I remember going to church for the first time two weeks after having my first daughter. I got up, got dressed, did my hair and make-up and wore the cutest green dress with brown sandal heals. I remember people saying how great I looked for just having a baby and feeling so good.
Later that day I went home and changed out of my church clothes. Now if you know anything about a post baby body, you know that I took off my dress and like 3 layers of spanks! Then I put on some sweatpants and a t-shirt and walked into the living room to spend some time with friends.
‘WHOA! What happened?!’ One of my friends shouted (literally, he was shocked)
I looked at him, looked at me, looked at him.. ‘What?’ I said.
You see he saw me moments before all done up, layered in spanks, everything tucked and sucked away but now, I was in my truest, freest form, and there was a stark contrast between what I projected and what I really looked like.
I remember thinking that day, WOW. The efforts we go through to conceal, to hide, to provide an illusion of ‘put together’…
Hiding takes more effort than it’s worth. It’s restricting, it’s constricting and downright confusing to those around you.
It’s funny when we think about it like this, but how many of us are hiding within our own skin. We’re hurting, we’re offended, we’re broken, we’re scared, we’re confused, and the list goes on, but as long as it LOOKS good on the outside to others, we just keep on going.
We keep on showing up, with spiritual and emotional spanks on, hiding it all away and it might look good on the outside, but on the inside, we’re dying. On the inside we don’t feel good anymore.
Over the last few years, slowly but surely I’ve been putting in the work to deal with my inside. To find healing and freedom from things that have held me hostage for far too long. Facing things I never wanted to look at. Having conversations with God about myself that were tough but led me to the freedom I needed.
How exhausting is it to live at the mercy of our cover- ups? How exhausting is it to seek and search for something or someone to fill the void or to give us the confidence we need only to be disappointed when it just doesn’t last?
I’ll tell you what- I am not where I want to be in all areas of life but can I tell you that I have more confidence today than ever. Not because those ‘things’ that make us confident are in order, but because I’ve realized those things are accessories to me, they don’t define me.
So to you, living broken and tired, wondering if you’ll ever feel better, I say; YOU CAN, and you will! But you’ve got to be willing to put in the work!!
Freedom feels good friends!
When you no longer walk in fear of failure or rejection.
When you no longer feel insecure about everything from your body to your abilities.
When you no longer look to the people around you for affirmation but allow God within you to affirm you.
When you no longer feel the need to compete or prove something to someone.
When you no longer care what the whispers are saying about you.
When you no longer long to fit in but yet, you do! People love you because YOU love YOU!
When you can speak from your heart and not your hurt.
When you don’t hate the skin you’re in, you’re actually thankful for every part of your body, including the skin you’re in.
When you lift your eyes and know, it is well.
I’ve spent a lot of time in my life trapped. Trapped in my own thoughts and feelings, trapped in my fears, trapped in my insecurities, trapped in my offense, trapped by the idea I had of what things should be like. But can I tell you something? I’m not anymore, and freedom feels good. In fact it feels AMAZING.
I’m not saying everything’s perfect or that I don’t struggle, I do. But stuck is no longer my standard of living. I’m free from that! And when you’ve been stuck for long enough you know that ‘coming to the light’ feels so good. The warmth, the clarity, the beauty of it all.
Freedom feels so good, but you have to fight for it!!!!
Before I go I want to give you three practical steps you can take towards freedom. This isn’t an exhaustive or all inclusive list. Just 3 of the many things that have helped me tremendously.
1. Face It. Literally. In order to find freedom you’ve got to face your fears. Those things that linger in your heart and mind, face them.. and when you do, you disarm them. I’ve told myself a million times in the last several months ‘even so, God is still good.’
Why? Because it’s important to me to know that no matter what craziness life throws at me, God is still good. He’s still for me, He’s still with me, He’s still in me and when I can hold my faith, I can lose my fears.
2. Get moving! I’ve been ‘doing things’ lately. I’ve been getting my body moving, my heart racing, ladies if you’re married, have more… you know, fun, with your husband! Dance with your kids. Go for a walk. Get on a cardio machine. Do some squats. Actually move your tired, stuck body. And as you feel yourself begin to break free and move freely, you actually set your mind free to do the same.
3. Small and steady wins the race. It’s all about momentum ladies. Build it! I started with small steps, ONE BY ONE. And then built onto that. Don’t go trying to give yourself a whole new life. That’s not going to work… Start small. The first thing I did was start intentional devotional time in the morning, I did well with that and then built on. I started doing cardio 10 minutes a day, then making my bed every morning. Sounds small, right? But these small, consistent, changes have meant building momentum and gaining confidence.
So what’s your takeaway? How can you move towards freedom? What new practice can you implement? What old practice needs to be stopped? Think about it! Hold yourself accountable. And lastly, let me know! I’d love to hear from you.
Pray and slay!
xx .. LB