It was a moment I will never forget: standing around the counter at work, listening to a co-worker share about her debilitating anxiety and panic attacks. I took a deep breath, steeled myself for ridicule and condemnation, and said in a quiet voice, “I understand. I deal with anxiety and panic attacks, too.” But rather than condemnation and ridicule, I received empathy and connection. Even more, in that moment, like exhaling after holding my breath underwater for far too long, I experienced freedom. Freedom from the secret, the shame, and the loneliness of my burden.
That was a life-changing moment for me: that moment where I chose to be vulnerable and open my heart, and experience the incredible sense of freedom that comes from sharing my burden with others and discovering I am not alone.
Friends, in 2018, I want to experience that freedom more fully. 2017 left me feeling a bit banged up and worse for the wear, and I am ready to shed those burdens, be honest and vulnerable, and be freed from the chains that bind in different areas of my life. And so, for 2018, my word is freedom. Each month I want to tackle a different area of life where we get bound up, experience shame, and feel alone in our circumstances. Areas like money, shame, clutter, comparison, busyness…all kinds of stuff both internal and external. My hope is that we can connect, exhale, joyfully shed those chains, and exchange them for the sweet freedom that comes from not only sharing burdens but also the freedom that we have in Christ Jesus. I’m excited and looking forward to the journey!