Perfectly Free

By Darcy Peterson
In Formed
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“We are not perfectly free until we live in pure hope.”

I have read that line over and over. I’ve put it everywhere. On my mirror, in my car and on my computer as a reminder of where my hope comes from. When we first entered this pandemic back in March, I had just finished reading two books: The Common Rule and The Ruthless Elimination of Hurry. Both books pointed to the fact that much of our culture, Christians included, had lost our way in the busyness of life. For me personally, the culture of MORE was slowly chipping away at my soul.

For so long, I had placed my value and worth in being busy and needed. I was exhausted, depressed, and Netflix started to become a vice. And this wasn’t just happening to me – it was happening to everyone I talked to in some form or fashion. Which, I guess gave me some solace. I hated the way I was feeling and needed to find a way out. For at least the last 10 years that I have worked at IBC, I’ve heard many of my colleagues talk about having moments where the voice of God spoke to them. I was like, what the heck? Why can’t I hear that voice? I felt like the outsider, looking out my office window (Note: I don’t have an office window, I’m just using this for dramatic effect.) watching Jesus with a few of my friends/co-workers, hand in hand, headed to Whiskey Cake to talk about all the things while sinking their teeth into layers of bourbon whipped cream atop of a warm moist whiskey-soaked cake. GAH! So annoying.

Something had to change and that something was me.

So, I prayed and I found Jesus. I know it sounds so simple, but it is. Truth is, I am the one who made it difficult. I was unaware of my brokenness and how I allowed it to control every aspect of my life. Years of buried and ignored trauma had formed me and because of that, I hadn’t lived free because I hadn’t lived in pure hope.

Jesus is pure hope. As Thomas Merton wrote in his book, No Man Is an Island:

“We are not perfectly free until we live in pure hope. For when our hope is pure, it no longer trusts exclusively in human and visible means, nor rests in any visible end. He who hopes in God trusts God, whom he never sees, to bring him to the possession of things that are beyond imagination. When we do not desire the things of this world for their own sake, we become able to see them as they are. We see at once their goodness and their purpose, and we become able to appreciate them as we never have before. As soon as we are free of them, they begin to please us. As soon as we cease to rely on them alone, they are able to serve us. Since we depend neither on the pleasure nor the assistance we get from them, they offer us both pleasure and assistance, at the command of God. For Jesus has said: ‘Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things {that is all that you need for your life on earth} will be given to you as well. (Matthew 6:33)’”

God created man and all the pleasures of this earth. However, if we are not formed in the way of Jesus, we miss the beauty and glory of His creation. We miss the goodness and purpose and can’t truly appreciate them.

Since finding Jesus, everything has changed for me. I see God in everything. Colors are brighter, food tastes better, time with friends has become sweeter and...I can go on and on. Now, that doesn’t mean that I don’t wake up some days sobbing and immediately head to the kitchen to polish off a bag of Dot’s Southwest Pretzels and binge watch The Chef’s Table. Those days certainly happen. The difference is that I know those moments are temporary and that all it takes is a few minutes of silence and solitude with Jesus to be reminded of the pure hope I have found in Him.


God is calling us, the people of Irving Bible Church, to become a multi-ethnic movement of missionary disciples, formed in the way of Jesus for the sake of the world.

We want to be a transformed people who experience vibrant spiritual growth together. We want the Spirit of God to shape us more and more into the likeness of Jesus as we follow him.

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