Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Do you ever feel trapped?

Stuck somewhere you don't want to be, in a relationship you don't want to be in, or just stuck inside your own skin? Do you ever look around and want things to be different but aren't sure how to change them?

The past week, I have felt trapped - trapped inside my own head, trapped in a mess of city noise and iron, trapped in a routine that I want to spice up but am not sure how. Just trapped. One night this week, I was rehashing a load of memories, once again feeling trapped when I begin to think of places I love and times I have felt free.

My brother plays football at a college three hours away from where I went to college in West Texas. To go to his games, I drove the loneliest stretch of earth with nothing visible but cows, windmills, and cotton fields. Driving home from the games, that stretch of road was my haven. I would roll down the windows and watch the sun set in array of reds, pinks, and oranges and then fade into deeper purples and navy's before dropping off the curve of the earth. Each time, the sky was different patterns and shades. I imagined God sitting at an easel in heaven with his paint brush and streaking these fiery colors across the sky. No painting could be like the last and each one was a masterpiece. On that lonely stretch of road where I watched the sun sink below the curve of the earth for miles, wind blowing in my hair, and music blaring, I felt free.

During college, I spent three spring breaks in California working on local, underprivileged churches. I worked from sun up to sun down and then crashed before doing it all over again. I loved working with these churches, meeting the pastors, hearing their stories. I especially loved the day set aside to spend on the beach. Each of those trips, I watched the sun set over the Pacific Ocean. The crash of the waves on the sand and the open space made me feel free. I knew at any moment, the sky could turn a deep black and the ocean rage but I never worried. It was peaceful.

Two summers ago, I spent my summer in the mountains of Colorado Springs. I don't think I ever truly appreciated their beauty until living in them. They are harsh, unwavering, difficult to thrive in, yet they are beautiful, peaceful, and serene. Hiking the trails, pushing my body to a breaking point, spreading out under the stars on a cold night made me feel free.

As I began to think about why each of these places and instances are so significant to me, I came to one solid conclusion - these places denote the bigness and greatness of my God. Psalm 19:1 says, "The heavens declare the glory of God." Genesis 1:1 says, "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth." My lit professors would say that this sentence is too generic, too broad, too unbelievable. So the Bible goes on to list what God created and when He created it. I think that this statement is perfect. There is nothing finite or generic about a different sunset every evening, or the mountains, or the  waves crashing against the beach. The are big, bigger than anything science can explain. They stand for a BIG, GREAT GOD. When I think about the One who spoke these big miracles into being and remember that I belong to Him, I no longer feel trapped

 I know I'm free.

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