Once upon a time, I began to understand that God was not nearly as interested in what I do as he is in who I am, and am becoming.
It was a seismic shift in the way I looked at my life.
When I realized he already accepted me as I am, and that his vision for me what more about moving in a direction, versus meeting a standard of perfection, I began to understand grace.
When I learned that he loved and delighted in me as a perfect father does his daughter, without me ever having to perform, I found freedom.
Recognizing these truths — I am accepted, loved, and cherished regardless of how well I behave or perform — was the catalyst for an entirely new level of life.
Because of these truths, I have found three words that I consider my mantra. They are:
“You are free.”
Since I’ve begun carrying this phrase with me through my days, it often feels like a rescue line thrown over the side of the good ship Peace + Sanity.
When I’m drowning in disappointment, resentment, fear, or insecurity, if I remember these words, all the weight falls away. The circumstances do not change, but my mindset does.
Instead of staying shackled by the circumstances, I remember that they do not define me, or my response.
I have been set free, if not from not the feelings themselves, then in how they hold onto me.
I am free from the past, because my guilt is absolved in Christ…and any wrong done to me in the past has also been paid for.
The day that truth broke over the landscape of my soul was a day that changed every relationship I’ve ever had, and ever will have.
When I realized that Jesus has already suffered for anything and everything that has hurt me, I found a new freedom to forgive.
I am free in the present, because even the difficulty, discomfort, or fear that wants to keep me company doesn’t have a ticket to ride. I can throw them off the bus, by choosing to remember that they only get to sit with me if I give them a seat.
From annoyance to tragedy, the daily occurrences that cross my path only get as much power over my spirit as I provide.
Remembering this is difficult, but it’s also a game changer when I do. These three simple words often flash into my mind at the height of hard moments — when I’m harried and hurried, or hungry for justice.
I am free…and I choose to continue to be when I take peace over the picture in my head of “how it ought to be.”
I am free in the future, because the one who made me free is the keeper of my soul. I will not walk through anything that he will not also walk through with me.
What I face tomorrow may be harder than what I faced today. But I’m free, and that doesn’t change based on what life throws at me.
Who I am tomorrow may look like less than who I am today. But I’m free, and that doesn’t change if everything else that has built me into the woman I am now suddenly disappears.
Feelings change. People change. Circumstances change, collapse, and collide. But Christ stays the same. And when my identity is found in him, then I am safe, and solid, and free forever.