Recently I was browsing the tumblr of one of my favorite people on social media, Hanna Olivia Way, and I came across a post from her Instagram with this quote attached to it,
“And the truth dear friends, is this: our standing has never wavered with our Father. Though the world has twisted what it means to be a daughter, His stance and His position toward us has absolutely stayed resolute. The world cannot dictate what it means to be treasured by our Father, but the love and relationship of our Heavenly Father can heal and transcend the damage done here on earth. The Creator of the universe didn’t just love and speak us into being, he also called us good – the same word He called the massive majestic oceans and the sun that lights our solar system and keeps us all sustained. He sent His son to make a way for us while we were still broken and sinful and sitting with our fingers in our ears, unwilling to hear truth. His Holy Spirit runs wild in our lives, guiding us, leading us, growing us, and groaning for us so we can genuinely be in community with Him. We mean the world to Him – not because we’re good or we’ve earned it, but because we are His treasure, the apple of His eye, the daughters He is coming back for.”
Jess Connolly, Wild and Free
Incredibly moved by that beautiful passage, I immediately went to Google, and searched what this Wild and Free thing was. When I found the book on Amazon, I was instantaneously inclined to hit the “purchase now” button when I read this sentence on the front cover, “A hope-filled anthem for the woman who feels she is both too much and never enough.” When I read that, all I could think was UHHH Hello, that’s me. I was so excited to have this book in my hands.
Let me tell you dear friends, it has been a game changer since the moment I opened the next-day shipped envelope.
If you are new here (which you probably are, I am not consistent enough to have a true following) I would first like to introduce myself. My name is Laci, I am a nineteen year old college student, studying Secondary English Education, who lives in the most beautiful state of the fifty—Colorado, who loves to read, drink coffee (sometimes absurd amounts of tea), be in the mountains amongst pine trees, and to watch the rain. But most importantly, I am a daughter of The Most High.
My spiritual journey has not been an easy one, but sanctification is not easy for anyone. In fact, up until six weeks ago, I had not picked up my bible in over three months. Each day, I am still growing in my relationship with Jesus and learning what it truly means to follow Him. Each day I am met with things that call me to examine and question myself, if I am truly living as Jesus has called me to.
Though, I have been a Christian since the age of seven, when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I did not really understand what that meant until a year ago. After going through the most difficult season of my life in my senior year of high school, I started college and I was diagnosed with anxiety and severe clinical depression that dated back to my sophomore year of high school. It was a few months after that diagnosis when another book The Lipstick Gospel (my post about it is here) opened my eyes to how badly I needed Jesus. After reading that book, I wept and sought Jesus with what I thought was all of my heart for about two months, but then my fire kind of dwindled.
This has been a pattern in my life since my junior year of high school, when I first decided that I really wanted to start taking my faith seriously. I get this fire in my heart to follow Jesus, and I do great for a few months, then I just stop. I stop praying. I stop doing my devotionals. I just stop. I determine I will be fine going it alone, it will all be okay, but let me tell you—that NEVER happens. It is NEVER okay. I ALWAYS come crawling back, sobbing to God on my bed at night begging He forgive me and take me back.
However, it was not until I began reading Wild and Free, that I was prompted to truly examine these facts about myself and how I approached the title “follower of Jesus” that resides in my Instagram bio. It was then when I was truly called by the Holy Spirit to examine myself, that I realized, that was where my problem laid; before—my entire faith was based on “I” statements. “I was going to make myself feel better by doing this.” “I was determined to follow Jesus.” And that is not what this faith is about.
The most beautiful element of this faith is that it means there is no longer an “I”, there is only Jesus. There is no longer a struggle of having to make myself determined to stay, there is only Jesus.
Recently, my stepmother sent me the link to a sermon preached by an intern at her church. His sermon was titled, “The Simplicity of Faith.” While I listened, I was moved toward the end of the sermon, when he spoke the phrase, “This is a gospel of simple grace and simple faith.”
That is the point my friends, a truth that has been spoken to my heart so many times over the last two months or so, I cannot even count. This is a simple gospel of simple faith. This is a faith that the God of the Universe has handpicked you, loved you, called you good and at ease, sent His Son, who shed his blood for you all so you can stop saying “I” and be free of your worldly, sinful self. You are washed clean, and you have been made a wild woman in God, who can call herself free not because of “I”, but because of him, Jesus.
If you are a woman who calls Jesus your savior, whether you are 19 or 95, I suggest you pick up Wild and Free. I can hardly put into words this book’s ability to change lives. You will be challenged, you will ache, you will have joy from its words, and I strongly encourage you to embrace that. Embrace this truth that we receive from God’s word, embrace this message that echoes the truth of the gospel that authors Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan have been called by the Father to share with women of all ages. We are not called to be quiet, to be perfect, to have perfect bodies, or perfect houses, or perfect lives.
We are called to live not by the rules of this world, but wild in the woman that God created us, by hand, to be and free in being the daughters who Jesus came to save.