The Gift of Independence

From my “Forests are” series: “Independent”

There’s something magical about independence—it is the beginning of true freedom.

Google defines independence as being free from outside control and the opinions or influence of others. Wisdom holds a very similar definition, but it necessitates being dependent on God, because God is sovereign.

True freedom comes from depending on one source—God. Freedom doesn’t come from depending on other things or people because they are finite, imperfect, and other people will too often let us down. True freedom doesn’t come from depending on yourself, alone, either. No matter how hard we may try—we, too, fall short.

The thing about being independent is it makes more room for God. There was a season of my life where I was unemployed, and God was teaching me to rely solely on Him. It was one of the most difficult times of my life, but I am grateful for it. I didn’t have stable work to depend on, and I didn’t have any kind of friendships. It was shortly after my dad passed away, my best friends moved away, and I didn’t have the best relationship with my mom at that time either. It was during this time of total separation from everything and everyone that I truly got to know God. Relationships, friendships, financial stability—these are good things, but they are not enough to sustain us. Seasons of alone-ness and trials such as these are opportunities to grow closer to God as they teach us to put our faith in and rely solely on Him.

You know what’s really beautiful about independence? It allows you to experience genuine love. When we can love someone or something without needing, without depending on that person or thing, we can then experience pure and unadulterated love; we can then experience God’s heart for that person, for that thing. We cannot truly love anyone or anything whilst needing fulfillment from them, unless it’s from God who is love Himself!

When it comes down to it, one of the greatest lessons of my life was when God taught me to depend on Him. Ironically, it was in teaching me to depend on Him, I was being taught how to be independent, how to love, and how to be free.

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