The best way I can describe the way I've lived my life for the past few years is to imagine holding your breath, 24/7. When you're holding your breath, typically all your focused on is the fact that you're not breathing, that you're being held captive by the lack of oxygen, and waiting for that second when you can exhale. When I think of holding my breath, I tense my body up, close my eyes, and just wait. That is no way to live your life. Waiting in anticipation of the moment when you can finally be yourself for a second, when you can take the mask off and breathe. Breathing is good. Living life to its fullest, without walls, without faking it, soaking in every second, is good.
You know something thing that goes down the drain when you're holding your breath? Worship. It's kind of hard to sing your lungs out to the Creator of the Universe when all your concerned about is whether the person next to you is going to notice that you just missed that last note. So, for the fear of making people wonder "Who is skinning a cat during our time of worship?!", I had stopped actually singing during church. Honestly, it was kind of subconsciously, I don't remember ever actually deciding to stop. I was perfectly happy mouthing along to the words and contemplating their meaning in my head. For some reason in church yesterday, the very first song we sang, I loved (I wish I could remember what song it was..), and I belted it. And it felt good. Brought me back to days of belting out show tunes with my best friend in high school, before all this started and I became too restrained. After the first song was over, the stranger sitting next to me leaned over, introduced herself, and said "I really don't want to weird you out, but oh my goodness, you have the most beautiful voice." I was..stunned. I managed to stammer out that it was probably just because I had been singing really loudly, but she was adamant, "No, no, it was so beautiful. Seriously." I couldn't believe it. And as I sat there, I could feel God saying See? See!?! Now will you PLEASE worship me with everything?. Before the next song started, the woman leaned over and whispered "Please sing as loud as you can". I cried/belted my way through the next song.
Who am I, because of my insecurities, to refrain from worshiping the One that raised me from the grave? It scared me a little that my anxiety had gone that deep, to begin to separate me from Him.
The moments of freedom are becoming more frequent. And more noticeable. It's kind of funny, I can literally feel when I'm not stressing, not faking, just being. It feels so good, I wish I could make it be all the time with a snap of my fingers.
So today, I'm breathing a little deeper. And singing a little louder. And little by little, becoming more