The world may tell us we’re too much and never enough.
But we can walk wildly in who God created us to be
and rest freely in the work Jesus did for us.
We do not have to be confined or conformed
by cultural expectations.
We are unchained from our past and unafraid of our future.
We choose compassion over comparison.
We love without condition, without reserve.
Our eyes are on God, we hold nothing back,
we run fast & strong, we do not hide our light.
We aren’t wild and free for our sake alone, rather we sing life,
hope, and truth over the world with abandon
– just as our God sings over us.
We are wild and free. And we are poised to
do mighty things, in Christ alone.
This anthem was taken by a book I just put down, Wild and Free by Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan. I had originally heard of the authors, Jess & Hayley, after joining The Influence Network (you can read more about that on my Resources page). These two women started the network together & eventually decided to write a book together. Of course I would have read it even – if it was about the various colors of poo – because I know the importance of community & blogging friendships. Like many other members, I was eager to learn more about what they had come up with.
The subtitle of the book spoke to me on such a deep level – “A hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough.” I had no idea what that really meant, I mean how can one feel too much & too little at the same time? Even though I didn’t understand it, it spoke to me – because I too felt that way. Of course there was no doubt in my mind, I had to get my paws on Wild & Free.
One of the biggest reasons why a person does not accept the Lord into their lives is because they feel that they will no longer be free. As a person that is single and not tied down by religion & obligations, the idea of Christianity seems like prison. In reality, when you step into a relationship with the Lord, you are stepping into freedom and out of a sense of oppression that society places on us. God’s plan for us was not for us to be bound by the pressures of our culture, but to run with Him…wild & free.
As a Christian woman, I have experienced immense pressure to meet unrealistic expectations. My Pinterest is filled with articles on “How To Create The Perfect Home”, “How to be the Best Proverbs 31 Wife Possible.”, and “Making Sure to Look Good 24/7”. I constantly feel judged (though this is probably in my head) when people find out I don’t make many home-cooked meals for both my husband and I to enjoy together. I feel judged when I choose to down-size my closet & when I buy a new shirt. I feel so much weight on my shoulders when I’m not 100% perfect 100% of the time. And if there is ever a time where I do feel I’ve got it all under control, I start to feel a sense of guilt because I made it look too easy & am putting pressure on other women.
As each chapter was written by either Jess or Hayley, I found myself relating to Hayley on a much deeper level. Like her, I too am an INFP/ENFP. We’re both very idealistic, curious, observant, open-minded, enthusiastic, dedicated, and we seek & value harmony. We also are a little too altruistic, impractical, take things too personally, difficult to get to know, overthink things, easily stressed, and independent to a fault. Most of what she wrote felt like she had secretly watched me over the course of my life, because in so many ways I felt as she did. We hold ourselves up to a standard that we would never place on our family & friends. We are stuck & oppressed in our own struggles.
In the beginning of my walk with God, I felt tugged into two directions. The first direction was obviously towards the Lord, a life filled with the abundant grace of a Father that loves me unconditionally & the second direction, towards a life similar to that of a hippy. I had always been drawn to the life of a bohemian because they didn’t care about the standards of society. They wore what they want, they cared about the environment (hello hemp underwear & fair trade jewelry), they used patchouli & essential oils…they were one with the Earth. I was in the same boat as others because when I thought of a hippy, I thought of a wild & free woman, running down a flowery covered hill with the wind running through her hair. When I thought of my future Christian life, I saw a meek little girl serving the Church every Sunday while wearing a jean skirt & button-up blouse. I wanted both lives to conjoin together into one amazing lifestyle, but I was under the assumption that I could only have one – and I’d rather have Jesus.
It took years for me to realize that this wasn’t what God really had planned for His people. The goal of womanhood wasn’t to become a mother & maintain a home…we were to be fishers of men, just as our husbands. Wild & Free really helped settle any disputes & weariness I had about living a Christian “bohemian” life.
The book brought up many times, our first mother, Eve. She is usually just remembered as the woman who was tempted, but what was she like before then? She was the example of what God wanted woman to be – unconcerned with looks, one with the world He created, visibly & vocally developing a relationship with the Lord, being a partner to Adam. She was the original woman, the woman who probably ran down a flower covered hill, the wind in her hair…all while thinking about Jesus. Though she gets a bad rap in the Church for sinning, her life right up til then was paradise.
What Would I Rate This Book? 4 out of 5. It was not the best book I have ever read, but it was certainly up there.
What Did I Think? I really enjoyed it (obviously). I was reminded that I have everything I need in Christ & I am not bound by the pressures of society. I was reminded that it’s okay if I can’t get it all done in one day, that it’s okay to be a mess once in a while, that it’s okay to tell people about your ups & downs in life, that it’s okay to cry in front of strangers, and I am no less of a Christian if I act like a brave, bold, bright, beautiful woman that God created me to be. I can be wild & free in Christ.
Would I Recommend This Book? Yes. To any woman who has felt like she’s too much & not enough, I’d urge you to read.