Monday, August 15, 2016

Standing in Freedom

Do you ever feel bound by rules and regulations? Tied to expectations? Chained to cultural and societal ideals?

Sometimes, just sometimes, does it feel like the weight of all of those things is just to heavy to carry? That the rules and the should be's and ought to be's outweigh the haves? Do you every feel like you are drowning in insecurity and bound up by feeling like you are just too much and not enough all at the same time?

I do.

All. The. Time.

God has been using fostering, friendships, wonderful women authors, and lots of life and faith shaking transitions to teach me about his grace and freedom. It's been a theme that has emerged in the last few weeks. One that seems to keep rising to the surface no matter how many times I try to stuff it down or tune it out with life's busyness. You know, when you randomly see a title of a book called "Wild and Free: A Hope Filled Anthem for the Woman who Feels she is Both too Much and Not Enough" you know God is trying to tell you something.

Am I enough? Am I too much? Am I doing everything I should be to be a "good christian."

I can't. I'm not. And Heck NO!

I can't live up to those standards, no woman can. From Pinterest to Facebook to Instagram to advertisements. It is absolutely crushing to try to be the "perfect" woman. And for the idealistic perfectionist with a plethora of insecurities you have a recipe for disaster. Utter disaster.

Be fit...but not too defined.
Be nurturing....but not smothering.
Get up early....even if you go to work at 5 am. Figure it out. Get up at 3! (Because everyone loves to get up 4 hours before the sun!)
Work.,,,only if you don't have kids...
Have babies....lots of babies....even if you hate kids or can't have kids.
After you have those babies...bounce right back to your size 6 jeans.
Manage your entire household, even if you and your husband both work.
Have pinterest perfect parties and don't forget to do a science or math focused craft or experiment every day.
Be meek, don't speak up too much or we will label you as a "strong woman" or and we all know what that can are out to usurp men's authority over you and you are most definitely not "submissive."

The list goes on and on and on.... Maybe you don't struggle with all of these. Or any of them for that matter. But we all feel it don't we? This feeling of comparison, of needing to live up to the expectations we feel have been set before us?

And then I got to thinking...But what does Jesus say? I know what books say and I know what prominent Christian pastors say, and I know what my own husband thinks...but what does Jesus think? How does he see this woman who likes to talk too much and can be awfully opinionated at times? Whose passion runneth over her cup like a toddler carrying grape juice over carpet.

This is what Jesus says...

Woman,.. I have set you free.
You stand in Grace. Not in shame. Condemnation is no longer your master. Stand tall!
You are where you belong no matter what other women (or men) may think,
I've given you a voice and a fighting spirit for a reason. These are gifts. Use them well.
Rejoice in the HOPE you have been given. (Romans 5:1)
No one is justified by rules (Galatians 3:11)
You are no longer a slave, but a daughter and an heir (Galatians 4:7)
For FREEDOM Christ has set us FREE...Galatians 5:1
Love covers a multitude of sins...Spread LOVE (I Peter 4:8)
Be a good steward of God's gifts... he gave them to you to use not to hide! (1 Peter 4:9)

And finally....the creme de la creme of all womanly verses...Proverbs 31.. Lets look at her, shall we?

v 10: She is precious. (Not unwanted. Not unworthy. Not too much. Not hidden)
v:11: Her husband trusts her...he is built up by her.
v. 13 She works hard at whatever God has called her to.
v. 16 She is cunning in business
v. 17 She is strong.
v. 20 She is generous.
v. 21 She is fearless.
v. 25 She is clothed in strength and dignity (notice this is the second time "strong" is mentioned)
v 26 She is kind.
v. 27 She loves her kids and they love her.
v  31 Let her be rewarded for her hard work.

Does that seem like a quiet, meager woman?

No. She is strong. She is brave. She is seen and known. She is worthy of praise and affirmation for her hard work.

She is free.

See, I am convinced after reading Wild and Free that if we got this, if we really understood it, comparison and jealousy would be a non issue. Feeling of unworthiness or obnoxiousness would be dissolved and we would be living the lives God intended for us from the beginning.

Standing in the rain of grace overcome by joy in the truth of freedom.

I think I'm going to try it...will you join me?

Also. Go...Buy this book now. Like yesterday...

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