one word: freedom

last year i had some issues. i felt myself feeling restricted, stuck in a box, trapped in habits…and i can’t stand the thought of any kind of bondage. i desire freedom. i too easily fall into lines of legalism: dos, don’ts, musts, can’ts…so i do what i can to avoid it. growing up in an environment of restriction and legalism and spiritual abuse has turned me fearful into falling back into the old habits.

it’s hard to know when to draw the line. keeping what’s healthy and dismissing what’s not. staying motivated enough to keep up. my bible studying habits have suffered because of my fear of turning it into a chore:  i must do this a certain way and i can’t use that and this is the routine i must keep and if i fail in any which way or break a personal rule then…well, you can see the issue.

so in my effort to free myself from…well, myself, i stepped back a bit and tried to simplify. i tried not to heap so much guilt on myself when it didn’t happen…and then it started to NOT happen very often at all. my prayer life and relationship with Him didn’t seem to suffer, but i started starving myself, and have been since wondering why i’m suddenly so indifferent and frustrated. how could i have allowed it? getting to know Him is one of the most precious privileges i had come to love and crave…studying His word is a beautiful, beautiful thing. when did it start becoming a burden? how could i take something so wonderful and turn it against myself? really, i’m just ridiculous.

God is not a God of bondage. He set us free. He is also not a God of fear, and yet somehow that has crept its way into my life again. maybe i need to take a look at how the spiritual abuses are still affecting me.  i’ve had to be so diligent in so many areas of my life in my recovery to not fall back; it’s a constant thing, and it just seems like as one layer is peeled away, another is revealed. so here i am again…

so, while i’ve been opposed to making any kind of resolution, i am determined to deal with this. to achieve freedom spiritually, emotionally, socially, etc. because, really, the more i think about it, i’ve got a deeply rooted issue here.

(and now i have the mental picture of mel gibson screaming in my head.)

so, here’s to my one word: FREEEEEDOOOMM!!!


i blame the OneWord365 initiative for this. i fought against the idea for a while, because, well…i didn’t want to be committed/restricted/on a bandwagon/whatever. and i actually had a different word to begin with, and then found myself fighting against the idea of changing it to this.

so…while i’m a few days late, here goes…

the cheapness of christianese

i’ve recently learned that there’s this ideology that once you join a denomination, you’re supposed to be committed to them forever.

call me uncommitted or disloyal or whatever, but i can’t help myself. there’s a much broader perspective that i want to take. the body of Christ is universal. while we share different characteristics when it comes to culture and race, at our hearts we are children of God. i am committed to God, not a denomination. i want to love His people everywhere, for all their differences. we are a family.

many a time have i come to question things i once thought were “christian” (and this more lately than ever): things that were taught to me, passed from person to person because no one thought to actually read the Bible for what it says, rather than for what we want it to say. tradition has too easily trumped truth. all those cheap, “christian” cliches are so much easier to accept than the actual truth of God’s word. i am trying so hard to break myself from it. the lies of spiritual abuses have a way of tangling themselves within the roots of everything i am. when i yank them out, i feel like i’m tearing away a part of myself. they are so hard to identify sometimes.

i will never agree with every doctrine or interpretation of any denomination, but i’m having to train myself into not letting that separate me from other children of God. still, at the same time, i feel so distant from so many who call themselves Christians. i have a hard time understanding why they can’t think for themselves. how they so easily fall into fads and are so bigoted and argumentative. too often do i have to bite my tongue and look at myself before i criticize.

who am i to judge? i will never know it all. i will never be always right. but i will never stop growing, i will never stop seeking. what i think is right today, may end up being wrong tomorrow. and that’s ok! it’s ok to be wrong about spiritual things. what  i’ve learned is that i must be open to the changes God wants to make in me, even as it conflicts with my so-called identity.

i don’t know what i hope to take away from my little experiment, but i wondered at why i felt a bit of freedom and refreshment when i decided to take a step out of the box…


seek for yourself.