So, I wrote this entire post about realness and freedom and then went and had one conversation with one really real sister in Christ and recognized my problem. (Well, one of my problems - there are more than one, many more than one.) I have not been completely real and therefore I am not "free".

I have had some time off from work this past week and it has been quiet. Really quiet. Me, alone with my thoughts, my prayers and my realness. Not always pretty or comfortable, I was driving between errands with the radio off (something I like to do a lot) and realized that I had all of this  pressure on my chest (anxiety?) because I did not/do not feel that I am really free.

A very recent and big decision in our family - mainly my decision - provided me with all of this extra "free" time to think and pray. I was anticipating plenty of time to evaluate and re-prioritize things but with that time to process, pray, listen and consider, why in the world was I still feeling so much pain in my heart.

My friend, bless her heart, came to stay the night and our conversation from the night before carried over into a deep, real conversation the next morning where I came to the clear realization of why I am trapped. I am feeling trapped because I am not speaking the truth in love. 

I thought that I was comfortable doing this but lately have realized how much more of a peacekeeper I am than I've wanted to be. I've been less honest and less real and less loving with people because of my fear that they will abandon the relationship when they hear what I have to say. 

The scriptures call us to speak the truth in love and to be peacemakers not not peacekeepers. In an effort to do the right thing and keep my friendships and relationships in tact, I've muted myself on some pretty important biblical issues and fed a growing pool of pride in my heart by stuffing 'the truth in love' and in attempting to keep the peace, to keep people happy and essentially to be liked. 

Dang. Really? Man, shoo...

I thought that I had conquered this after having been widowed in 2005. I had to stand up to and up against many opinions and make some unpopular decisions and was or at least felt that I was very unpopular with many. I did what I had to do and moved forward but have now come to see that I have not really outgrown this weakness in my character and faith which means I have much, much work to do.

The first step? I will be in prayer. On my knees this morning, I confessed this sin to God and asked Him to forgive me of my prideful heart and to help me have the courage to seize the opportunities that He has placed in my life to better and more righteously practice humility, to open my mouth and heart in a loving way and act according to His will.

"Perfect love drives out fear" though right? Today, I am fearful and insecure.  Insecure about challenging just about anything and as a result, being alone and then lonely. As I push and challenge myself and other women to be real and to be followers that are obedient to the Word of God, I know that I will grow in my trust of God and His perfect plans for me.

Pray for me as I take the steps toward living free in Christ.

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