Happy 4th of July! I pray you have found a way to celebrate the day despite how different things look this year. Even without the parades, concerts or fireworks (☹ I LOVE fireworks), today I am so thankful for freedom. Internal freedom. Peace.
This is my dad.
He was the most patriotic person I’ve ever known. He loved this country and he loved celebrating it. So he’d be really sad this year that he wouldn’t be able to see fireworks light his beloved Kansas night sky. But the thing I’ve been thinking about today was how completely free he was — on the inside.
Dad was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis at the age of 29. By the time he was 36 or so he had retired from his career as an attorney and was confined to a wheelchair, with eventual total paralysis. For the rest of his life, until his death at age 71, he had to depend on someone else for even the smallest movement.
Can you imagine having to ask someone to scratch your nose when it itched?!
He was … joyful!
My dad was able to find a way to accept his circumstances, to find humor in so much of life, even to feel “blessed” thanks to his relationship with God and his family’s love. So many people spoke at his funeral, but one person summed up his life well, saying:
“whenever I spent time with Hank I left feeling like I got more than I brought.”
I want to be that kind of person. Don’t you? I think it only comes if we’re free. Free of worrying what the future holds. Free of worrying what other people think of us. Free to be completely ourselves – and let others be completely themselves. Free of trying to measure up, be perfect, meet expectations (our own or others’). Even free of worrying about what GOD thinks about us (because thanks to Jesus, he is head-over-heels about us!).
Dad was able to find that freedom out of necessity – either that or go crazy I guess. But we don’t have to experience such challenges to find our own freedom.
We can start today.
Declare a revolution!
Fight the old way of thinking.
Shout the battle cry with me:
I AM ALREADY ENOUGH!!
(yes, we can change our behaviors, our looks, our careers, our relationships, etc. but NONE of those define us).
LET YOUR FREEDOM RING!
Commit today to yourself – and those whom you love – that you will seek out tools to grow in self-acceptance, even love for yourself JUST AS YOU ARE. That’s the first step in making any changes you’re hoping for in life and it’s the only way you’ll be able to truly – and FREELY – love others.
As always, if I can help in any way, reach out!
Standing with and for you,