. Some days are worse than others. Most of the bad days are when I spend a lot of time by myself. Like actually time by myself. Not when I’m listening to music, playing FIFA, mindlessly going through Twitter/Instagram/ YouTube, running or whatever. Just with myself and my own thoughts.

I was afraid to spend time by myself because I did not want to deal with my own issues. Being stuck with my own thoughts scared me. This is something I carried with me and is hard to see from the outside. I legit have the best family and friends a man could ask for and at times would still find myself extremely sad, full of guilt, shame, and self-hatred. I was SUPER good at hiding these things.

"God Met Me There"

In South Africa, being disconnected from my life back home and free of many distractions, I had a time to bring all those things to the Lord. And God met me there.

I sat alone in a large room on the Emoyeni farm called the prayer chapel, or at least I thought I was at first. The Lord met me there. I brought to Him all of my doubts, fear, shame, and self-hate. I was exhausted from holding onto these things for so many years. I gave these things to Him, and I was given full understanding that Jesus won the battle against all of these depleting things. Jesus won the battle against sin on the cross. Thanks to Him, I can live my life in freedom. Freedom to live in my true identity. My identity as a child of God.

Through this process of letting go I learned I do not have to carry this unbearable weight any longer. I can forfeit all these things to the Lord. I totally understand there will be hard days to come, but I also understand the Lord will be with me in those times as well. I can walk out everyday with hope in my heart.

"Whatever you’re going through right are loved. You are worthy. You are enough." — John Caldwell

"We Are Kids of the Kingdom"

Two of my favorite people I met in South Africa were Channan and Junior. They are brothers and they are a physical reminder of how God sees you and me. Precious. We are kids of the Kingdom. He has invited us to walk in our true identities as daughters and sons of Christ.


More About the Author

John is from High Point, North Carolina. He is a junior at Appalachian State, majoring in Social Work. This is his third semester as an intern with theHeart where he will be working in youth ministry.

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