The Journey to Freedom
"All my routines are out the door. All of my plans are laid down. The more I let go, the more I receive. The more resistance I face, the more joy I find on the other side. Back to the beginning is where I’m going. Barefoot. I’m running free. I’m running wild in the pursuit after every dream on my heart. Fear will not have the final word. My song is victory. My voice is weak but my heart is strong. I step into the unknown and all I see is hope. Sing my soul. Sing my soul."
I was flying home a few months ago when God gave me these words and an image of me as a child running barefoot through the fields with my natural curls letting them be what they were created to be. Wild and free. He reminded me of how when I was little I would chase frogs, the very thing I now run away from. What once brought me freedom and life now keeps me captive and in fear. As silly as that may sound, I’ve done the same thing with my life at times. I’ve allowed fear to hold me back from being the wild and free version of myself. We all have. We all have areas of our lives we’re afraid to unlock and let run wild.
It was near the end of 2017 that I was sitting around the dinner table with friends and as we started to talk about the purpose for our lives, I started to just cry. I could feel the weight of the areas of my life holding me back from fulfilling that call. I’ve always felt this need to make sure I have enough. I’m a big saver and I like feeling secure within a job and in my finances. I’d hear stories of people who took crazy leaps of faith and how God would come through, but I just wasn’t sure if I could have that same kind of faith.
Then one day I was on my way home from the gym and I said out loud “God, I just really want to spend a month in California this summer with the Circuit Riders” (a ministry training school) and as tears started to stream down my face, I realized how much joy I felt just saying that out loud, and also how many times I ignored that still small voice leading me to take risks because of all of my excuses and fears.
I knew this would be the year that would change. In January I heard God clearly speak to me in that still small voice deep within that I was going to quit my job and he was going to send me back home for a season. But there was a process in-between that word spoken and where I’m at today. Which has been why I have been kind of been off the grid lately and stopped blogging.
I stopped because sometimes we need to press pause on our life and let God cut us open and do the work it takes to refine us and heal us. It’s not something to rush past. There were days I didn’t want to get out of bed. One of those being the day I was supposed to leave for California. I didn’t want to get on that plane. I wanted to sit in my pain and in my confusion. But I couldn’t. Because I believe even in our deepest pain, joy is still possible and the key to breakthrough is to keep showing up. There were days I never thought the clarity would come. That I wouldn’t be able to get my hopes up again. But looking back in hindsight, I am now able to see the purpose through the pain. It was a journey, a journey that was filled with adventure and joy, confusion and hurt, but one that I came out stronger and freer. Pain and joy can co-exist.
The most refining seasons of our lives are not meant to harm us, they are meant to free us.
You see, I wanted to see myself as free for so long but I didn’t want to pay the cost. I couldn’t just pray more that I would have a deeper faith and become more spontaneous and free. I couldn’t just wish that I could take more risks. I couldn’t plan for how God was going to come through if I stepped out in faith and quit my job. The only option I had was to just do it. One risk after another. Quit the job. Say no to a good thing and say yes to the unknown. Say yes to moving to a city I never thought I’d come back to. Say yes to traveling even if it’s inconvenient. Say yes to 12-hour road trips just bc I could and didn’t need a plan.
Oh how I wish you were sitting here with me at my desk drinking a cup of coffee with me so I could ask you what those areas of your life you’re afraid of unlocking. The areas you want to be free in, but not sure if you ever could be. The dreams that no one knows about. The risk God is calling you to take. The city God is calling you to go to that you’re afraid to voice out loud.
I would tell you story after story of why it’s worth it. Of the goodness of God and how He always comes through. Abundantly more than we could even dream of.
So in my next post, I’m going to be sharing more stories about God’s faithfulness and what this season looks like now! But wherever you are and whatever you’re going through, feel free to shoot me a message if this related to you and let me know how I can be praying for you. We’re all in this journey together and need all the encouragement we can get. So don’t be shy and reach out!