This was intended to be a short social media post, but I’m a writer at heart and just can’t keep it all in. So, here’s to reflecting on the past year of my life in what I thought was a ‘brief’ manner.
I spent my morning reading, watching the clouds gradually pass by and reflecting on how things seem to keep moving even when I’m standing still. When birthdays hit, it feels as if an account needs to be given of all the highs and lows of the following year and that from it all, self-actualization has been reached. Maybe we do this because we feel we need to show the world that we’re evolving for the better. I don’t really know, but aren’t we always doing something to prove we’re worthy of love and affirmation?
Looking at the past year of my own life, I haven’t shared much publicly these days. The words that I am so used to writing still manage to buzz around my head in the form of anxious thoughts. Sometimes I feel too deeply that I don’t even know how to formulate words around it. Both aspects have certainly been triggered by my own losses within the year and only amplified from the weighty grief of heartbreaking news after news that fills the world and our feeds. Who even knows where to begin? I don’t. All I’ve been trying to do is be honest with God and honest with others, albeit imperfectly, but it’s all I can really encourage others to do… though if honesty looks like despair and bitterness, it’s never really a good place to stay — trust me.
There are so many things I want to say, and maybe if I’m moved enough, I’ll make another post for all the thoughts and feelings, but in the meantime… I am grieved by a world shaking their fists at God and anything/anyone attached to him — not out of judgment ’cause I’m right there with them. I’ve been stuck for a while shaking my fist, too, although because I have the knowledge of who he actually is and I’m surrounded by people who know it too, mine tends to be stuck in my pocket, while I smile through gritted teeth, hidden by shame.
Is it fair to say (at one point or another) we’ve all had a thought that we aren’t/weren’t enough, we haven’t been given enough, or lastly that God himself is not enough? I’ll speak for myself and confess I’ve had all three thoughts of insufficiency. My earnest prayer for my birthday was, at its core, the truth that shatters all of that. He so graciously reminded me of the abundant life he sent his son Jesus to give.
Freedom looks like living fully known and fully loved… it is knowing we’re forgiven, accepted, cared and provided for all in abundance.
Abundance does not equate to materialism necessarily, but rather I’d say synonymous with freedom. Freedom, as we celebrate (or mourn) this Fourth of July, to me looks like no more: striving; living for the approval of others; disappointment and shame from unmet expectations; falling under the weight of this world; second guessing our worth or identity; questioning our standing with God or even his intentions in a cruel and broken world, etc. Freedom looks like living fully known and fully loved in submission to the One who created me, you, and the universe (yes, He is above even that for those new age folks). Freedom is knowing we’re forgiven, accepted, cared and provided for all in abundance. Even when we face sorrow, misunderstanding and heart aching pain, there is supernatural joy and peace that is available, my friend, and that is the abundant life that Jesus so gave his very own for you and me to live.
That doesn’t mean we don’t grieve, face hard things, or even encounter depression… it just means there is so much more to experience and it’s the heart of God for you — it’s relationship, not religion. Anyways, I told you there was a lot on my mind, and this hasn’t even begun to scratch the surface. It might not even make sense stuffed up for a “quick” post. Nonetheless, what a wonderful thing to celebrate on another year of life. Here’s to 27!
"He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?" Romans 8:32