Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Free From The Cages

Mark, the girls and I met some family at the zoo this past Sunday. I'm normally not a fan of the zoo. I'm not sure why. Maybe it's that I get a little bored with watching animals sit unmoving in simulated natural habitats. But this time, for some reason, some of the animals seemed a little more active than usual. The social animals seemed to be showing out. Even the gorilla was moving around and eating.

We eventually wandered over to see the tiger. To my dismay, he was almost hidden, lying against the back tree line. The area in which the tiger was contained seemed to be pretty small for such a large animal. My sister wondered aloud if the tiger ever wished he could just take off on a long run. Of course, in that environment, it would be impossible.

Yesterday I met with my counselor. We talked about some events that have transpired in my life over the last few weeks. She remarked that it seems like God is setting me free from all the cages that have contained me throughout my life. The cage that has held me longest is that of owning others' feelings. In that cage, I took blame and responsibility for every negative feeling anyone around me felt. I assumed the job of making those feelings disappear and replacing them with my own detriment.

Over the past seven months, I've been learning how to be responsible for myself: my feelings, my responses, my actions. In addition, I've been learning how to verbalize and internalize that I am not always responsible for other people's anxieties, worries, or hurt. In learning my responsibilites {and lack of}, I've begun to find a freedom, a lightheartedness, and an amount of creative energy I didn't know existed.

I don't want to be like the tiger, locked in a cage that simulates life, but without the possibility of running free. I no longer want to trade freedom for a secure environment.

After telling a friend about my counseling session yesterday, I was asked this question: How is your heart?

My heart is being set free and preparing to run wherever the Spirit leads.


  1. Oh how we are so much alike....I have carried other people's secrets, responsibilities and guilt with me for years. I too am in the process of trying to clean this stuff out. I am reading a book right now by Beth Moore, "So Long Insecurities" is great. I have so much growing to do on the inside but one cannot do grow if it is croweded with a bunch of junk. I tend to think of it as a garden that has been neglected for some time. The weeds have overtaken the flowers. I pray that you continue to grow and become free as you want to be! Love and miss you!

    1. Ginny, I love what you said: "The weeds have overtaken the flowers." What a beautiful analogy! It's so liberating to clean out space for the flowers to bloom, isn't it?!

  2. Freedom is such a relief when we finally let go and allow God to do a deep work in us. Good work.