Wrapping up 2019!
We feel secure when we are bound together with people, places and things at times. Especially when anything truly knows us, gives us strength, provides us meaning and empowers us to be courageous.
Being bound is important, but when we choose to let loose of people, places and things that hold us back from who we are destined to be we are given an opportunity to release any binds holding us back.
Become the unbound light you are meant to be.
I believe there are times we need to be unbound. We need to not feel confined to a certain way of doing things and we need to free ourselves of anything that weighs us down.
As we finish unwrapping our gifts and begin to wrap up 2019, there are a few things I would like for us to consider asking ourselves before entering 2020 (don’t worry we have about five days to do this!) I would love to hear your thoughts on any of the questions shared here:
As we think about these questions, I encourage you to find a time and a place that gives you a sense of peace to be with yourself to reflect.
When I prepare for each year I start thinking about the binds I wish to have continue in my life that keep me secure and the binds that I need to release.
These binds that I wish to keep can be easily understood as well as heart wrenching if they are kept or released.
Secure binds that I wish to keep this year are the relationships with my immediate family and my enjoyment for activities surrounding health and wellbeing. The binds I wish to release myself from are environments that I feel are not inclusive.
My hope is to have my unbound light shared in the places that need it the most, to step out of my own understanding of what is right, to listen to God and the Holy Spirit who are guiding me to have open arms to all needing love. I will not cohere to environments that exclude others.
This quote by Abraham Lincoln had me thinking about what I will part from this year.
“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”
- Abraham Lincoln
For almost a half year I have struggled with where I will place my energies in listening to God and the purpose I am meant to lead. It lead me to a difficult decision the end of this year to leave my current church home that I have been a part of for three years.
Some of my reflections this year:
I have been struggling with my purpose for a few months now and trying to figure out where I belong as a member of a church. There are moments when I feel like I’m in a ditch because of my work with equity, diversity and inclusion. I have had friends close to me with various identities attend my church and have chosen not to attend (for example because of their sexual orientation and their family not feeling welcomed). I also have struggled with the importance of finding a place that embraces interfaith dialogue.
I truly believe as a light of God it is hard for me not to embrace various spiritual beliefs and to break bread with others around me who are different. On the daily I am working with colleagues who are Muslim, Jewish, international, gay, lesbian, transgender, black, brown, rich, poor, conservative, liberal, undocumented, and the list goes on.
Love is love.
I have spent so much quiet time with God trying to work through the decision to step away. I appreciate my former church and church family. My hope is to continue to have relationships with many whom are dear friends. My former church was the place in 2016 that ignited my relationship with God and broke my heart to love people. I appreciate and love them all so much and that they were open to hear my recent struggles.
God is in my ear telling me to use Jesus as my vessel to be the light while also embracing and loving all those who are different from me.
All of us are loved by God and being open to love everyone as the Samaritan did is important to me. Deciding to release myself from my former church hit me hard and continues to do so, it still has me on a roller coaster. I have cried hard in solitude, knowing it is God continuing to break my heart even more, God’s love encourages me to be courageous.
The question on my heart these days when I have conversations with God: What is the place where I can shine my light bright and embrace difference?
I will continue to pray about next steps and be patient. I will consider what I will bind myself to and what I will release myself from knowing I can exude an unbound light.
I have had so many friends all over the world with various identities and for many their foundation of their identity is being Christian. I will bind myself to opportunities where I will have Jesus be my vessel to love all and to environments that welcome all. It is not my place to judge right from wrong. I will make my voice heard and unbind myself from environments that are not welcoming to all identities.
This year for me the binds I’m keeping and releasing had to do with my spiritual and religious life. What part of your life are you considering to bind yourself to and what part are you going to shine your unbound light.
I ask us again to consider the following questions:
Remember you have always had permission to shine your unbound light.