“THOSE kids…those who live with wild abandon are no good. You should stay away from them. Don’t get close. If you fall into that crowd, you may never be rescued.”
It was 6th grade and the principal of my very conservative, very Republican, very Southern, private, Christian school was addressing the students at an assembly. To this day I can vividly remember the room, what he was wearing and looking around watching every eye of every student either roll in defiance or be filled with fear out of misguided obedience.
I remember the above statement. I lived those words every day for years.
Don’t be wild.
Don’t ask questions.
Stay away from those who don’t immediately follow the rules.
Wild abandon = sin.
I would be an outcast if I turned out like the defiant kids.
But they weren’t shunned necessarily because of their actions (although that didn’t help) They were dismissed because they asked questions. Those kids didn’t just take everything at face value. They wanted to know more. “Just because” or “because I said so” or “it says it in the Bible somewhere” weren’t good enough answers.
I constantly found myself wanting to be part of that crowd. The rebellious, no good, messed up, trouble making kids. I SO wanted to be one of them. I wanted to ask questions. But I was too afraid of what everyone would think and I liked playing by the rules. Playing it safe.
Until….one day I realized that playing it safe wasn’t really living. I wanted to LIVE. I wanted more. And the only way I could find to do that was to dive into life in a whole new way. To challenge the status quo. I became dangerous (sometimes this is a good thing and sometimes not so much…) I started asking questions (too many some would say) And I began to believe that it’s possible to live a life of wild (not reckless) abandon while still loving and following Christ.
Eight years since I made that choice I’m still learning. I’m still stuck some days between doing what I feel like God is calling me to do and what the world (and the church, religion, etc) says is “right.”
It was not until recently that I finally woke up confident of the woman God created me to be. I have lived every single day since comfortable in my own skin. Yes, I ask a lot of questions. I am honest and blunt to a fault. Maybe I love too deeply and don’t always know when to let go. I speak truth and give grace each and every time I’m prompted by the spirit because that’s what Jesus asks.
I am a woman who owns and expresses her sexuality, creativity, authenticity and uniqueness. And I’m unapologetic for it.
So I would challenge and encourage those who are sitting there waiting for an opportunity to break out of the shell that you were put in, TO LIVE. Do something right now, TODAY that expresses your unique heart and soul. You’ll never be the same. Know that it’s a process and not a one time deal. It takes practice. But if you jump in with both feet, I guarantee a fire will be lit within you that will give your heart a craving for more.
More wild abandon and freedom.