Independence Day is always a day of reflection for me because so much of my life has been about getting free. Free from my fears, free from my past, free from my addictions, so that I can walk in the light and life that Jesus died to give me. I CLAIM FREEDOM on a daily basis and it has been a way of life for me for a long time.
And it is amazing to me that I can be freer still! But I can and so can you. Ultimate freedom will come for those of us who make it to heaven. But in the meantime, our lives are a one lesson in freedom at a time.
Here are a few of the lessons I have learned in the last year.
I am free to the extent that I can accept my limitations. For many years I tried to pretend that I was someone and something different than who I really am. In this past year, I have suspended that drama and embraced and owned the truth of me. It has been the most liberating year of my life! It’s like I have taken a big deep breath and let it all out… blowing away the fakeness and concern for other’s opinions of me and the impossible expectations that drove me to be someone I was never called to be.
I need solitude to stay sane. I’m a life-long introvert who valued being an extrovert more and suffered for it. The truth is: I LOVE silence, solitude and sleep! I say it like this: I’m not a fiddle, I’m a Stradivarius violin and my very sanity depends on my ability to take good care of my soul in solitude and quiet. This isn’t a luxury for me, it is a necessity and it leads me into the next lesson:
Time is a tyranny only if I let it be. Balance in my life is my responsibility. I am in control of what I allow in and what I keep out of my life: this includes people, experiences, responsibilities, commitments, activities, material goods, priorities, etc. Each one of us is free and responsible to choose that which is valuable, fruitful and virtuous for our individual lives. The clutter and imbalance comes when we stop listening to the voice of the Holy Spirit, who is our wisest companion and Best Friend on this journey. I’m still learning this lesson, but my awareness and insight has increased! Progress!
My feelings are not the facts of my life. For most of my life, I let my feelings define me and the most dominant feeling was shame… all the fears, addictions, compulsions and coverups were driven by that one toxic and overriding feeling that I could not shake. But shame is really a sham, and when it is chronic, it is not of the Lord. Guilt and shame are two different things: Guilt motivates us to make good on a wrong; shame tells us everything about us is wrong. God heals shame and it sets us free.
I like me… a lot! 56 years and I have finally arrived at this conclusion. It took a long while for me to be comfortable in my own skin but freedom is like that. It’s valuable, worth fighting for and working toward … one blessed day at a time.
Here’s to my freedom and yours in Christ Jesus today and always!