Sometimes dark places yield the most light, and I've been sitting in shadows for a little while now. I can't explain it exactly for there's no one thing that's prompting that "my soul is downcast within me" feeling. I just have this odd sense of loss.
But that isn't the point of this post, it's just the backdrop.
Last week, I started reading a book that is about accepting yourself as God made you instead of seeking approval from others or, to paraphrase the title, being free to be who you already are. The author rather enjoys the sound of her own voice and tends toward the dramatic in her writing style, but amidst my eye rolls, I can recognize a certain charm and truth in her words.
A few chapters in, she was writing enthusiastically about her newfound freedom, but as I read, the thought crossed my mind that she was not yet free--she was fooling herself. A chapter or two later, she expressed the same conclusion. :} I stopped reading at that point and began talking to God. About freedom. About my currently sorrowful soul. About this feeling of loss, the roots of which I am unaware.
And a line from an old Janis Joplin song crossed my mind. "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose." I let the song play through my mind and picked the book back up. The author was talking about how she realized that she was still striving,, still seeking public love as she went from speaking engagement to speaking engagement--telling women how to be free, still wanting to "count" to someone. She wrote that she felt God tell her that she counted to Him--and asked her if Het was enough. The author realized that for her, at that moment, it was not.
I put the book back in my lap and listened to Janis sing in my memory again.
And something I heard a long time ago crossed my mind: True freedom comes when God is enough, when He alone is all you need.
Is God enough for me? If all I know and have falls away, and I am left with God alone--would I still stand? Would joy still be found in my heart? Would God, just God and nothing or no one else, be enough for me?
When the answer is "Yes," then I am free.