My mother wrote the rules for our house and made sure they were enforced. She functioned as executive, legislative, and judicial branches of our home government. She wrote the laws, and the rest of us complied.
My home country, the USA, was born on the 4th of July 1776 after winning its war for independence. The colonies provoked that war with a tea party. When Bostonian’s threw British tea into the ocean, their actions demonstrated their demand to be independent of British tax law and revealed that they would no longer submit to their British ruler. Soon later the colonies wrote a Declaration of Independence, won the ensuing war, wrote their laws, and began living independently from the former ruler. A door to freedom opened wide, and they celebrated.
I was born on the 15th of November 1942, but my current birthday feels more like closing the door to independence than like opening the door to freedom. This November 15th my driver’s license expires and may not be renewed. At midnight on my birthday, a door may slam shut, or so it seems. That’s the law of the land.
How can I declare my independence?
I can’t declare independence from the DMV, but there are other options. I can declare independence from my mother’s rules. I did so recently in front of a witness. I didn’t throw any tea into the ocean, but I did throw away my long-standing obedience to rules that were selfish, wrong, and imposed on me by a woman who thought she owned me but had little interest in my welfare. I declared independence from her ownership of my actions, emotions, body, and self.
How will I celebrate the day of my birth? How will I celebrate this day when I was physically separated from my mother? How? I will celebrate a reality which she never believed. I will celebrate the reality that we are separate beings – physically, mentally, and emotionally. I will celebrate by choosing deep, God-intended separateness. I will remember and repeat and reinforce that truth and feel the Lord sink it deep into my soul.
The physical cord between our bodies was cut in 1942, and it’s been decades since I physically moved out of my mother’s house, but emotionally and mentally it’s taking a while for that inner separation to sink deep and feel real. A few items are still in the moving van, but I’m quite sure that more and more items will eventually get to where they belong.
A drivers’ license only grants the freedom to drive. The Lord has given me many freedoms, but driving is not necessarily one of them. He may take away my freedom to drive, but He will never take away my freedom to be me.
God may never take away my memory of my childhood prison, but He is steadily taking away its ownership of my thoughts, emotions, and choices. I am no longer my mother ’s slave. I have been bought with a price. To whom do I now belong? I belong to my Lord Jesus, the One who sees me, cherishes me, cares for me, and always stays near without ever intruding.
Declaration of Independence
© Lynne Fox, 2018