Tag Archives: freedom of movement

Freedom to Move Forward Part II

south sudanI did something brave.

Different.

Unexpected.

(If you haven’t read yesterday’s post, this one won’t mean as much, so check it out!)

Just over a week I was surprised by the desire to visit a third world country as part of a team reaching out to spiritual leaders of a new country learning its freedom.

While I have long desired to serve others and even wished I could meet special people, like my World Vision “daughters,” I’ve never been one to jump at the idea of this sort of thing. Europe I’ve dreamed of visiting. Third world countries? Not so much.

But I couldn’t resist the truth: I was interested, longing to go, even.

But my mind went other directions, and I let the thought drop for over an hour until I “accidentally” stumbled right into the informational meeting about this trip.

Again intrigued, I stayed. Longing. Wondering.

I came home and went on-line to check out the application procedures. My computer wouldn’t let me into the system, and I walked away frustrated. Ended up in bed sick the next day and dragging for several after. But always in the back of my mind the desire lingered.

I prayed. Asked friends to pray. It seemed too big a decision to make without one of those huge, red check marks in the sky beside the “yes” (not that I’ve ever had that exact cosmic direction, but you know what I mean).

800px-Village_in_South_Sudan

As real life got in the way I assumed this, like many of my ideas (I’m pretty impulsive and interested in many thing!), would fall away.

Until Sunday, the deadline for that application.

Sunday Jerry and I took a drive in the mountains, lingered over a picnic lunch, and explored all the stuff 20140629_132412of yesterday’s post. As we descended back to the Colorado plains in our little silver car we were freer than when we began the climb. Hopeful for next steps. Excited about living outside the fear of getting it wrong.

We hit I-70, just below Genesee where the view opens up and reveals Denver far below, and I caught my breath.

“South Sudan,” I whispered.

“So it’s back to that,” said Jerry.

“I don’t have to wait for a cosmic sign. I can apply.”

And so I did.

God had revealed the freedom to move forward, to follow that desire inside of me calling out for attention.

To do something brave.

Different.

Hard and unexpected and adventurous.

To do it with His blessing even without a shocking confirmation of His will.

I could simply go for it.

Something that might turn out breath-takingly beautiful. Something that might hurt. Or even be dangerous. Certainly uncomfortable.

Something bigger than me.

640px-A_South_Sudanese_girl_at_independence_festivities_(5926735716)

I came home, and my stupid computer (I say this with great affection) still wouldn’t let me into the application process. I stumbled a moment. Was it a sign I shouldn’t do this? I shoved the thought away and went with the forward motion of my heart.

Jerry offered me his computer, and I was in on the first try.

I don’t know yet if I will be chosen to even interview for one of the spots, much less as part of this team.

But I had the FREEDOM to try. The FREEDOM to reach way beyond who I am to do something I’ve never once before imagined.

The tears pool in my eyes as I type.

Where can I go in my newly-understood freedom of forward movement? What possibilities lie ahead that I never before dreamed? I have a catch in my chest where the breath should come out. It seems so crazy wonderful big.

This blog started as an inside-out journey to physical weight loss.

And that freedom plays into this one.

About a year and a half ago I was out for my walk. The pounds had dropped away. I had another 20 to go. I trotted downhill when blindsided by the urge to run. I couldn’t resist. I let those feet fly, pounding the pavement like I hadn’t done in years and years and years.

I couldn’t believe it. I wanted to run! “What in the world are You doing with me, God?” I whispered. “What are you preparing me for?”

I heard no answer, but felt his chuckle in the breeze upon my face.

At 210 pounds the idea of the sort of venture I applied for on Sunday would have been immediately dismissed.

But I am freed for forward movement. Free in my body. In my heart. In my mind. In my spirit.

I couldn’t sleep Sunday night. I just kept soaring.

Wishing you a freedom discovery of your own,

paula cropped

(South Sudan pictures taken from Wiki.)

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Flying Free (Day 73)

I’m still contemplating yesterday’s question, “what’s the best part of losing the weight?” I stand by my answer that I’m a more whole spiritual being, somehow learning to connect in body, not just heart, mind, soul . . . but there’s a joy piece I didn’t mention. It connects again to movement. I am so much lighter on my feet. It had gotten to the point I didn’t have much energy. Sometimes it was work just to get up out of a chair. But now I can MOVE again. I walk. I run. I do stretches and swim. A whole new world of joyful movement has opened to me.

freedom

When I first began tasting the freedom (last November) I asked my friend to snap this picture. I feel joyful, worshipful . . . flying free.

I am unencumbered.

In the months leading up to starting BeNew, I shed a lot of emotional weight. The accidents forced me to slow down, rest, and grieve life’s disappointments. The Lord used the season of low productivity to take me to a newer understanding of grace, to shave away another layer of that perfectionistic, performance-driven mentality that almost killed my heart years ago. You can’t be legalistic about the “doing” of the Christian life when you can’t do much, when your body and emotions shut down on you. In that season of “being” more junk inside of me was shed.

And now, as I drop the pounds, it is a visible announcement of the internal work. My body is joyful, even as my heart is learning to be.

I’m flying free.                                                                                    ~January 4, 2012

Real Time Update:

Wow. It’s awesome to be reminded of how far I’ve come. The picture I chose for today was taken at the beginning of my weight loss journey. I’d just barely begun to lose weight, but I was already sensing the freedom. If you’re just starting your journey, my friend, embrace the freedom. Catch a glimpse of what is coming!

As I write today, over two months later, I’ve almost begun taking this new, unencumbered, flying free self for granted. And so today’s question is how will I maintain the freedom? Will I fight for it?

The good news is after a few weeks of being thrown off from more regular exercise, I’ve walked every day this week. My goal is to head out for another round of exercise after I finish blogging this morning.

What About You?

Are you fighting to hang onto the advances you’ve made? What small steps forward (goals) are you setting for yourself to help you see the incremental victories as you work toward the bigger ones?