Even typing that word congers up for me the images of all the things I love.
That word is super connected to my emotions and my affections.
If I am being honest, Freedom for me is completely tied to three things:
The past couple of days, its been entangled with my feelings.
If I feel good, if I am having a good day, if my "to-do" list is being crossed off, then I "feel" free.
Yet, I can't help but realizing in this process of trying to wrestle with living out God's freedom in my life, the things that hold me back to walking that way.
All three of these things super duper cloud my freedom vision.
For example, this past weekend, I just felt "off". I felt a bit "blah", un-motivated, less cheerful, way less confident, and not myself.
And of course, per that mood, when I sat down yesterday to write yesterday, I of course couldn't even come up with a good word or a well said thought.
Thus an "intended" Sunday series has now become a "Monday series".
Even now, I am experiencing that slight sense of inadequacy as I write.
Burdened by my feelings.
Burdened by my fears.
Burdened by my focus.
I rarely am burdened by my feelings.
It usually not my roadblock to freedom.
Even experiencing the slight mood change in my sprit was annoying to myself, I kept saying,
"Get over it Haley, Move On".
And yet, not until now, these past couple of days, have I seen what a complete freedom burner our feelings are to our lives.
These pesky things hold us back from so much!
We don't feel like going to church, to helping that person, to lending a hand, to sacrificing in this or that way, SO, we don't because we don't feel like it.
I am the guiltiest person ever for this.
And yet, God calls us to get over our feelings, our fears, and our focus (what's happening in our little world's) and calls us OUT.
To not be in slavery to these three things.
"Stand firm, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by the yoke of slavery".
For me, when I read that word again, I see it as a daily battle.
A battle of my will against the will God calls me to.
Sometimes there in step, and sometimes there on other planets.
Or mine is in Maui, and His, here in OC.
Call me to Maui Lord, Call me to Maui...
See, I think God's freedom like I said last week, draws us out of ourselves, into His Kingdom, and then sends us back out.
I can get really good at the first two steps.
The third one on the other hand I really, really struggle with.
When my "focus", my perspective from this little spot in suburbia gets entangled with
me, me, me, I can't see you, you, you.
And yet, the further on I press into Galatians 5, and the Word for that matter, the more I see how I am missing the point.
And, its not a big guilt trip I am laying on myself, but more of a charge, a call, and a burden (in a good way here) to serve.
The life I am called to, the "free-life", God's freedom is found in love.
"The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love"...
"Serve one another in love"...
"Love your neighbor as yourself"...
A free life is defined by those things.
Not my feelings, not my fears, and certainly not my focus.
See my view on "freedom" for so long has been so narrow minded and Me focused.
God's freedom is so different.
When we live and walk in His freedom, our feelings, our fears, and our itty-bitty focus is nothing compared to His Power, His Glory, and His Purpose for our Lives.
That thing I think He is calling me to, that person I know He wants me to help, that word I know He wants me to write, that story I know He wants me to tell, that dream I know He wants me to dream, that neighbor I know He wants me to hug, that child I know He wants me to help,
are ALL things I can't do with my
warm, fuzzy, hollywood perspective on freedom.
See that "freedom", my freedom, gets muddled in a tall glass of my fears of "what-if's" and my feelings of "not-good enough" and my focus of "too little time", "not enough resources" and "absolutely not enough energy".
And yet, then when I sit down, and I stop and pray and ask for my feelings to be replaced with His perspective, and my fears to be replaced with His Power, and my focus to be replaced with His Kingdom's, I feel un-stoppable.
All of us a sudden, life isn't so daunting.
His Power is that New Perspective I have been looking for.
My crazy search for freedom is found ironically where I should have been looking the whole time,
at the base of the cross.