It’s July 4th, 2015 and I am finally sitting down to write my first official blog post for the “Lici Joy Project.” Maybe after many more cups of coffee I’ll attempt to sit here and explain exactly what the “Lici Joy Project” is and why I made that the title of my blog. Alas, I have only had two bowls of coffee and deep thinking is alluding me today, so until I explain the “Lici Joy Project” you’ll just have to use your imagination, eh.
Today, our nation is celebrating its independence. Each year we celebrate the freedom that was hard won through battle. It is a day of great celebration, of remembering those who have fought and died for us, of eating things that seem patriotic (I’m thinking trays of fruit made to look like the American flag…which sound really yummy right now), a day of fireworks, and a day of being proud of the country we call home.
It occurs to me that as I celebrate being a proud member of the United States, the freedom I should celebrate every day is an even harder fought for and won freedom.
And with that, welcome to my cozy corner where I drink coffee and have a conversation with the unseen blog readers….whoever and wherever you are. Go get a cup of coffee and join me.
You might ask, “What freedom is it that you speak of? What freedom is harder fought and won than our nation’s independence?”
And I might respond…..after two bowls of coffee….
I speak of the freedom of my soul that was hard fought for and won by my Savior, Jesus Christ.
I don’t know about you, but my life has not been easy. It has been plagued with loneliness, depression, trauma, heartbreak, bitterness, an unforgiving spirit, disability, addiction of sorts, and even suicidal ideation.
For the longest time I lived in my own self-imposed prison. It was a prison made up of bars of “I was’s”.
I was the victim. I was the one who had a right to be angry. I was the one who did not need to forgive because those who hurt me didn’t seek forgiveness. I was the one who was badly created. I was the one who was suffering. I was the one who could see no point in living this miserable existence they call my life.
I found that there was freedom.
There was freedom in knowing that God made me a conqueror.
There was freedom in seeking peace.
There was freedom in forgiving….even when those who needed to be forgiven had not sought forgiveness.
There was freedom in knowing that God created me just the way I am for His divine purpose.
There was freedom in knowing that Christ, who being in very nature God . . . “did not consider equality with God as something to be grasped, but instead emptied Himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:6-8).
Then you could ask, “How does knowing Christ died on a cross give you freedom?”
I could then answer, …..
I know I am not enough, nor will I ever be enough. I know that I am guilty of all sorts of things. I know that on my own, there is nothing good in or about me. I know that on my own I do not have to strength to forgive. I know that without the peace that comes only from having the Spirit of God alive and active in me I am a frantic-anxious-overburdened-addicted-to-the-things-of-this-world-angry-bitter-depressed-suicidal-sinful-disaster-not-worthy-of-love.
Yep, without the knowledge that Christ died for me; went to hell to bear the burden of my sins; that He took my punishment; that He chose to do this of His own free will; that He conquered the grave; that He rose again; that He sent the Holy Spirit to live in me; that the Holy Spirit has made me His temple; that I am chosen by Him; that I am completely forgiven; that I am free from the eternal consequences of my poor decisions; that I am a child of God; that I am holy and dearly loved; that God has a plan and purpose for my life; that I am a citizen of heaven; that I am FREE because of His sacrifice!….without that knowledge I might as well be dead. (Lots and lots of Scripture references…..)
I am FREE because He set me FREE.
I am FREE because He sent His Spirit to live in me.
I am FREE! (Romans 8:2)
So today, as I celebrate being a citizen of a free country, I also celebrate the freedom that comes from being a citizen of the greatest family that ever was or will be….I am a citizen of His family!
Be encouraged, for there is freedom to be found in Christ!
Lici Joy, The Coffee-Guzzling-Truth-Telling-Joy-Finding-Polka-Dot-Fanatic