Free

One thing I love about the Fourth of July is that for an entire weekend, it feels like we’re living in a country music video.

And fun fact: exactly one year ago, I played the “love interest” in an actual country music video 😛

But it’s true: American Flags, beer, fireworks, the outdoors, fireflies, denim shorts and sunburns. All the fixin’s for a bonafide Tim McGraw hit. Minus the key change and crooning southern drawl.

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But there’s another aspect of Independence Day that really speaks to me…and that’s freedom.

That word, obviously aside from Jesus, is really the foundation of my life.

Freedom.

Because I spent a longgggg time without it.


I don’t have to go into the nitty gritty, but during my anorexia, my thoughts were not my own. My actions, the words I spoke, the fears I was crippled with — I was held captive by my disease.

A prisoner of my own mind, unable to escape from that mental strangulation that resulted in me wasting away – physically, mentally, socially, emotionally, and spiritually.

So freedom is not something I take lightly. Or take for granted.

In order to be free, you have to break away. Escape the suppression.

You have to extract yourself from your captive situation.

But the thing about eating disorders is that you cannot do it yourself. Because your mind disorderedly believes that it wants to be in that prison. And even if you vaguely recognize that you “want out,” the execution and follow through is dang near impossible.

Which is why I couldn’t do it by myself.

I needed to be saved.

I needed God to rescue me. And He did.

But you know that.

Freedom.

It is a gift that cost something.

And as a result, it comes with responsibility.

The responsibility to appreciate it.

I think we all, in some form or another, have experienced the magnitude and depth of what freedom actually is.

Maybe you weren’t held captive by anorexia or an eating disorder, but we all can think of things that have held us hostage. Maybe a destructive relationship. Depression. Anger or resentment. Jealousy. Maybe you’ve been plagued with crippling self doubt. Addictions or bad habits – whether it’s substance abuse or excessive online shoe shopping.

There are lots of things that we just can’t break free from alone.

And luckily we don’t have to do it by ourselves.

Freedom, to me, is making peace with my body.

It’s not comparing myself with others.

It’s nourishing my body and taking care of myself.

It’s enjoying time with friends and choosing to say yes to invitations.

It’s forgiving myself of the things in my past and moving forward, believing that I am worth a life of love and peace.

It’s loving God and embracing His love every day.

That’s what freedom looks like to me.

Those are freedoms that I have not always enjoyed, but together with God, they have become a reality.

And it is my responsibility to claim them every day, and appreciate the fact that I am no longer in that dark, desolate place.

I am free.

So this weekend, as we bust out the bottle rockets and roast some s’mores, I’m gonna laugh, because I am free. I can now enjoy time with loved ones and be fully present, no longer plagued with a disordered existence.

But free.

Free to live. Free to love. Free to be loved. 

How are you free?

 

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205 thoughts on “Free

  1. Thank you for this awesome reminder that I am FREE. After struggling with the depths of an eating disorder myself,even years down the line it’s so easy to fall into feeling trapped again.
    As I read your blog this morning, Jesus Blood (Life Church) began playing;

    ‘I owe my life, to you my saviour, I owe it all, to you alone
    Your sacrifice has won my freedom, I was bought by Jesus’ blood’

    Thank you for making yourself vulnerable and being so honest in order to encourage others. Keep going!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Post 4th of July – Rare-Ity

  3. Pacific Garden Missions in it’s ministry “Unshackled” uses John 8:36 to celebrate freedom from addictions. I also like to believe it includes just what you’re saying. I am finally free to be the person I’ve always wanted to be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good points. This reminds me of my latest entry. Not intentionally trying to piggy back your blog with a link to mine; however, wanted to send you the link.
    somethingtoponderblog.wordpress.com Your Life Matters.
    Peace and God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Never too late to reblog a timeless messsge!  Free! – janjoy52

  6. I like your patriotic glasses. 🙂 I like the fact that Christ set you free. John 8:31 Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
    Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I love the honesty and optimism in your writing. Reading it is like watching you heal and grow in real time.
    After many years of living under the shadow of incest as a child and surviving two abusive husbands, I found my freedom in Christ about 7 years ago. I am deeply thankful for it every day. I’m do glad you found it too!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi Christine, thank you for sharing this. I am so sorry that you had to go through that. You did not deserve that. You deserved to be cherished and protected and treated as such. I’m sending you the biggest hugs. I’m so glad you’ve found that freedom. You’re worth that freedom. Hugs and love xox

      Like

  8. The Freedom offered by Christ is quite different from the freedom (intentionally lowercased) that the world promises us, which I suppose is all the more evident during this time in our country. Physical freedom is not the Freedom of Christ. No person is free who may move about as they wish, but whose mind and spirit are fettered by any number of things — not to mention the natural proclivity of mankind to turn good things into chains.

