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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

205 thoughts on “Free

    1. Other opinions shouldn’t matter! Other opinions come with biases, jealousies or other evils. Your validation needs to come from God, because He is constant and He knows you better than any other, even yourself. God’s infinite grace will transform your world if you let Him. Have a great day!

  1. This part of your post made me so happy for you -> “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.”

    May God bless you always. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. And just for the record: “One thing I love about the Fourth of July is that for an entire weekend, it feels like weโ€™re living in a country music video.” Just a whole bunch of ๐Ÿ˜† .

  3. Wooooo! Brilliant! It’s so intriguing listening to you speak about your dark place. You become a prisoner of your own mind during those times. Everything you do gets clouded by bad judgement. To overcome that is well… shoot! That takes inner strength. Your break away is so inspiring for so many girls out there. Society is conditioned to beleive girls/woman should look a certain way, and that is so hard on one’s self esteem. Your story will save many.

    1. Thanks Rareity! I so appreciate your kind words. I n owe I say that a lot Brent is 100% from the bottom for my heart. I’m so grateful for your friendship. Have a beautiful evening! Hugs and love xox

  4. I am so impressed by this celebration of the strength that you have found in your relationship with Christ. It expresses not just the “free from” but also the “free to.” It’s a long journey, and though Christ held your hand, you have done the work on yourself that his love made possible. To celebrate that – not just the escape, but also the becoming whole in your own individuaity – is a wonderful way of empowering others to do the same.

    1. Thank you Brian. That really means a lot. You’re so right-God is so good and I am grateful for His saving hand in my life. Hope you’re having a great day! Hugs and love xox

  5. Dearest BBB,

    You write in part: “,,,Freedom. It is a gift that cost something. And as a result, it comes with responsibility. The responsibility to appreciate it…” One word response: Amen.

    You ask: “How (am I) free?” As you, I have many ways I can describe my sense, my awareness of my liberty. One way…

    In conversation with dear friends today (one of those occasions when, amidst a casual exchange in the comfort of the safety of bonded relationships, words of depth and truth are shared), I spoke of one of my prevailing demons: my capacity, when hurt, to bear a grudge against my offender. I recognize the tendency, the proclivity within me to do that (it’s not going anywhere!). Yet I also recognize, with deepest gratitude, that I have freedom not to act on the worst of my nature, but rather to live into (in your words, to appreciate and accept the responsibility), verily, to embody the gift I have been by God in Christ through his Spirit, that is, to be and do as he is and does, thus to forgive.

    A blessed 4th of July to you.

    Much love,
    Paul

  6. Great post! Wishing you a happy, free, independent life. Freedom to me is knowing who you are in Christ, it means dying to your old self everyday and allowing God to transform you. Not worrying about what others think and getting your validation from God not other people, because He is the one that matters. You may lose friends because of it but if they drag you down and distract you from God, then let them go. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY TO ALL AMERICA!! God bless you.

  7. I know that me coming up short is going to happen more often than not. Freedom is knowing God fills in the cracks and craters of sin. Freedom is all of the people God has put in my life to keep me upright. Freedom is my Julie. Freedom is my daughters. Freedom is friends. Freedom is having God’s love, directly and through theirs. Freedom is this blogging community as we educate, cheer, pray for, and bolster each other.

    Thank you for being part of that freedom. ๐Ÿ™‚ Enjoy yours!

    1. Thanks Jeffrey! Amen to that. He totally fills the cracks. And what a blessing that is. I absolutely love this Jeff – you have been blessed with q lot of freedoms:) that makes me so happy:) thanks for being such a bright spot in my day! Hugs and love to you and yours xox

  8. I appreciate this post freedom is also a word that resonates with me. As I continue to grow with Jesus I see that he desires us to be free, fully ourselves in free loving relationship with Him and others. I how this has been a blessed day for you!

