Freedom comes in submission

When I was younger I did whatever I could to please people.  I always tried to be the best and act the best.  I never shared what was going on inside my head or identified what feelings were going on inside my body.  I just existed.  Don’t get me wrong I felt emotions.  Sadness, frustration, anger and loneliness….I felt them all.  I felt them sometimes until them consumed me.  I felt them as they almost submerged me into asphyxiation.  The world around me was never the wiser.  They had no idea what was happening in that head of mine and sometimes I didn’t want to be there either.

Fast forward to now.  Fast forward to the present.  Fast forward to my journey to freedom.  As I went along on this journey I sought help.  I had to.  I had no choice.  The emotions that I ignored for the past 36 years had come back to haunt me.  They had never gone away. They were just buried down deep for a long winters rest.  Waiting for the day to sprout.  Waiting for the day to be recognized.  Waiting for the day to be identified.  Waiting for the day to be validated.  They had piled up on top of each other, until my heart was busting at the seams and no more emotions could fit.

As I sought help, I heard the same thing over and over again.  I have what they call a “flat affect.”  Every professional that I met had the same conclusion.  That my exterior did not reflect what was happening on the inside.  My outside stood firm.  It had to.  It didn’t know what else to do.  It had been doing it for so long.  I didn’t even know what emotions were happening inside of me because now they were all a jumbled mess.  My anxiety was the pure creation (a cyclone if you will) of many years worth of unvalidated emotions.  My anxiety has always served a purpose, but this time it was screaming for help.  This was going to take more then a band-aide to fix.  This was going to take some deep down messy and soul cleaning work.

My body shut down.  I went into a “season of rest.” Me! The person who goes one million miles a minute.  The person who plans out the entire day! The person who plans out how each scenario should work.  The person who likes to control everything! I was forced to “pause.” I was forced to hit the reset button.  I couldn’t plan.  I couldn’t even think past what was happening in the moment.  I had to stop.  I had to do what I had been ignoring all of these years.  I had to validate all of the emotions that had gone unvalidated.  ALL OF THEM! I had to make a timeline of all the important events in my life and go through EVERY emotion! It didn’t take hours….it didn’t take days…it didn’t even take months.  I’m still layering it off piece by piece.   And as I do my burden becomes less.  It’s one less stone that is weighing me down.  As I identify it, it becomes a star that helps me navigate the night’s sky.

When I submitted to this “season of rest,” I did so with resistance.  I did so kicking and screaming. It was when I truly paused and fully submitted that I understood why I had come  here.  I had to come to the end of myself, to truly find myself.  I had to be exhausted, beat down, worn out and bedraggled.  I had to want something more.  I had to want to change.   I had to realize who I was and Whose I was.  My old self had to die.  It had to die, in order for my “true self” to be resurrected. The self that God always wanted me to be and the one that the ones that I hold dear, always new I could be.

God promised me, that this journey would not be in vain.  That it would give freedom to not only myself, but to my family.   It would unlock the shackles that had been set there hundreds of years ago.  It would blow the trumpet of war and a battle would wage on to save those who come before me and after me.  It would be a song of freedom and redemption.   I had been redeemed! I had been redeemed because I CHOSE to be! I CHOSE to submit to the PAUSE! I CHOSE to not fight it! I CHOSE to embrace it! I CHOSE to rejoice in it! I made a choice.   What choice will you make? Will you fight against it, until you can fight no more.  Or will you submit? Society has taught us that submitting is weak, but my friends that is LIE! A lie out of the serpents mouth! Submitting is not weak! It leads to freedom! It leads to a life that is free of control! A life where light dances off the walls and shines glimmers of hope into the brokenness of the world.  What do you need to submit before the throne? My friend I know it won’t be easy, but it would not be an adventure if it was!

Trial by Fire

firewoods on fire

Often we find ourselves on the brink of disaster and ruin, but we trudge through the muck and keep going.  Why? What keeps us going? Is it the belief that it is for the greater good? That our struggles make us stronger? That we need to keep walking and the journey will get easier along the way? I think it’s all of the above.

As we walk or trudge along on this journey called life, we can choose to complain about our sore feet or we can choose to dance as we climb.  Often I dance through life with a song in my head that only I know the beat to and no words exist to go along with the melody.  It’s just my song and it’s there for just me.  That’s how our journey is sometimes. It’s meant for just us, but that does not mean it cannot change your family or make generational changes.  When I first started this journey God promised me that he would make a generational change and that the dark seed of anxiety would stop with me.  So when I stood alone in the darkness and my feet did not want to carry me any further, I often would look inside and keep walking for those that will come after me. I refused and still refuse to pass this down to my children! It has and will stop with me!

My husband and I decided awhile ago that we wanted to make generational changes in our children.  We love our families, our beliefs and our traditions, but we wanted to parent differently. And that’s OK! It’s OK to be the barrier breakers, the change makers and it’s even OK to stir the pot once in awhile (I give you permission).  Just because it has always been, does not mean it has to persist! I refuse to be told that my anxiety is generational and I will not let it be an excuse for what I do or do not do! It will not be my crutch, my band-aide or my shackle.  It actually is what catapulted me into my journey to freedom.

