“For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom” 2 Corinthians 3:17 (NLT)
I had a shallow view of freedom.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines freedom as “the quality or state of being free: as (a) the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action.”
Though I knew there were people living in modern slavery and people living without the freedom of religion, to me freedom was:
- Using my time on me and what I want to do instead of running around doing errands for other people
- Doing the work I love where I want to do it and when I want to do it
- Making enough money to be thirty, flirty, and thriving (okay, maybe not the flirty part)
This is my second year choosing a One Word, but the truth is that I don’t choose the words. They’ve chosen me. Freedom got itself stuck in my heart and it became my One Word for 2015.
I looked at the year ahead and thought that perhaps God placed that word in my heart because the year looked incredible hard and busy. I thought that perhaps God wanted me to remember the freedom found in Him: the freedom that comes with His love, grace, peace, and joy. That way, I wouldn’t break down as the year progressed.
Though freedom is found in God because freedom is found wherever He is, there was more to that word than I thought. There was more God wanted me to learn.
I chose to write on freedom for the Write 31 Days Challenge because I want to flush it out. The year is almost over and I want to really dive into what God’s been teaching me about freedom, and share what I learned with you.
The biggest lesson being: we have more freedom than we realize.
It’s nothing new. It’s nothing surprising. But maybe because it’s an old common knowledge that we don’t always realize its truth.
Whoever you are and whatever your situation may be, you have more freedom than you realize.
“Lock up your libraries if you like; but there is no gate, no lock, no bolt that you can set upon the freedom of my mind.” Virginia Woolf, A Room of One’s Own.
This is why we hear of amazing stories of how the imprisoned or enslaved have risen above their circumstances to inspire others and fight for what they believe in. Because no matter how many shackles bound them, their minds and their spirits are free to believe and to persevere.
Yet we don’t have to be in those dire situations to apply the same principle. Whatever we’re going through, we have more freedom than we realize.
I know that’s easier said than done, but the first step is saying it. It’s hearing it out loud. Look in the mirror and tell the one looking back, “You are free.” Do this in the morning. Do it at night. Do it throughout the day whenever you pass by reflective surfaces.
Say it out loud. Breathe it in. Write it down where you can see it. Repeat it ’till you believe it and live it.
It’s easy to take freedom for granted. We know we have it in the grand scheme of things, but we let our personal lives become enslaved. In the everyday, we let circumstances, other people, or our own fears take away our freedom until we find ourselves living in doubt, in stress, and in survival mode.
So let’s start with this simple truth: I am free.
When the laundry piles up and the house is a mess, and you feel that heavy burden settle on your shoulders, say it out loud: I am free.
When work is stressful and your boss berates you, and you feel crushed under that 8-5 grind, say it out loud: I am free.
When the kids are demanding and you haven’t showered in days, and you feel enslaved to everyone’s needs, say it out loud: I am free.
Say it out loud when you want freedom to help you remember that you are free. You have more freedom than you realize.