I’ve been asked to speak this Fall to a group of women and the theme is “Free Indeed.” Other than incorporating freedom or being “free indeed,” it’s wide open as to where I want to go with it. I am super excited about this and I have already begun praying and thinking on where God would have me go with this topic to this specific group of women.
This morning as I was doing dishes and pondering on the word “free,” my 4-year-old daughter walks down from getting dressed and asks me to help her with her hot pink boots. Only a picture can do her outfit justice….
See, I told ya! Ballet leotard with hot pink shorts over it and her hot pink boots. The girl has got some STYLE! I’ve learned in the short almost 6 years that I have been a parent that you pick your battles and what my kids wear, is not a battle worth fighting in my opinion.
As she walked away though, it struck me…my daughter is only 4 years old and she knows what it means to walk in freedom, to be free indeed. I’ve said this from the time that she was a wee babe, that she has a wild and free spirit. It is one of the things that I love most about her and admire. I don’t know if some people are born with more of a free spirit than others; unashamedly and bravely willing to blaze their own trail and be their own person. While others of us have to fight to be free from allowing what other people think of us to hinder us and dictate how we live our lives. My hope and prayer is that my daughter never loses that wild and free spirit of hers because the opposite of that is bondage and when we are in bondage we are missing out on the fullness and abundant life in Christ.
Last summer I read a book entitled Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. I wish I would have had this book when I was in highschool and college. I didn’t come out of my “cocoon” so to speak until half way through college and even then the most freeing thing I did was pierce my nose. Disclaimer: I was one of two girls on my entire campus that had their nose pierced. It definitely was not the “it thing” to do back then and my Nana had serious concerns on how I was going to pick my nose. Now I am about to date myself, seeing as how my 10 year college reunion is quickly approaching this fall (for real? I just can’t even), but my point is, I lived my life in my highschool and early college days pleasing everyone else and wondering what others would think about me instead of living my life free indeed. Even though with age comes unwanted things like wrinkles and saggy boobs (thank you 6 years of being either pregnant or nursing), I am much more free to be who God created me to be and I’ll take that any day over tight skin. It’s not without a struggle, though am I right? It’s so easy to lock ourselves into captivity as we compare, try to please others and focus on all the ways we are not enough or too much. But here is what I know, “anything kept in captivity can only grow as much as it’s cage will allow (wild and free, p.187)” And I don’t know about you, but I don’t want anything to stunt my growth and hinder me from living the abundant and full life that Christ has offered me.
I love what Hayley says a free woman looks like in the book…
“A woman who is free is unchained from her past and unafraid of her future, and because of this she can laugh at the days to come. She’s got an assured confidence; she doesn’t let circumstances shake her; she loves people but doesnt live to please them. She is content with what she has, never striving to conjure up something more. She is almost inexplicably light and unencumbered. Isn’t this the way we’d live if we really believed we were freed from our past, held in our present, and protected in our future? So what does this free woman look like? We don’t have to look any further than Scripture to get an idea of God’s great hope for us. We look at His commands and His character to discern His best for us.
She can laugh at the days to come; she is content; she abides; and she rests.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.” Proverbs 31:25
You know what’s funny, at the beginning of the year, I chose this verse to pray over my 4-year-old daughter for 2017 and at the time I didn’t see the correlation between this verse and being free like I do now. This is my prayer for you as well, that you can live a life free from the bondage of comparison and the constant worry of being not enough or too much. That your past has no hold over you and that you can smile and rest free as you think on what lies ahead. That we can be women who live free and cheer one another to run our races freely and bravely. That we can be FREE INDEED.