Walk in Freedom by Juli Wilson

 
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Once upon a time, we were all separated from the life-giver. We followed what the world told us to do, and we measured our worth based on it’s standards. We were held captive by opinions, ideals and fear – the fear of not being enough, of not being worthy of love. Here’s the good news. Thanks to JESUS, we can find freedom. We can live an abundant life.

As believers, we tend to forget our freedom – sometimes unknowingly. We chain ourselves to the opinions of others, the expectations of society, and the never-ending pressure of creating the “perfect” life on social media. We forget who we were created to be. We forget our own interests. We convince ourselves that it’s okay to not like ANYTHING about ourselves, as long as we have the high of getting the most likes on social media. Does it really matter if we’re known? YES, IT MATTERS. Anyone can be admired, that’s easy. But to be known? That takes guts. That requires us getting down to the nitty gritty of who we are – the good, the bad and the ugly.

 

We’re told we’re supposed to be the beauty, the brain, the straight A student, the soccer mom, the “girl boss”, the trophy wife, the taxi driver, the super-attractive yet non-clingy girlfriend…the list just goes on and on. We’re supposed to have it all, tied up neatly in a size zero package with a perfectly manicured head of hair on top. At least, that’s what society tells us…that’s what our insecurities tell us.

 

If you could sit down and talk to younger me over coffee right now, you would find a girl that didn’t allow herself to fail. To mess up. To say the wrong thing. To wear the wrong thing. To look the wrong way. To admit her failures. To post a picture that contained a blemish. To have any flaws. To be HUMAN. Goodness, I probably wouldn’t even allow myself to have that cup of coffee, because it contained caffeine…and have you heard what that could do to your skin? Younger me didn’t have the courage to face breakouts. To face my fear of not measuring up.

 

I couldn’t let go of this image I had worked so hard to create, because in doing so, that meant I’d have to come to terms with who I really was, and that was terrifying. That involved facing my past, facing my mistakes and facing people as I truly was. Here lied an even bigger problem, though—I didn’t even know who I was. I had so carefully and intentionally crafted myself to be who everyone wanted me to be, that I forgot who I was. Who I was created to be.

 

A relationship status doesn't define you. A college degree doesn't define you. A job doesn't define you. Your worth is found in God alone.

 

You see, our world is in a bit of an identity crisis – much like I was for so long. We look to places like Instagram and Pinterest to fix our lives, but we don't notice they can only teach us skills like how to cook or put together the perfect outfit. They can’t give us a DIY method to fill our hearts, to fix the broken pieces of our lives. Here’s why…we weren’t made to do this thing ourselves, and that’s why God sent His son, Jesus, to fix things for us. To make the broken places whole again.

When life tries to knock you down, remember this…you have already been RAISED UP with Christ, and your seat in the heavenly places is saved – right next to His. THAT IS YOUR PLACE. Find rest knowing you don’t have to put yourself down anymore, you’ve already been raised up. You don’t have to try so hard to measure up, His grace fills in the gaps between you and God. He is your qualification. He is your identity.

 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,  in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Galatians 6:6-10

 

You ARE beautiful. You ARE good enough. You ARE worthy of love. You ARE more than your past. You ARE NOT your failures. You DO have a distinct, specific purpose. You ARE talented. You ARE important. You AREN’T defined by who you “should have been”. A relationship status doesn't define you. A college degree doesn't define you. A job doesn't define you. Your worth is found in God alone. Don’t give up on yourself. You are here to love, serve and share goodness while you’re alive, and to me, that seems like a life that matters. A life that is full of purpose. A life that just might change the world.