    But Biblical Freedom has another fascinating side: it is one of the few Virtues mentioned in the Bible that shows intrinsic value. “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” We’ve all read it, but that Freedom, not little freedom mind it but Freedom, should be so regarded as valuable by Jesus that, by pure virtue of its Virtuousness, He set us free is an incredible thing. It is quite hard to comprehend that the God of all things should set Himself upon a cross. To. Set. Us. Free.

    Free from sin. Free from our failures. Free from an easy life.

    Oh dear, I ruined everything with that last one, huh? It is true though, isn’t it? The disparity between the Freedom of Christ and the “freedom” of the world causes us to suffer. Freedom does indeed come with responsibility… and pain. It hurts to live free around chain gangs of self-imposed bondage. They writhe and flail about, whipping us with their chains,as we try to freedom for they only feel our touching their sores with stinging ointment; they gnash their teeth at us, jealous as they gawk at us skipping about as their ankles are shackled, and seek revenge on us who have accepted the key. Yes, Freedom does indeed come with a price.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I wanted to thank you for following my blog and leaving love on it 🙂 I applaud your blog, because an eating disorder is not easy to overcome, but with God’s grace, we can be freed from any prison we find ourselves locked in. I used to struggle with an eating disorder years ago and then swung the other way and ate too much. It was never about the food, but what was beneath the surface driving me to abuse food both ways. I too, have found freedom from both destructive cycles and am now working towards becoming healthy. I always tell others that “Weight does not equal worth. It only equals well-being.” Having a healthy relationship with myself on the inside is starting to show up on the outside. I stopped looking to others for validation and instead started standing on who Christ said I was, regardless of how I feel sometimes and that has brought me the same freedoms you now enjoy. 🙂 Proud of you for fighting against this darkness and choosing to relish instead in who Christ made you to be. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. What a wonderful post. I love the way that you emphasize that with freedom comes responsibility. People think that freedom means being able to do whatever you want to do. I remember on the playground in elementary school, anytime someone stole a ball away from somebody else or cut another kid in line, the snarky defense was always, “It’s a free country!” Well, that only leads to imprisonment to disordered passions. My disordered passion was food, to which I was enslaved for too long. It was so painful to break free. I was like a caged animal that doesn’t know to leave it’s cell once the door’s been opened. You are right. I needed God. I still do. More than anything else, God is the one thing I need. I spent some time reflecting on what freedom from my eating disorder means, but I didn’t bring my faith into the story in the beautiful way you incorporated it into yours. It didn’t even occur to me to “bring God into it,” even though God is already there. I still have a lot of learning and growing to do, but I know that the only way to become the person I want to be is to just LET GO and accept everything that God is already offering to me. Acceptance means obedience, and it means faith, trust, and responsibility, but it is also the key to freedom. Thank you! <3<3<3

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey again friend. Thanks for sharing this. You’re right-God is always there, we just have to let go and receive everything He’s pouring into us. I love that quote about acceptance. So glad you’ve found that freedom, Lulu. That seriously brings my heart so much joy because you so deserve it. Hugs and love xox

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Yes Freedom is a precious gift as is the gift of forgiveness, forgiving ourselves can be the hardset thing to do
    Bad habits they can all too easily become addictions, which enslave us as do things from the past that are unable to let go of
    I know all too just how heavy those chains can be and how they drag and crush hope
    I thank you for continuing to bare your very soul to us all, and prompting myself into being more open in my stories Bless You

    Like

  12. Beauty beyond bones is always a great place to feel high.
    I can relate to it but from an other angle. I am also a victim of emotional eating and due to it i have gained much weight without knowing because i was a kid at that time and now in my teenage years i have to suffer all those looks and social unacceptance. I celeberate my freedom when its dark and I am alone with my laptop and writing pad .its kind of a solace for me. Additional when I am talking to someone on social media …its great as they dont judge me by my appearance but only my thoughts and views!
    Kudos to you on your freedom celeberation!
    Lots of love from me and *hugs* for supporting all others with same battles. Love you and keep going ….

    Like

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