  9. Great post! And yes, it’s our responsibility to claim the freedom, which has been ours all along! Well said!

      1. Yes! Love reading your posts! Good stuff as always! Hugs and love back at ya sister! God bless! ๐Ÿ™‚

  10. Your beautiful soul radiates. I’m sorry you had some roughness in your life, but man, you are like a million candles lighting up this world, with your insight and kindness. Here’s to Free! ๐ŸŽ‰

    1. Hi Jessica, thank you for such kind words. Oh my gosh you absolutely brought a smile to my face tonight so thank you:) hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

  11. Wait… no one asked you what video you were in?? Whaaaa…? Now that would be fun to watch! Or is that a part of your life the blog world can’t see? Understandable, but a bummer! Happy fourth!

      1. You can start one person at a time. Could make it seem more and more normal. Revealing what I’m going through to the whole world just seems scary. But a few people knowing – that actually helps.

  12. Great post ๐Ÿ™‚ I love what you said in that one paragraph before the last about feeling free to live, love and be loved ๐Ÿ™‚ But then again, everything you wrote here is fantastic ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope you have a Happy 4th of July and keep up the great work as always ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Thank you so much for this! I still need to choose to be free, choose to follow Jesus, over focusing on my plaguing failures over my lifetime and trust that He has a better way, or yet, He IS the way. Thanks for the reminder!

    1. Hi Peter! Thanks for sharing this. You’re really onto something there- HE is the way. I have to remind myself that pretty much every day. Lol thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

  14. On that same wave length of your post (and because you asked ๐Ÿ˜‰ ) I’m free because there is no longer anything to fear; not in the deepest, core sense of the word.

    I would not have true free will if there were fear in my mind and my heart. I would also be incapable of living a life of Love in Christ Jesus, for my fear would keep me from recognizing and receiving and responding to Love.

    In many modern translations, Luke 2:10 reads “Do not be afraid”. Makes sense in that situation.

    But remembering that angels speak more than messages of reassurance– they speak prophetically on behalf of The very Word of God–I think the older translations have a more powerful declaration of an eternal truth: God telling us to stop fearing ~ “Fear not!”

    I could write for hours on the metaphysical and theological implications of this, but core messages such as this can suffer when overworked in our finite minds.

    I just know that the first words recorded that Jesus spoke to his disciples were “Peace be unto you!”~ Luke 24:36

    I am a part of humanity which choose fear over loving obedience from the beginning, while our all-loving and long-suffering God worked with us, guiding us to the day of His Promise, when we could again have the chance to choose not to live in fear, thus being free to Love according to his commandments ~ Matthew 22:36-40

    I fear not, because Christ Jesus has placed His Peace in my heart, while “trampling down death by death”, giving me the freedom to overcome fear, and Love as He commanded.

    Kรฝrie elรฉison! + + +

    1. Hi Gordy! wow what a beautiful reflection! Thank you for sharing this. You’re right-“fear not” is so powerful! And it came straight from Jesus’ mouth–so no arguments there! Haha thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  15. if you remember Janis Joplin, you will remember that she sang, “Freedom’s just another word/For nothing left to lose”… It is another interesting way of looking at things

    1. Hey Rajiv! Thank you for sharing this. You know, I honestly don’t know many (if any) Joplin lyrics! ๐Ÿ˜ฌ but that’s an interesting perspective. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  16. Your introduction made me homesick for my native Texas where daily life is a country music video. You were in a real live music video as a love interest? Wonderful. Excessive on-line shoe shopping, now there’s a temptation. You are young and tiny, but your words are packed with depth and meaning. I mentioned you to a friend who son was held captive by depression. Your insight helps me understand his “disordered existence.” I’m very proud of your courage and celebrate your freedom.

