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What it means to be free: A Reflection on Juneteenth

Updated: Jul 12

On this Juneteenth, I am reflecting on what it means to be free. As I reflect on my Black ancestors , pursuing freedom was a life or death situation. The pursuit of freedom was too life-threatening of a pursuit to do alone.

You needed to know the people who knew the path to freedom. But knowing the path to freedom was not enough.

You had to walk out the path. Perhaps with someone else or by yourself. But there were road marks so you knew you were headed in the right direction. You had to allow your faith to be bigger than your fear. You had to trust that there was something bigger on the other side of your fear that was worth risking your life for.

Fighting for my mental, spiritual, and physical freedom has been life or death.

I have had to depend on people in my community to show me the path of freedom.

But it was not enough for me to learn what it looked like to be on the other side of freedom, I had to walk it out with my community. But they can only take me so far. I have to walk it out daily. And I am still walking it out.

I have had to make the choice that I will not be controlled by fear. My faith has to be greater than my fear.

My life depends on it.

My family depends on it.

My future lineage depends on it.

There’s a Bible verse that says, “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” (Galatians 5:1)

For me, freedom is knowing the work that was done for me on the cross and what that afforded me. The freedom that bought for me was not just a spiritual freedom, but it was a freedom in my mind, healing in my body and restoration in my relationships.

Take a moment for self-reflection. Find a peaceful space, breathe deeply, and contemplate these questions.

What does freedom mean for you? Identify areas where you don't feel free.

What areas are you not feeling free?

Who are the individuals in your community who have supported you on your journey toward freedom? Recognize their impact.

Who is walking with you in your path of freedom? Reflect on the companions walking beside you on this path of freedom. Cherish their presence and appreciate their support.

What is on the other side of your fear? Contemplate what lies beyond your fears. Visualize the possibilities and opportunities awaiting you on the other side.

What do you have faith in? Where does your hope lie?

How can you allow your faith to be bigger than your fear?

What does freedom mean to you? Consider its essence in your life.

May you be blessed on your pursuit of freedom, finding joy, fulfillment, and the liberation you seek.

#juneteenth #happyjuneteenth

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