I’ve always been passionate about freedom, and when I first started along this road, I thought physical freedom was the pinnacle. Freedom from abuse and slavery seemed so simple, right?
But freedom is a loaded word. What does it mean to be free?
Of course, there is physical freedom. But there’s more to freedom than the physical. True freedom encompasses emotional freedom, spiritual freedom, economic freedom, relational freedom, and more.
Over the last few years, I've walked alongside women who have experienced incredible suffering and abuse. I’ve sat across from women as they tell me stories of rape, abuse, and being forcefully separated from their children. I’ve held a woman’s hand as she found out she has HIV and cried with women who toil under harsh conditions because their family members need money for food, education or health care.
Through it all, I’ve seen these same women dare to hope that the future could be brighter than their hellish past, and I’ve celebrated alongside them as they experience freedom in new ways. And along the journey, I’ve realized that physical freedom is just the beginning.
There’s more to freedom than simply a lack of war, poverty, slavery, exploitation, or domestic abuse. True freedom encompasses the freedom to live, to love, to laugh, to cry, to grow, to wrestle, to prosper, and simply to be.
Walking alongside women who are fighting for their own freedom has given us the perspective to understand that we're on a journey of freedom as well. Seeing their courage has given me the courage to battle my own oppressors—fear, anxiety, insecurity, doubt, sickness, and more.
The journey towards freedom isn’t easy for anyone. But we have learned that it’s a journey worth fighting for—both on behalf of others and on behalf of yourself.
On holidays such as today, we like to celebrate freedom as if it’s a measure we’ve already attained. And while there is so much to be grateful for, I believe there’s further we could go—both for ourselves and for others.
What freedoms are you thankful for today? What freedom do you still long for? What can you do to be a part of someone else’s freedom journey?
Every purchase you make from Freeleaf makes it possible for us to walk alongside women as we all experience freedom in increasing measure. Join us.
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