Living in a society that is constantly telling us who we should be, what we should look like, and what we should do with our lives can be so difficult. I want to share with you the things that I have learned about myself that have really challenged me to truly live free of insecurities, fear, and shame.
On my 18th birthday my best friend and I went to the local tattoo shop with a plan to get matching tattoos. We literally planned it that day. What we decided on reads, “Live Free” on our left arms. We chose these words because they are simple, inspiring, and reminded us of a favorite musician. Today, this tattoo means so much more to me and reminds me of the truth that I need to walk with everyday. “Live Free” reminds me of my freedom in Jesus Christ.
Know Where Your Freedom Comes From
“If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36
I come from a background of crippling insecurities. I hated myself so much that I couldn’t see how much God, my family, and my friends love me. I honestly couldn’t see purpose in my life and I have met many other people who can relate to these types of feelings. The first step to freeing your mind of these very false statements is to recognize the price that has been paid for your freedom. Jesus Christ paid the debt we could not pay. He died the sinners death on a cross in our place. That is where our freedom comes from.
You are Chosen to be Free
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free.” Galatians 5:13
If you’re anything like I was, you might have questions. When our minds are a slave to negativity, self-doubt, fear, etc. we might wonder why God chose us. “How could a perfect God love someone as messed up as me?” You might even be reading this and be thinking “I’ll never be free.” Sweet friend, freedom has already called your name. Love has already called your name. Jesus Christ paid the price of freedom while thinking of you. He has offered freedom to all of us freely. One verse that I often reflect on is 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us.” This verse tells me that I am loved. This also tells me that I should love others and myself. God chose you because He loves you, and He’s so proud of the beautiful you that He created.
Stop The Lies Dead in Their Tracks
“Finally, brother and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things.” Philippians 4:8
One of the most challenging lessons I’ve ever had to learn is that if I continually tell myself that I hate myself, I can’t forgive myself, and that everyone is judging me, then I will truly believe it. When people would tell me that I am beautiful, creative, and talented, I would instantly tell myself the opposite. I fixed my eyes on lies, when God tells me to fix my eyes on truth. If you want to live free, learn to recognize when a lie sneaks in and stop it immediately. This is something that you must work at, so start putting it into practice right away! As much as I love to say things like, “You can do it!” and “You’ve got this!” I must tell you that it will only happen if you wake up every morning with your mind set on changing. You most definitely can do this, but you have to fight when you don’t feel like it. I have learned and I’m still learning to fight my negative thoughts. My mind can only tell me what I allow it to tell me. What lies are you allowing yourself to believe? Stop buying into these lies and focus on the truth!
Free Yourself of… Yourself
“When you make things about you that are not about you, it’s a terrible burden.” -Sharon Hodde Miller
I recently read a 7 day devotion on the YouVersion Bible app called “Free of Me” by Sharon Hodde Miller. The way she explains the concept of not focusing too much on ourselves really opened my eyes to a new perspective. In the devotion, she writes that making things about us that have nothing to do with us can really wear us down. She says the statement ‘It’s not about you’ can actually be freedom. Those people who hurt you, abandoned you, or rejected you- know it’s not about you – it’s about them. Our relationships, purpose, and life is all about God – not about us. To me, this is so refreshing because it means I can hand over all the burdens that I have carried that I thought were about me or because of me. We have a Father who carries all the weight. Move your focus to Him.
Check out Free of Me by Sharon Hodde Miller to really dive into what to live free of yourself really means.
“You can’t be both awesome and negative. Choose one.” -Karen Salmansohn
I know that living free of insecurities, fears, shame, guilt, whatever it may be, is so much harder said than done. I want to encourage you to hang in there. Keep fighting, friend. I’ve seen the darkest of days and I’ve felt what it’s like to wish to have never existed. But I am here to tell you today that freedom is real. I know it’s tough, but know that freedom is near. You must reach out and grab it and hold on to the truth. This truth is that Jesus died so that you don’t have to feel the way you do. The sun goes down and the sun rises. Make the best of every opportunity and begin again everyday! I love you and I am so excited for what God is doing in your life!