    1. Hi friend! Aw-yeah I’ve only been to Texas once but Wow was it beautiful! Thank ou for your kind words. And for passing my blog along. I will definitely keep him in my prayers. Hugs and love xox

  17. Hope you had an amazing Independence (from us british xD) day BBB :D. I have had a difficult 2-3 weeks which sadly has made me get back in touch with the docs/counselors

  18. Amen we have freedom in Jesus Christ who breaks every chain God bless you! And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.โ€
    John 8:32 NKJV

  19. Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom! Thank you for your testimony. And you nailed it when you said that the 4th of July was like living in a country music video! ‘Merica! ๐ŸŽ†โ˜บ

      1. Hi BBB, I just want to say that I have not forgotten about my duty to God’s people with the writing of devotionals. I’ve just been extremely busy with a very special calling. I took a break from social media as well until my college classes start. When they do, you can tune in on your radio dial or the web. Pray nightly for me as I will do the same for you. Go yea forward. Make Jesus smile…..

  20. I LOVE your take on the Fourth of July! Reading you today was like celebrating the holiday all over again! Hugs for your journey to YOUR personal freedom found! …and thank you for visiting me on 34th Street!
    w/L

  21. Beautifully written! It’s like you can take all my thoughts and emotions and put them into words…I’m working on freedom from the comparison game. From never feeling good enough. Your posts are encouraging. Thank you!

  22. sending blessings, smiles, and thankfulness your way. this post is amazing. it reminds me that it is okay to be super passionate about life. To celebrate my freedom from anxiety..and to keep enjoying light and adventures ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. You said something that hinted at what I believe: We are generally scared of freedom. It’s the courageous few who can claim it. Jesus promised us freedom by rejecting Satan’s first temptation.

  24. 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 Jesusโ€™ blood’

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

    1. Hi Cheryl, thank you for sharing this. What a powerful lyric. That’s so true-His sacrifice has won our freedom. When put like that, it brings me to my knees, you know? Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  25. […] about your traditions on the holiday, and I sure loved connecting with some of your traditions. ย BBB Gotta love s’mores. There is nothing better than a nice melty, marshmallowie ย s’more […]

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. Your freedom is so wonderful because unlike many in terms of this country’s freedom you don’t take a second of it for granted!! Love it!! xoxoxo

  29. I was thinking of writing something along the same lines as this. As someone struggling with a pornography addiction, I desperately yearn for Freedom

    1. Hey Joshua, thank you for sharing this. Freedom is possible. I will definitely be keeping you in my prayers as you fight. Keep on, warrior ๐Ÿ‘ Hugs and love xox

  30. So, I am not as free as I want to be, but I am more free than I was a year ago. Your posts are always dead on what I need to hear. Thank you for sharing!

  31. Hey there! Thank you very much for liking my very first blog post! It means so much to me.. Truly helps with my anxiety about being a newbie in the blogging worldโ˜บ๏ธ Thank you!

  32. I like your patriotic glasses. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

    1. Hi Constance! Haha thank you, they’re pretty fun to wear ๐Ÿ˜Ž love those verses. Thanks for sharing them. Amen to that. He sets us free! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thanks Patti! Same to you! Sending big red white and blue hugs your way! โ˜บ๏ธโ˜บ๏ธโ˜บ๏ธ๐Ÿ’™โค๏ธโค๏ธ๐Ÿ‡บ๐Ÿ‡ธ have a great day!

  33. 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!

    1. 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

  34. 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 โ€” 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.

    1. Hi Kello, thank you for this reflection. you are so right – it is hard to wrap my mind around the fact that Jesus died for my sins. died. That is so powerful. and awe-inspiring. So glad you stopped by. here’s to freedom! hugs and love xox

  35. I wanted to thank you for following my blog and leaving love on it ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ Proud of you for fighting against this darkness and choosing to relish instead in who Christ made you to be. ๐Ÿ™‚

    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful reflection. You’re so right – with His grace, we are free – from whatever prison we find ourselves in. Thanks for stopping by! hugs and love xox

  36. 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

    1. 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

  37. 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

  38. 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 ….

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