|Frankie off for a Walk photo:- Kate Bendon|
At this time last year, following the custom of receiving a word for the year ahead,
the word that came to me for 2014 was
It throbbed with promise as well as challenge;
after all who does not want to be free?
Knowing there are many definitions of freedom,
I need to tell you my definition in this instance is
the freedom to love.
Love alone can soar beyond the fear which keeps me shackled by my circumstances
and fastened in the narrow confines of my self absorption.
I have always coveted the idea of that sort of freedom to love.
I sensed fear would be the guardian that would march along in step with
any movement into freedom I might gain, and
I have certainly been forced to face many fears,
some of which I thought had been laid to rest.
The freedom has come
as I have seen myself no better and no worse for my continued weakness,
and learning yet again,
fear does not have the power to destroy me.
Only my avoidance of fear,
(refusing to face the issues it shows me)
can do that.
Whether I have grown in love I cannot say, but ending this year,
and taking stock of the freedom I have gained,
I am left with one giant challenge.
If love is ultimate freedom from fear as I have claimed,
how is it
I so often fear for those I love?
It is comparatively easy to see loved ones take their first independent steps away,
learning the coping skills they will need to face a strange, and often alien, world.
We usually learn the right moment to release the supporting hand;
when to wave goodbye,
even turning to look away when the time is right,
and learning our proper place on the sidelines of their lives..
Still, I admit to ongoing work on the journey into freedom to love,
because it's the letting go of the heart I find so hard.
Hubby reminds me how Mary,
pondered things in her heart".(Lk. 2:19),
and yes, it is often the way of women, (though not exclusively so),
to take things in, and to, heart.
For myself, I know I am not sufficient for what I tend to hold,
or for what can pierce my soul. (Lk 2:35).
The power I do have is in allowing my own human, even anxious, love,
to release loved ones to God.
It is a constant discipline;
a continual movement of trust.
Not a permission to worry in God's presence,
but a giving up of all I am, and all I carry.
It may be incremental
but it is part of a commitment to know the freedom I have been promised.
So, the "word" for 2014 will travel on with me.
Will there be one for 2015 I wonder?
How about you?