Today’s letter comes to you from a friend I’ve logged many hours laughing with. She is the type of person who is authentic, unafraid to tell the truth about her self, and willing to step into someone else’s mess [including mine]. She makes up the best dance moves, always has a funny story to tell, and cheers on others. She might not have skills with lawn chairs, but she knows how it feels in low places. If you meet her for coffee, she will unashamedly tell you the lessons she learned in a season of depression and dismantling. Also, I definitely want to be in the car when she goes through the drive-through with fake teeth!
Dear Friends in Low Places,
Do you remember the days when you didn’t take yourself so seriously and the times when you didn’t feel the need to prove yourself or have it all together?
Have you forgotten how to have fun and simply enjoy your life?
You aren’t a slave to anxiety, fear, self-loathing, or doubt. Did you know that?
You’ve been set free!
A man named Jesus took care of all the things that enslave you to sadness, anger, hopelessness, and the life-sucking fear of what other people think.
When you trust Him with your heart and life, nothing and no one has the power to control you-or take your joy.
Yes. THIS IS REAL LIFE and it’s RIGHT NOW!
The “No Longer Controls You” list includes (but is not limited to):
FOMO (fear of missing out)
Perfectionism (your personal brand)
Fear of getting it wrong
Pressure to get right it
Fear of what “they” think
“What if” questions
Your past (including what happened this morning)
Satan and his Minions
Social Media likes, followers, subscribers
Expectations of others
Your own expectations
The Christian subculture
Body Image (Yours)
Body Image (Someone else’s)
Your Cell Phone
Let’s stop thinking God’s loving sacrifice and provision for us, through the person of Jesus, was to make us feel bad about our measly selves and chain us to a life of constant criticism and heartless rule-following….blindly handing over the control of our hearts and lives to anyone and anything that holds any level of power.
His intention was/is to bring us to Himself FREE & FULLY ALIVE!
That being said….
I, in the name of Jesus, give you permission to walk out of your prison cell. The door is unlocked and you don’t belong in there. Not to mention, it also smells bad, and you’re still wearing that ugly t-shirt with the pit stains from 12 years ago.
A few ideas on how to celebrate your reclaimed freedom:
• Roll around in the grass. If you live near a hill, roll down the hill. If this is too dangerous, just do a somersault. If that seems impossible, try it. You might surprise yourself. Cartwheels are for extra points. If you’re wearing a skirt then you don’t have to do any of these things because you are clearly living in freedom from pants and you are a gypsy at heart, so pick a wildflower, put it in your hair, and frolic through the streets.
• Laugh for a change. Like, with your belly. And don’t stop once you start. Let it take over your entire being until you look foolish. Do this again and again, and don’t feel bad when other people don’t “get it.” Extra points for snorting.
• Dance in the kitchen to a song that actually makes you go a little crazy. Socks are a must, especially if you have tile or hardwoods. If you want to go the contemporary ballet-ish route, throw on some Enya and do some elegant looking jumps and twirls. Be careful, or don’t. Dancing injuries make great stories.
• When you cook your next meal, pretend you are on a cooking show and give a play by play with a British Accent. (If you are already British, do a Southern Accent.)
• Push and ride your shopping cart all the way to your car in the HEB parking lot. If someone sees you, more points. I guarantee they will smile and it will disrupt their typical boring grocery store trip in the best way.
• Buy some flowers, put them in a vase (because let’s be honest you have 13 in your cabinet that you never use), and leave them on your neighbors doorstep. #sowkind
• Sing. Even if you can’t sing well. It doesn’t matter. Just do it. FACT: If you wave your hand around like Celine it actually makes you sound better. Extra points if you are in the car, singing a ballad and you touch your hand to the window, look out into the distance, and pretend you are in a music video. Double points if you can make yourself cry while singing.
• Wear bubba teeth in the drive-through at McDonalds. If you don’t go to McDonalds because you’re healthy by choice, now is your chance for a large order of fries in the name of freedom. If you’re healthy against your chosen will, go to Trader Joe’s. If your real teeth look like bubba teeth, then you are already doing this on the daily and I have no challenge for you except maybe #invisalign. (But you are free from my judgments so follow your heart on that one.)
• Run around your house naked. David danced naked, but I’m only releasing you to “run around” your house naked. Walking is fine too. Clearly this is an activity best done when you are alone in the house with the shades down. If this is too much for you, wear a swimsuit or an old Halloween costume.
Okay, I think that’s a good start. Let me know how it goes.
The point is, GET COMFORTABLE IN YOUR FREEDOM!
The joy of the Lord is your strength, not an unattainable luxury. It’s already yours. Give it an opportunity to spill out. Much of the watching world is bound by heavy chains of past indiscretions, deep wounding, and regrets. It needs to witness what activated freedom looks like. Your Father in heaven will no doubt be laughing with you.
Permission has been granted; now go.
Can’t wait to hear your freedom story!
Lindsay is a wife to Ryan “Hooch” and a Stepmom to two teenage dreams: Ava and Ella. She also has two dogs that are BFF’s — Layla, who eats money ($500 to be exact) and Sadie, who eats athletic shorts.
She works for a company called SummitTrek that restores businesses and leaders to their original intended purpose through coaching. She especially loves the LifePlan retreat that they hold twice a year at a ranch for anyone who wants to get clear on why they exist in the context of God’s larger story.
She loves horses, playing the guitar, going to the lake, good conversation with friends and YouTube videos where people fall (but don’t have any visible injuries.) She hopes to someday herd some sheep in New Zealand and learn how to cook the perfect boiled egg.