As a Kid
Mama always told me the story of a kid who loved to swing. She said he got so high he flipped over the top bar of the swing set, got wrapped around in the chain, and broke himself up badly. I don’t know if it was a true story or one to make me slow my swinging down, but all it did was make me pump all the harder and fly even higher.
There was such freedom in swinging as a kid. Air blowing through my hair. The sky getting closer and closer as I stretched my toes out above the distant trees. Cloud formations came to life as I disappeared into a made-up world. Minutes turned to hours. And swinging set my spirit free.
As a Teenager
Hairbrushes served as microphones and the bed as a stage during middle school and high school. Music lit a fire inside of me that turned into a roaring blaze. Church choir and orchestra, concert and marching band, and the discovery of Christian rock n’ roll took me to places I had never been.
I won’t ever forget my first car. It was a three-speed Geo Metro that overheated in fast food drive-throughs, but it had a CD Player and speakers, and that’s all that mattered. I rolled the windows down, blasted the radio, and sang my heart out on all the country roads. Maybe it was the words. Or maybe it was the deep harmonies and rhythms. But music set my spirit free.
As a Young Adult
Pushing the limits, challenging traditions, and seeking adventure were the themes woven through my young adult years. I had to try new things and travel to foreign places. Comfortable and predictable was not the life I wanted to live. On the edge, questioning everything, and poking the bear was the thread I used to stitch the pieces together.
Every new ministry idea was a must do. Going to neighborhoods that were questionable was on the front burner. Challenging church traditions was always on my mind. The whys of life consumed me as I searched for meaning and purpose behind all my motivations. My desire for adventure and pushing the limits set my spirit free.
As an Adult
After accidentally buying a Jeep Wrangler online, confessing it to my husband through the sacrificial offering of a chocolate milkshake, and somehow figuring out how to ship it from New Hampshire to Florida, I discovered the deep joy of riding dirt roads with the top down and leaving all my worries in the wind. Countless hours were spent navigating the twisting turns and washed-out roads of our rural North Florida county.
Oh, the laughs and conversations I had with friends. So many stories and lessons were learned from those rides, especially when I argued with my husband about the chance of rain and left the top under the carport. Again. The visual of a drowned rat comes to mind. But the memories, therapy sessions, and realizations we discovered on those dirt roads stay with me to this day. That Jeep Wrangler set my spirit free.
As a Grown Up
The things that stir my soul are different now. I don’t have time to do all the playing I used to do. Responsibilities of being a wife and mother take precedence over much of the free time I once found wholeness in. Ministry, writing, serving, and household chores fill most of my schedule while family time takes the rest. And yet, I feel the most freedom I have ever felt.
See, what I didn’t realize in all the years before is that there is true freedom in surrender; and the more areas of my life I surrender to Jesus, the more purpose and peace I have in all that I do. My time. My life. My family. My writing. My ministry. My motivations. My past. None of these areas were mine to begin with; I just thought they were. But as I have surrendered them to Jesus, one by one, I have tasted a freedom I have never known.
Freedom in Christ. The freedom to lean on Him and trust His leadership with every piece of my life. The freedom to offer my past and ask Him to use it for His glory even when it means letting others see the all the broken parts. The freedom to offer my words and ask God to reach people I may never meet. The freedom to teach my children and train them up in a manner that is honoring to the Lord. The freedom to surrender my future at the foot of the cross and know that if it’s for His glory, nothing will ever be wasted.
This season of freedom is unlike any I have never known. Surrender has set my spirit free.
© Christy Bass Adams, 2021
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