The 4th of July always makes me feel free. Or, at least, it did.
Not so much because I’m free from England (I love England almost as much as I love America). But because it always made me feel like a kid–again. For me, childhood, is the time in my life when I “felt” most free. Or at least that is how I remember it. I also remember wanting to grow up so badly, so there is that. Perhaps for you, you felt most free when you left childhood and left home? When you were finally on your own. My childhood was good in that I had the freedom to be a kid, (despite my propensity towards play that always involved pretending to be older). Maybe, for you, childhood was some form of tyrnany?
It might be the recipe of sun, swimming, bike rides, a meal that is marked by a date and fireworks lighting the sky in colors and bursts of declarations.
I rely heavily on traditions. On some things–just one thing–remaining the same. The 4th of July and it’s ten-year-old freedom feeling for one. It’s always been my favorite, right after Christmas. “Fourth-of-July-Trina” they used to call me.
This year, nothing was the same, except for the pool that I swam in. We didn’t eat the same foods. The same people were not here. We didn’t see fireworks at the same place I’ve seen them at since I was seven. I “felt” 4th of July uneasy. I “felt” I wanted to fight change (as much as I’m learning that I’m no match for change). Yet, what I “felt” in the deep places of my heart was FREE….because I am changing. My heart being free is something I could not know at seven or ten or twenty-nine. But at 39 and 15 days I know something of it.
The fourth-of-July will just have to change with me.
Freedom doesn’t always “feel” free. It always comes at a price. At surrendering to change. At accepting something new. That doesn’t always “feel” great. But, oh, in time, it will. Toil and trial and tears. Yet, what precedes? Rest and promise and joy.
I don’t know what you are bound to. What constrains you. What weighs you down. Who has a hold on you. (Our circumstances may differ, yet bondage, no matter its varying shape or name, is always the same).
But I do know freedom is for you.
It is for me.
It is for everyone.
It was for freedom that Christ set us free (Galatians 5:1).
The fourth has come and gone. I don’t expect next year or any year after to be the same. But I don’t expect to be the same, either. I expect to be settled into this new found freedom. A freedom that was costly, but freely given to me. Freedom that I am, now, fully receiving.
This heart is beginning to feel rest and promise and joy. It has nothing do with hashbrown casserole, my Aunt Mary’s mini-cheesecakes, or a backyard I know like the back of my hand. But it does, rather, feel a lot like being seven–trusting my Father who will take care of everything that concerns me.
Free like the Fourth of July–ANY, and EVERY day of the year–the recipe is, simply, receiving.