I have struggled to write this blog because I don't even know if I have the words. Nevertheless, this part of my story deserves to be chronicled.
If this journey has taught me anything it's that freedom has levels. And every time I think Jesus couldn't possibly make me feel any more free, He proves me wrong. Sometimes Jesus sets us free from prisons we don't even know we are in. I have always wanted to live without regrets but until this month I would have said that it wasn't possible.
It's been a crazy rough road. I never even thought I would live this long because my soul was exhausted, and my heart was scarred. Even after Mercy, I lived in self-protection because I was always scared at any moment these memories might be snatched from me.
During my Mercy journey, outside of my parents my brother was my biggest supporter. After Mercy, I asked him if he thought all this change was temporary, he said "Don't take this the wrong way but something happened to you, you're not the same person."
The past 5 years I have clung to those words. Stepping on campus, on the bus, back into church, every time I take a chance and am scared to be vulnerable I remember I am not the same person.
That reality was fully revealed to me when yesterday morning I woke up and thought "I am independent enough."
Never in all my 26 years did I feel like that were true. And, so much of this realization came from my conversations with my brother and sister in law over the past year.
I always thought independence meant being alone. loving people but not letting them love me back because that might mean I needed them.
Geoffrey told me this independence was selfish because Jesus gave us gifts to share, and if we are not sharing we are sinning. I had never thought of my desire for independence as a sin.
Geoffrey and Sarah have shown me that independence can look different. It can look like having your own time, but knowing sometimes you need time with other people.
Independence can look like love that is unconditional, truthful, consistent and grace-filled.
Independence looks like love without regrets. Because love means I want to help you, not that I have to.
The main difference in me is that I have nothing to prove. Not to my family, not to my friends, not to Jesus, not to myself. I. Am. Enough. I am not perfect, but I am enough to be loved, and there is such peace in knowing that.
I still have a long way to go but for the first time I feel like I can be free from complete, isolated, independence. This, my declaration of dependence, on Jesus, on family, and friends, has never felt so wonderfully worth the risk. I will never regret loving, wholly, completely, dependently, because I am independent enough.