Thursday, February 7, 2013

being brave and finding free.

Sadly, dear friends, I think I've outgrown the princess moniker. I remember the day that I started blogging at this sweet blog. I remember thinking long and hard about a name for this little spot on the internet. For the eighteen year old, Freshman in college..."Not Your Everyday Cinderella" seemed like a perfect name. It had just the right amount of sparkly fun. But, I think that the princess era of my life is coming to a close. I'm growing up. I'm not the same girl that I was almost four years ago

Seriously. This girl was cray-cray.
There have been many times when I contemplated changing the name of my blog, but it never seemed right at the time. It never seemed like the right time, the right name. But, three weeks ago, a name came into my head. For a moment, I thought that it was meant to be the name of a new blog. But then I realized that it belonged right here. It belongs right here in the middle of this sacred space. As much as I want to cling to my eighteen year old self, I'm learning that growing up might not be so bad after all. Growing up means new adventures. Growing up means learning what life really is...what free really means. I've been putting this post off for awhile now. I knew that changes were in store. But this little post from Annie was the straw that broke the camel's back. This small line at the end of her post was what hit me in the heart this morning: 
be brave, small soul. let Him turn you over and make you brand-new.
Be brave. Let Him make you brand new. That's what I want to be right? Brand new?  A new creation? But, this is a painful process. It kind of hurts. It hurts to be real and honest. But, secrets don't bring freedom. Secrets bring shame. Secrets bring guilt. Secrets keep us entangled. Secrets keep us in chains, in bondage.They hold us back. They keep us from living...really living! But, being open and real and honest and admitting that we have struggles? That we have strongholds that bind us? That brings freedom.

The new name of this little space on the internet is "Finding Free".The title is inspired by Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". My favorite part of the poem is the last two stanzas:
But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing 
The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.
The truth of the matter is: I feel like I'm that bird standing on the "grave of dreams" with clipped wings and tied feet. I feel like giving up some days. Sometimes the struggle to live and breathe and function seems to be too much work. That's why I entered a treatment program for eating disorders a month ago. For the last four years, in addition to keeping up this blog, I've struggled off and on with anorexia. It's easy to hide things when you feel like your whole life is a secret. It's easier to not let anyone know that you're struggling. But, over the last few months, things hit a breaking point. I wasn't able to hide my secret struggle anymore. I felt so ashamed for living this way. My secret was killing me (literally). So, I finished off a rough last semester to complete my degree, and then I entered a program to help me recover. It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made. Recovery? Is ridiculously hard. But, I'm finding free. And even though I'm not free yet, I'll sing the song of freedom from my cage, because I know that redemption is coming.

I'm learning to love and trust myself in a way that I never imagined. I'm finding what "free" really means. Life isn't just about growing up, moving out of your parents' house, getting married, buying a house, giving birth to 2.5 babies, and working at a job you hate until you can retire. Life has to be something more. There has to be a purpose for living- a passion behind what you do. I think that when you live life in this manner, it won't matter how the details work out. It won't matter what kind of house you have, when you get married, or how much money you make. It won't matter what color the walls of the foyer are painted or how many smocked dresses your precious baby girl owns. What matters is that you are FREE. Free to be the person that God created you to be. Free to travel, explore, and have adventures wherever life takes you. A life lived "free" is a life without limitations. It's not limited by false ideals of perfection. It's not limited by what other people may think. Finding free means learning to embrace life at it's fullest. It means running with the moment and enjoying what each and every moment brings....the good and the bad. It means shifting your perspective to focus on the positives of the situation, even when everything is falling apart. It means living for today, and letting tomorrow worry about tomorrow. Finding free means running in full pursuit after the coattails of the creator of the universe. It means dancing in the fields of wildflowers...even if they make you sneeze. It means fighting for life with every fiber that you've got. It means clinging to faith when you have nothing left. I may be standing on the "grave of dreams" right now, my voice may waver with a "fearful trill", but it's okay...I'm singing of freedom. As the Beatles' put it in their famed "Blackbird", 
Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
I may be broken. I may be down. But I will rise. I'm finding free.


  1. First off I LOVE YOU!!!! But you already know that. You mean the world to me. And I am so glad you are getting help and finally being "free"!! I loved this post as much as I love you which is a lot!! :).

    Love your love fern!! Haha