How can this be? How can a positive come out of something that is so negative? Anxiety has been that nag, that dull ache that we often notice.  It goes away and comes back, but it’s never that bad…so we just go on with it.  We don’t realize that it’s building up inside of us.  We think that we are controlling it, but really it is the one controlling us.  Piece by piece it breaks us down and piece by piece we loose ourselves.  Until we get to a point where our foundation is unsteady and it only takes a small wave to send us out to sea.  That is what happens when we rest our foundations on shaky ground and never take the time to repair them.  Sometimes we need to come to the end of ourselves to find ourselves and this is not necessarily a bad thing.  It’s a BLESSING! A blessing that we never would have arrived at, if we did not have to be rebuilt.

Being rebuilt is a slow, agonizing and often painful process.  But it’s also so BEAUTIFUL! You get to decide what you will look like, who will be a part of your process and how you will unveil the newest masterpiece. Being sent into the fire is a GIFT, even though we will get scorched and burnt because we were meant to rise from the ashes.  We were meant to be reborn and to evolve.  Did you ever think that tragedy was meant to TRANSFORM us and allow us to rebuild.  To rebuild our hearts, our minds and maybe even our bodies.

Are your feet feeling hot because the fire of life is burning beneath? Take a deep breath, look to the heavens, smile and keep walking! Yes, it might hurt! Yes, you will have to work for it! Yes, it might me agonizing! But if you never experienced tragedy, you would not know the sweet taste of victory, love, and grace!

Remember you are LOVE! You are LOVED and are meant to LOVE! However, you cannot love, if you don’t love yourself first! Every dirty, singed and ash ridden piece. Each piece serves a purpose and each piece is part of the beautiful MOSAIC called YOU!

Freedom does not come FREE!

low section of man against sky

Did you know that you were born free? That you were not created to be bound by your hands, your feet nor your mouth! You were created to fly high and soar over mountains! You were created to stand out! To Shine! And most importantly to GLITTER! What do all of these things have in common? They are things that should not be hidden in the dark. They should be set out for all those to see and for the world to appreciate.  Why then do people lose their sparkle? Why do nuggets of gold grow tarnished and are thrown to the side in reckless abandonment?

So many things in life cause our souls to tarnish and our hearts to grow hard.  Many are caused by the circumstances of life, the pain inflicted by others and the pain we continue to cause to ourselves. We cause ourselves PAIN? YES! ABSOLUTELY! We cause ourselves pain when we choose to not move on, to take ourselves out of a bad situation, when we don’t listen to that small still voice inside of our heads and when we don’t listen to the wise counsel of others.  Pride often gets in our way and hinders our advancement to the mountaintops.  What then shall we do?  In order to break the chains of circumstance, betrayal, lies, deceit and misery, we need to look inwards to see what we need to do in order to be the catalyst to be our own fire that will melt that chains that entrap us.  WE can be our own blacksmith and WE can hammer away at the iron that holds us down and prevents us flying like HE created us to. You were meant to soar, not slither nor glide.  Soaring takes accuracy, wind, speed and endurance. Most of these things you need to be able to do on your own and the rest comes from HIM.

As I have been walking on this journey, I learned so many things about myself and realized I had so much to unearth! I had been underground for 36 years and it was going to take some effort to be fertilized and grow.  It was not going to happen overnight, but it was going to be a process.  A process of reflection, insight and hard work.  I was going to have to dig down deep, if I wanted to reap the rewards.  Do you have to work hard? NOPE…not at all…..not if you want to keep doing the same thing over and over again….expecting the same result (see what I did there).  Did you read the title? Freedom does not come free! It comes at a cost and often it costs us our pride and the things that we thought were most crucial to our existence.  Once all of those have been stripped down and washed away…then and only then can we truly be free.

Freedom has to be constantly worked on, you cannot become free and just leave it at that.  You have to constantly turn inward and ask yourself if you are becoming bound to someone or something.  You have to be honest with yourself and honest with others.  Freedom can be a dirty business and often we need the help of others to get clean.

I know that for some people the unspeakable has happened to them. That they have fallen to the hands of abuse (physical and mental), lies, corruption, torment and pain.  However, you can still be FREE! Who the son sets free is free indeed! You can choose to take that initial step into freedom! Come join me on the journey to freedom! Will it be easy? Nope…but it’s so worth it.  To see a world that glitters in gold and when you can find the gold dust amongst our fellow weary travelers is an amazing sight to see. I am a firm believer that our journey is not in vain and that it gives us authority to speak to others who have been or who are on the path that we are or have traveled.  Your journey is not in VAIN! It’s the roadmap that others need, in order to find their way to the top of the mountain.  You hold the key! Will you choose to turn it or will you wear it around your neck as adornment and use it as an excuse that you rings in the ears of all those around you? It’s your choice! You can either choose freedom or choose to stay shackled! What will it be? What will be your freedom’s song? What will you sing from the mountaintop? It doesn’t matter what tune! Because not matter what, it will still be a beautiful melody that calls those around you home.

Sing with me! I AM FREE…..but the question lies in whether you will choose to be!