I chose this image to fill my kitchen chalkboard for the next few weeks after a little Pinterest inspiration. At first glance it’s not terribly seasonal. I wondered after hanging the board back up if I should have chosen a Psalm of thankfulness and a giant pumpkin instead. But I know that this is my lesson in gratitude.

I want the reminder each and every day to see forgiveness as freedom: forgiving others, forgiving myself, and living in the grace of God’s forgiveness. For far too long I’ve let the fear of failure keep me from embracing the life I was created to live.

“This fear of rejection drives me hard, eating away at my courage. And so I am cautious in my love. I am timid in my faith. My life tells a small story. I long to be seen, but I feel safe when I’m invisible. So I stay a good girl. And I hide…

I hide behind my mask of performance so people will think I am smart, capable, and put together. I hide behind the reputation I have established rather than trusting an unpredictable Jesus. I hide behind my positive emotions rather than let you see my reality. I hide behind my list of rules so I can check off each one, as if I’m another step closer to God because I’ve followed them. I hide behind my mask of strength because I’m ashamed of my weakness.” – Emily P. Freeman, Grace for the Good Girl

Slowly and surely those thoughts are transforming. I’m claiming truth even when it doesn’t feel true. His grace is enough. I am enough because of Him.

I am so thankful for the freedom that is beginning to seep into my heart and mind each day. It is freedom that keeps my eyes off of maintaining a perfect image and instead fixed on the One saying, “Follow and be free.”

Which side of the cage are you on?