The Cost of Freedom! by Rhonda Herring Dent
I love Independence Day. As a child I loved the fire crackers. Most of my friends would cover their ears and close their eyes at the sound. Not me, my little eyes were wide open. I was always sad at the end of the display. I felt like I could watch them forever. As a little girl, I did not understand exactly what that day meant, but knew that it had to do with being free. As an adult with a better understand of what Independence Day is all about. I certainly appreciate the celebration even more. But not until September 11 did I completely understand the cost of freedom and true patriotism.
As a Pentagon survivor, Independence Day means so much more to me. I think of how many people sacrificed their lives for our freedom and it is heart wrenching. I think of my co-workers and friends who sacrificed their lives for freedom on that fateful day and I stand proud to be an American. I give tribute not only on Independence Day but every day as I enter into the building. I do not think of it every day but every year as it gets closer to Independence Day and September 11th it is on my mind.
My thoughts are with everyone who lost their lives in any conflict or as the result of senseless terrorism. This time of year when we celebrate Independence Day let us stop for a moment or two and remember the heroes who paid the price for freedom in every capacity. Let us honor the pioneers that came before us and paved the way, the many men and women who died in war and the lives that were taken because of our Country’s beliefs.
As I reflect, let us also remember the one who gave His life for us. Let us remember His love for us and His sacrifice. I can remember so well that day I accepted His call. My best friend was attending bible study on a regular basis and inviting me to attend with her. After several invites and several failed attempts to join them, I did. Actually, that particular day at work I could not stop thinking about going and it was in my heart to attend. I hurriedly pick the children up, made dinner and attended.
At the time I did not know too much about the Holy Spirit. I just knew that I was compelled to attend. I did and my life has never been the same. It was my personal Independence Day. I was free. (John 8:36 Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.) I remember walking home and asking God what was going to happen next. The only thing I did know is that I felt so much freedom. I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off my shoulder. Well, maturity is a process, but that night I felt so absolutely wonderful. The devil, of course, tried to snatch my freedom, but God had me and protected me and is still protecting me today.
He loved us so much that he laid down His life for us. (John 15: 19 Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.) I have been feeling that love every sense that night on 13 Feb 1992.
I dare to try to describe this love in mere words:
There is a sweetness and a serenity inside me—a place no one can get to, a place where I need to remain all the time, yet I dare to step outside. It is a place I sometimes forget about and venture out too far, but quickly return to. No matter how far I go away from that secret place, I always return. I wonder; I ponder; I reflect; I dare not tread to far from that place. It is a safe haven for me when the world seems so cold. I cry in that place, I weep, I pray, yet strangely it is the same place that I receive my help, my strength; it is where I lick my wounds; it is a comfortable place and a place of comfort. It is deep within my soul.
It is a spiritual place—a place of rest. It is where I talk to God, and God talks to me. It is a place like a river that runs deep. It flows continuously and refreshes like a nice warm shower throughout my soul. It is a cleansing place of repentance, acceptance, renewal, security, restoration and wholeness. It is a place where I seek and search and look for answers. It is where I seek understanding, wisdom, and guidance. It is my roadmap to where I need to go, and when I go in the wrong direction, it navigates me back. It is an encouraging place and a place of victory.
Happy Independence Day and remember every day is Independence Day for God’s Children!
BOOK: Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
The theme of Ever Changing is taken from the Serenity Prayer. As a child the author had to recite the Serenity Prayer a million times. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.” Little did she know that the prayer that was instilled in her as a little girl would take her through many hardships. Go with her as she learns the true meaning of the prayer that she loved as a child and as she struggles with the “wisdom” to know the difference.
Ever Changing is about finding the true love of my life. Someone who loved me completely even when I didn’t love myself. I thought I loved myself but I did not. The decisions and choices I made early in my life proved it. Check it out when you read through the pages of my book. The true love of my life loved me perfectly. Not like I wanted to be loved but how I needed to be loved. The love that I needed in order to find the true purpose in my life.
I walked this journey and continue to walk this journey-but now with joy and peace. I endured many hardships as you will see (relationship issues, marital problems, divorce, literally homeless at one point, family sorrows, Pentagon Survivor (9/11), etc.) What I learned along the way has taught me the deeper meaning to life, love and success. What I would like to share with you is my relationship with God. My ministry is to bring reconciliation and healing to hurting people. How do I know that people are hurting? God not only told me, God used “me” as an example. Ever Changing is a testimonial of Faith, Maturity and Spiritual development. To our Father be the Glory!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.
Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved “Serenity Prayer” that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference.
Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.
Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author’s Website: http://www.e-rhonda.net/
Religion – Inspirational/Spirituality
Christian Life – Spiritual Growth
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