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Free Yourself in the New Year

Back in the 90s, I used to love Smashing Pumpkins. Remember them? I would listen to the Mellon Collie & the Infinite Sadness cd on my Walkman over and over and over. I thought it was cool. And, I felt cool listening to it.

This particular year, my family spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta with our extended family. Feeling like I didn’t fit in, I spent a chunk of that time in the guest room with my headphones on and Smashing Pumpkins blaring in my ears. Minding myself in my own moment of escape, I was interrupted by my niece who was probably around 7-ish years old at the time. Being the wonderful aunt I am, I allowed her to put the headphones on just in time for her to hear the very beginning of the song Bullet with Butterfly Wings. Now, if you have never heard the song, it starts out solely with the words, “The world is a vampire…” before the music kicks in. While there is a deeper meaning behind the lyrics, let’s just say that is all my niece had to hear before she ripped the headphones off her ears and went running to tell everyone about the terrible song I let her listen to.


Smashing Pumpkins, 1995

Smashing Pumpkins, 1995

I don’t know why I always remember this. Maybe it is because I already felt uncomfortable or maybe it was because my parents had to question my musical selections to make sure I wasn’t listening to something inappropriate. Or, maybe it was just one of those memorable eye-rolling moments caused by my little niece running to tell on me for something I had done that the family wouldn’t be so proud of. (Side note – this is the same niece I now comfortably share deep conversations with. She’s a super good seed.)

So, why am I telling you all of this? Well, as I was getting ready to start my day, out of the blue this song popped into my head. There are many lyrics, of course, but as I sang through this line: “Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage…” I was oddly like yes! We are! WE are all just stuck in a cage that we can’t break out of. We get stuck in this human fight – fighting a battle we can never win. We are all held captive by the chains of a poor choices, our struggles, our life. We can get angry. We can get mad. We can try with all our might to break out, but we can’t. Not alone, anyways.

Not without God’s help.

Feeling Trapped

Many of us find ourselves stuck in a rut. We get up, go to work, collect our paycheck, pay bills… and the cycle continues. Life becomes all about surviving rather than living. And truthfully, I don’t think that is how life is intended to be.

It doesn’t feel so good to feel trapped, does it? Even now, with COVID-19 running rampant in our communities, we are trapped in our homes more than we’d like to be. We feel it. Our mind, our body, and our spirit. We want to break out. We want things to be back to normal. We want to be free.

Instead, we feel doomed and helpless. Maybe even a little hopeless. We feel like no matter what we do, we can’t change things. We don’t have the ability to control the situation. We don’t have the key to break out of the cage.

Feeling trapped does not feel good. Period.

God Can Help

When you hear the word freedom what do you think of? Is it slavery? The civil rights movement? Soldiers? Marriage equality? The falling of the Berlin Wall? The freeing of the Israelites? Democracy?

What does freedom look like?

Does it look like losing the binds, opening the cage door, and running free? Free to do whatever you want?

God will open the door of that cage and let you run free. He gives you that freedom. He breaks the chains that weigh you down.

When he sent Jesus to us – to die on the cross – he did so for our sins. We don’t have to pay for and suffer due to the way we live our life. Jesus paid that price – so that we could be free.

“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. God sent his Son into the world not to judge the world, but to save the world through him” – John 3:16-17

Think about this for a moment: How did you handle freedom as a teenager? Did you always do the right thing? Did you try to test the boundaries? As an adult, do you always do the right thing? Do you try to take that extra bite of chocolate cake when no one is looking? Do you leave your grocery cart in the parking spot because you are short on time? Do you tell your spouse you are putting your money in savings while secretly order something online?

Ok, granted, these are simple things, but the point is this: When we have the freedom to make choices and do what is right, we don’t always do so, do we?

It’s part of being human.

That’s why Jesus dying for our sins is something we should always be so grateful for. By nature, we are sinful. We always will be. But, no matter how many times we falter, the price has already been paid.

With the freedom God brings, your life can feel:

  • Satisfying

  • Joyful

  • Fulfilling

  • Brightly lit

  • Complete

If you invite God into your heart and keep him in the forefront of your life, you will truly feel free once and for all.



Know God and still feel trapped?

We can invite God into our life and amazing things will happen. Unfortunately, the feeling only lasts as long as we keep God first. Once we start to get wrapped up in the day-to-day life or get sidetracked by some new toy, we begin to feel a disconnect with God. And the heavy weights start resting on our shoulders again, little by little.

If you know God and you are still feeling a trapped, then it is time you re-adjust your focus. Spend some time with Him. Read your bible. Journal. Pray. Listen to worship music. Reach out in fellowship. Do what you need to do to get back in line with God.

If you need a guide, perhaps this printable will help get you started. Dust off your bible and start by spending at least the first 15-minutes of your day with God.

Ready to find freedom?

If you want to know God, ask him into your life, or simply have questions about what he can do for you, then reach out to me. You can send me a message and I will help you take that first step.

Alright, well – 2020 was sure a year for the memory books. Let’s pray that 2021 brings comfort, healing, and peace to the world around us. And, as always, freedom for those who are seeking.

Until next time… ❤❤


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