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Freedom-in-Chains-Interior-small.jpg?format=originalAs I scrolled through my Facebook news feed, I came upon a link to a blog that I follow…If Meadows Speak”.  As I read her words it triggered something down deep. A memory of thirteen years ago.

It was the word she was given; “outward”…

Suddenly I was transported to the days of inconspicuous living.

It was a life lived, but went mostly unnoticed – by me.  And this life was mine. How does this happen? How do we live our lives and yet not notice…

Encounters left as unremarkable. Accomplishments brushed aside. Goals sidelined.

I was living, but living inward. Chained by insecurity I walked though life begging not to be noticed.

Now to encounter me, that would never be evident.  When young, I was popular, a cheerleader, and yes, homecoming queen…but if one would have looked close, if one would have taken time to prod and ask questions, one would find the thread of insecurity woven in the fabric of life. My life.

Who or what put the chain there is yet to be determined. I always remember feeling the heaviness it placed upon my chest.

Barely able to say my name in public, a false face of confidence was put on and away I went to live; inwardly.

Dreams pushed aside.

“God change me”.

That became my prayer. I wanted to be different.

I remember the day God broke in to my inward living.

He was quite discreet leading up to it. He’s clever like that.

I was driving home. I had shopping bags in my backseat. One held a plaid coat. One held black boots. The last held a black sweater with a leather belt and a pair of camel pants overlaid with a lace motif.  Disclaimer, this was thirteen years ago, so don’t judge me… 

Looking in my rear view mirror into my backseat I realized this was not me. I was not the girl with the shopping bags. What was happening to me?

Trying to be what I believed at the time:  to be a good christian woman, wife, and mother did not include shopping, at least for me… that would make me self centered and selfish, not to mention materialistic…right???

So, as I began to weep over my horrible state of “christianism”, I heard God speak…

“You asked me to change you.”

What?

“You asked me to change you.”

But I thought…I thought you would make me sweet and quiet and soft spoken like all of those other good christian wives and mothers…

Without warning He broke into my life and did the unexpected.

He showed me the beginning of living outwardly.

He showed me a side of me, that I didn’t know existed. I felt twinges of this girl down deep, but to become that girl… well; out of the question. Or so I thought.

He showed me a girl who; dare I say it?  I liked. I liked me as in, wow – I am pretty much okay! I liked my plaid coat and lace pants with a bit of the added edge of leather…

There I said it…

I. was. okay.

What freedom.

I realized it was more than okay for me to be me.  It was demanded of me by the One who created this crazy being that went by the name of Tracy.  The one that likes fashion, speaking, writing, cooking, baking, being silly, being tough, being quiet and feminine, loving Jesus like crazy and loving those around me because well, they are okay too…

and sometimes we just need to know we are okay…

Are you ready? Are you in? Will you do it?

Make it your plan for this year…

LIVE OUTWARD!

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