“I like to be a free spirit. Some don’t like that, but that’s the way I am.” – Princess Diana
“To be true to myself, to be the person that was on the inside of me, and not play games. That’s what I’m trying to do mostly in the whole world…” – Janice Joplin
Last week, I went to get my hair cut and colored. After almost a month of things in my life spiraling beyond my control, this was something I could actually change. My hair. Just my hair.
I called Sarah Mae on my way to the appointment to tell her my hair plans and shared my heart about something the Lord has been teaching me for about 6 months now. She condensed our conversation down really well in a video she posted on her blog the other day.
I’m not a stranger to chunky highlights or a little funky color, but I tell you what, my hairdresser would not do what I wanted her to do last week. She knew I’ve been in sort of a crisis lately, and she didn’t want me to do something I’d regret. I get it, I really do…but once in awhile, we really do just want to let go of the constraints holding us back don’t we? Crisis or not.
Several months ago, I got a tattoo. Something deeply personal to me, and based on some words the Lord has told me over the past 4 years. I got all crazy and put the thing right on my forearm…because no matter how much that I KNOW how the Lord feels about me, sometimes I forget and need a reminder. And I have to be honest and say, that the crazy act of even putting that thing in an obvious location has (for this southern belle who didn’t grow up where this form of expression is widely accepted) forced me to try to stop worrying about what others think about me and to actually believe what it says and means even more. (Ironic…huh?)
That I am…the Mother of Warriors…Wife of a General...Daughter of the King.
Some people have called me “free-spirited” since I did that even…got a tattoo. And I’ve wondered, since in all honesty I don’t feel that I wear that word well, what does the Lord want me do with that sort of branding? So I’ve been digging in His word to find out.
Can each of us be a free spirit even when we don’t think that we actually are?
The Free Dictionary defines a free spirit as “One who is not restrained, as by convention or obligation; a nonconformist.”
Man, don’t we all want a little piece of that action? To feel like we really do make the decisions we believe are right, to follow our hearts, to not be defined by what other people think? I don’t know a person out there who doesn’t want at least a little tiny piece of that pie.
And as Sarah and I talked the other day, I told her that what the Lord has been teaching me, is that to be a true free spirit isn’t just about some form of flower-child, flowy-clothing, tattooed or hair dyed outward self expression (even though those things may be fun for some), it’s about knowing who I really am, and allowing the Holy Spirit to flow freely through me. It’s about getting the fleshly me out of the way of a magnificent King, so that he can do his thing and allow my story to become part of a greater glory.
You wanna talk about a for real nonconformist though? A through and through free spirit who was so unrestrained by convention that he ticked a whole lot of people off? I’ve got one for ya, his name is Jesus. The ultimate in free spiritedness. And too often we lose sight of the fact that not only is He the one we’re following (a bucking-the-system-and-really-living-what-the-Father-is-saying kind of guy), but He left that same spirit here and made it available to each one of us.
Jesus said, “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.“ (Jn 14:25)
John the Baptist even prophesied ahead of Jesus’ coming saying “I baptize you with water, but he who is mightier than I is coming, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.”
Wooo ya’ll….does that not run a victorious chill right down your spine?! He drops on us (a bunch of rag tag, regular ol’ conformist humans) the ability to be more than just our natural fleshly selves, He gives us the Holy Spirit…and the fire of heaven!
And it doesn’t matter who we are either. It doesn’t matter if we grew up in a VW van down by the river or going swimming in the summers at the country club pool. The Spirit of the Living God doesn’t care if we’re first born or last born, or from Los Angeles or Piedmont, North Dakota. He doesn’t care if we’re black, or white, or Asian, or Indian. We’ve all got the same Spirit inside of us when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit. For the body is not one member, but many. – 1 Corinthians 12:12-14
Sarah Mae shared part of a beautiful verse from John 3:8 where Jesus was talking to Nicodemus and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
So, whether we’re rockin’ dredlocks and tattoos, or Ann Taylor cardis and a polished looking bob, we all can be free spirits, when we get out of the way and allow the Spirit of the Living God to work in us and through us.
Embrace your free spirit my friends…because He freely gave it to you.
“If you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” (Romans 8:13–17)
*Have you ever wanted to be more free-spirited? Is a fear of what people may think holding you back? If not that, then what? What in your life do you need to change to let the spirit of the Lord work more freely in you and through you?
The better you know who you are…the freer your spirit can truly be. So…what’s holding you back…Daughters and Sons of the King?
Photo Credit: Princess Diana, Janis Joplin, Link to Video “You Are A Free Spirit” on SarahMae.com