Pondering today on the guilt of freedom.
When I say “freedom”, I want to clarify that I’m not talking in the patriotic, USA sense of the word. I’m talking about the freedom that comes from knowing who you are and being fully accepted and loved exactly as you are.
I’ve written much about my journey from a “rules and religion” based captive to a “grace and love” based child. I’ve shared how I was on a continual treadmill of works, striving, performing, hiding and shame. No matter how hard I tried to serve God, be a good mom, be a perfect wife, a doting daughter, a selfless friend, etc. etc. etc…I always fell short. Fell short of the ideal that I strived to attain. A vicious cycle of striving, failure, shame, and trying harder. This was especially true in my “relationship”, if that’s what you want to call it, with God. Oh, I could quote those scriptures, lead that prayer, teach those Bible Studies. I could name it and claim it with the best of them. I grew up in the church…I knew the lingo. I was part of the “in” crowd that was chosen to save and enlighten the world.
But I was not free.
The last 5 years of my journey have been a process of chains breaking, blind eyes opening and clinched fists unfolding to open hands. They have left me with major cracks in my foundation and crumbling walls and ceilings. And that’s a good thing!!!
I’ve shared much of this journey in my previous Ponderings. So now what?
Now…I am. I breathe. I rest. I float. I glide. I trust. I know. I love. I accept. I’m free.
But every now and then…I hear a familiar voice, the voice of guilt. The voice whispers lies such as, “you are lukewarm”, “you aren’t doing enough”, “you are lazy”, “you are selfish”, “you don’t care”, “you’ve backslider” and the worst, “it’s your fault”. You see, because true freedom was absent from my understanding for so much of my life, sometimes freedom doesn’t feel normal. Sometimes I actually miss the striving and the religion because I felt “needed” , “respected” and “included”. I “fit in” with all the other humans who were striving on the same performance treadmill.
BUT, when I hear that familiar lying voice, the voice of God within me rises up and speaks truth. His unconditional love and complete acceptance is like a blood transfusion flowing to every part of my being. And a tender voice says to me, “Wendy, freedom may not feel natural yet but it will. You have always been free in me but you just didn’t know it. You were misguided by people who thought they knew me but had no true understanding themselves. They were doing the best they could but it wasn’t me. Now you know what my voice really sounds like. Now you know what my love really feels like. Now you know how it was always meant to be. Don’t go back my love. Don’t return to the prison. Your freedom may take some time to get used to but I promise…you will. It’s what you were created for my love. Now, return to rest and just be.”
My hope for each of us, wherever we are on the journey, is that we will know what it is to be truly free. To be fully accepted. To be passionately loved. To just be.
Happy Sunday and Happy Father’s Day to my hubby, my dad and my oldest son on his first Father’s Day. And Happy Father’s Day to my “Daddy”, the one who knit me together, made me exactly like He wanted and breathed His very life into my being. The One who created me in His likeness and filled me with His spirit. My forever friend. My soul mate. 😘