Unshackled.

I am free

  • From condemnation.
  • To drive when and where I want to go.
  • To write what I want to write.
  • From feeling less than.
  • To eat what I want to eat.
  • From control.
  • To spend how I see fit.
  • From sarcasm and put downs.
  • To enjoy every little thing.
  • To complain to someone who will listen and care.
  • To look forward and not backward.
  • From worry about tomorrow.
  • To enjoy life as it has been given to me.
  • To suffer or benefit the consequences of my actions and words.

I see the limitations of his eyesight, his decline into old man, his dependence on his children to help him walk and balance. He sometimes needs others to explain exactly what he is trying to see, or where he is going, or where he is.

I recollect now the feelings I had as I watched my own Mom decline into old woman in a span of just a few short weeks. Her skin tone changed, her eyes clouded over, her confusion more apparent as she slipped from this world and prepared for the next. It was the beginning of her physical unshackling, her journey to freedom.

He is on his way.

As we all are, in our own journey.

It may be a physical unshackling of this life. It may be a mental unshackling as we break free of the chains that bind our thoughts that weigh. It may be an emotional unshackling as we let go of the hurts and pain of our past. It may be a deliberate unshackling of the present mess and chaos that envelopes us daily.

It is a journey and a process to unshackle and grasp the words and grace of John 8:36.

I walked out of the assisted living facility on Tuesday evening after calling Bingo for my old man and old woman friends. Cindy, one of my friends who is not so old but can no longer physically care for her body breaking down, had already made her way out to the front porch to smoke and enjoy the end of day in the cool evening. I looked out towards the parking lot, and there in the distance, was a familiar and welcome sight in the Kansas City skyline. Two hot air balloons suspended against a brilliant blue sky…

“They are so beautiful and peaceful to watch. That would be the ultimate freedom,” she said.

Ahhhhh. What an image.

I am so very grateful today that I am no longer shackled and labeling myself as

  • unforgiven
  • the one who sinned.
  • rejected.
  • unworthy.
  • unloved.
  • not good enough.
  • not smart enough.
  • one of “those” people.
  • the one with no degree.
  • the ultimate martyr.
  • seeking revenge.
  • a failure.

I am forgiven. And even though I am one who sins and sometimes slips back into my limitations and chooses to wear the shackles of guilt and shame, I am not rejected, I am worthy, I am loved, I am good enough, smart enough, and doggone-it, I like me.

And so does Jesus. I am not a failure. I am on my journey, un-tethering daily from the ropes and chains that have held me down. Unshackled and free.

I am grateful.

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