Freedom Friends

We had a wedding coming up and I knew some friends would want me to dance. I reached out to my audiologist to ask for tips.

I have made incredible progress hearing with my cochlear implants and I have worked hard, but dancing at a wedding has been a mountain I have not been able to conquer yet.

I took the advice she gave me and placed it in the back of my mind until the wedding.

Dinner had been eaten and the music was going. People began moving towards the dance floor.

My heart began to panic.

I went to the ladies room and had convinced myself I was not going out on the dance floor. It was too hard for me, and I would look stupid.

I don’t use this word very often, but as I have been reflecting these last few months, I realized that some of those words that had been spoken to me by others in earlier days of my life, had become my identity.

Kids made fun of me in school. They mocked my slurred and nasal like speech. They looked at me funny and called me stupid.

When I worked at a local retail store, there were people who actually stood there and asked me if I was dumb or something.

This has translated into I AM stupid and dumb.

God showed me the reality about what had happened. This is why there is such fear in my heart about stepping out onto that dance floor.

When I came out of that ladies room, I attempted to sneak back into my seat and hide, but then I saw my friends waving at me to come out on the dance floor. Their actions said to me, “you can do this, we will help you.”

My friends moved to the beat for me, they helped me clap to the rhythm, and they cheered me on in my moments of success.

I have been thinking about this the last couple of days. My heart is full of love and I can be very generous with that love, but my heart is still very guarded.

I have had a few good friends over the years but not the kind of friends God has given me over the last five years.

I need to be able to enjoy these friendships in the deepest possible way, without my heart blocking it off because it feels unsafe or vulnerable.

I still need to be vigilant with my heart because there are those around who are not trustworthy, and don’t want me to succeed.

I have realized I can do both as God leads me by His Holy Spirit.

God is continuing to transform my broken heart into a whole one. He is providing Freedom Friends for me. Friends who love me like Jesus, ones who wave me on and encourage me to step out when I am afraid. Friends who help guide me in those areas of weakness and insecurity. ones who cheer me on to victory and freedom.

As God revealed the depths of these truths to my heart, I wept. Tears of sadness and grief for being stuck there, but also tears of thankfulness and joy for the way God has provided for me.

I am blessed beyond measure. God is truly redeeming my life for His glory, and He is going deeper in this healing process. He wants to do that for you, too.

Let me be a Freedom Friend for you, today.

I am waving at you. Cheering you on to step into those places you are afraid to go. Lean in on the Lord. He will guide you by His Holy Spirit and will be your strength in your weakness.

There is freedom in Christ! May we both live in that freedom today and then go out and be that Freedom Friend for someone else.