Today's Friday Five is asking us to consider times of release, detachment, and freedom of other forms in various categories.
1. Physical - I guess when I think about physical freedom, it takes a little bit of reflection for me because I've been largely blessed with good health. The only serious injury I've ever sustained was hurting my knee in high school and having to wear a brace and go through a few rounds of physical therapy. Eventually, I weaned off of my brace, but I don't remember there being this moment of a sort of sigh of relief when I was totally without it. If I've ever experienced that "sigh of relief" physically, it's when I take my bra off after a long day!
2. Spiritual - I definitely think about Camp Sumatanga when I think of experiences of spiritual freedom. That was the place where I felt free to explore my own faith and the practices that nourished that. I saw and felt and tasted what a truly open table was like and understood what it meant to be invited into a community that loved me simply for who I was right then and there.
3. Emotional - I don't have them all that often, but having a really good cry always feels amazing when it's over.
4. Vocational - When I found out I was going to be a solo pastor right after graduating from seminary, my first reaction was being both excited and nervous by all the freedom I would have without a direct supervisor who was overseeing everything I did on a regular basis (or so I thought!) Now, when I think about vocational freedom, my understanding is very different. Although my ordination journey has taken some different turns than I was expecting, it really has enabled me to live into a new kind of freedom as I discover where I am being called at this time in my life and ministry.
5. Relationships - Relationships are a messy thing. Through the continuing education class I have been doing this year, I have had a lot of time to look at and think about family systems theory in all sorts of settings (not just family of origin) and I have learned that distance, detachment, separation, and "freedom" aren't always the best and most healthy things, and they definitely aren't always easy. If you want an example from my own life, you can go read about my last birthday! I definitely experienced a certain sense of freedom and release but it definitely came with a price.
So the one thing I've learned from my life, is that freedom and release aren't always what is needed. Still, I appreciate all my experiences of freedom and what they've taught me and allowed me to become.