I sat across the table from a new friend of mine. Her own two boys snacking on breakfast, coloring, and playing with my son who I had brought along for the morning. There we sat talking of dreams, insecurities, struggles, and how God comes through. Always. I met Amelia last year at a Bible study, and today I wanted to learn more about her art, and life as an artist and mama. Amelia is an incredibly talented mixed media artist, telling stories through stunning layered paintings. It ends up she is not only skilled in telling stories through collage materials, resin, and paint, but also with words. I’m honored to have her share on the blog today.
“Mommy, you go away…” states my angry three year old as I once again tell him he can’t do something. I quietly mutter to myself “I would if I could, kid.” At this point in my exhausted and frazzled state, all I can think about is freedom from the day in and day out battle of raising two young children. An escape from this hard reality sounds like a dream. We all want a little reprieve from the mind bending, emotionally taxing job of forming our children into reasonable, civilized adults. Can I get a little freedom please?
My eldest son, six, runs out of the kitchen screaming. This happens at least every other morning often for unknown reasons. My shoulders slump in confusion and defeat. What did I do this time? Was it a sound? A smell? He has sensory processing disorder and we live and die by our sound cancelling headphones. On days like this, I pine after liberation from the struggles of this disorder. I ache for freedom from the frustration and endless questions that accompany our day to day activities. I know I’m not the only one who yearns for an end to their child’s struggles, be it physical, emotional, social, or spiritual. Wouldn’t it be nice to be set free from this?
In the midst of life’s very real struggles, we can be tempted to chase after a false sense of freedom. We often think that breaking free from one circumstance, habit, or person will change….EVERYTHING. That’s often what the world tells us, right? But, is that really what is going to make the difference? I often wonder….
250 mg/dl… What?! I had a salad today AND ran six miles! This is where I throw my blood glucose meter across the room. I have had type 1 diabetes for thirty years and I dream of a day when I can be free of the continuous food calculations, glucose testing, frequent doctor visits, low blood sugar episodes and feeling like an utter failure when all my efforts still go unrewarded by in-range readings from my meter. It doesn’t seem to be out of order to ask for freedom from a serious chronic condition…is it?
“We regret to inform you that your work was not accepted into….” gets really old after awhile. I’ve been a fine artist for ten years and no matter how many rejection emails, letters or phone calls one receives, they each hurt as bad as the first. I work with all my might to gain freedom from this rejection, pushing and stretching myself to become a more skilled artist in technique, content, and in marketing. I strive for acceptance and success thinking that this will finally silence the condemning whispers of those rejection notices. A little freedom from rejection, be it self-made or from others, would be so nice.
I think that I want freedom from my three year old, sensory issues, diabetes, and rejection. That doesn’t seem like a bad thing, right? It’s really not, but there is something very subtle and sinister at work here. Pursuing and desiring this facade of “freedom” causes me to ignore the very real and true freedom I already have. The thing that really does change EVERYTHING.
Jesus set me free a long time ago when my mom and I sat on the kitchen floor and I invited Him into my heart. Since that day, the door of my prison has been jarred open. Yet, here I sit in my self-made cell content to seek illusions of freedom when the real thing is right in front of me. Though my daily struggles are very real, I am indeed free…it’s time for me to fix my gaze on THAT and walk through that door that He has gladly opened for me. It’s time to believe Him at His word: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1) It is through this very real freedom that I am able to tackle every challenge in my life that seems so captivating and enslaving.
“What false freedom are you chasing after today?”