Happy (in)Dependence Day, friends!

[note: blog redesign in progress. read my disclaimer here.]

I started out writing a post wishing you all a very happy Independence Day. To wax poetic about the cost of freedom, and the price paid by extraordinary men and women so that I can write a blog like this one, expressing opinions, sharing stories, and openly loving on Jesus all the while. I wanted to draw the clear parallel about a similar price paid by an extraordinary God so that we could know freedom in Him. All of it true, all of it challenging, all of it worthy of a blog post.

But I keep getting hung up on that word... independence

Every time I typed it, I was struck by the reality that while I love freedom (freedom in America and in Christ), I don't live a life of independence at all... nor do I really want to. As I wrote about Independence Day, I couldn't stop thinking about what life in community looks like. And how beautiful dependence on one another really is. And how desperately I depend on my Savior. And how I wouldn't change that for the world.

I think about the way I depend on my incredible husband... How I depend on him to do stuff like charge the air conditioner in my truck (in a Walmart parking lot in Evansville, nonetheless) so we don't have to ride home in 100 degree heat without a/c. Or the way I depend on him to love me, even when I am kind of unlovable. Or the way I depend on him to be there with an ornery smile, sharing the inside joke only he and I really understand. No, I wouldn't want to change that a bit. His dependence on me, and mine on him... lives intertwined so that we would be less without the other... I would not want to change that for the world. 

Or the way I depend on my friends to come through with a text message that makes me laugh at just the right moment. How my heart depends on their encouragement. The way I depend on them to challenge and sharpen me. A mutual dependence of love and respect. Community. Life without these people would be... too quiet. Too lonely. God speaks to my heart through them, and I would be less without their friendship.

But mostly, I think about my dependence on Christ. How many times a day I ask Him to help me...
Jesus, help me love this person well. 
Jesus, teach me how to seek your heart more.
Jesus, help me to seek YOUR approval, not man's.
Jesus, show me the next step.
Jesus, tell me how humility would respond.
Jesus, give me the strength to forgive.
Jesus, help me... Help me keep my mouth shut. Help me speak words of blessing. Help me rest in your joy. Help me keep my mind steadfast in you. Help me, help me, help me.

I know. I am really needy. 

And He is always there. He is always listening, heeding my cries for help. And I am so thankful... because I couldn't do this thing on my own. I couldn't raise children in the light of His love all by myself. I couldn't submit to the will of my husband (as good as he is) without clothing myself in the humility that comes from Christ.  I couldn't write these word without His inspiration and continual confirmation.  I couldn't chase Him with abandon if He didn't allow me to catch up to Him often enough to keep me thirsting for more. The Lord knows, I couldn't keep my mouth shut when my mind is firing appropriately sarcastic responses at warp speed without the whisper of His Holy Spirit showing me a better way. 

And perhaps more importantly, I couldn't be refined by my mistakes when I fail [almost daily] at these same things, without His grace.

I am striving to live a life in dependence on Him... a life lived (in)dependence of the One who knows the end from the beginning.

And the strangest thing is happening. The more I rely on Him, the more I look to Him for my next step, the more I count on Him to guide me... the more freedom I feel in my spirit.

As Misty Edwards sings... "it's an inside outside upside down Kingdom where you lose to gain, and you die to live"

It's a Kingdom where you live (in)dependence so that you can walk in freedom.

And not just the illusion of freedom. Not just a "getting to do what you want" warm fuzzy. But real freedom. Real liberty. Freedom that will cause your spirit to soar, and your fears to ease, and your love to grow, and your mourning cease. It is for FREEDOM that Christ set us free. It is for FREEDOM that He offers us the (in)dependent life.

Today I celebrate the country that allows me to live that (in)dependent life boldly... and I pray that you will join me on this wild ride in this upside down Kingdom... where we grow in freedom as we grow in our dependence on Him!

Happy (in)Dependence Day my friends!

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