Memories come flooding back. I’ve done this before.

Soccer tournaments were a mainstay of our family for years. We’d drive all over Florida and surrounding states as well as fly to several so our kids could compete for medals and trophies that now gather dust in our attic.

But when invited by my daughter to accompany her to a tournament her daughter would play in, plus baby made four, I couldn’t say no.

I’m an amazing cheerleader.

We drove to Jacksonville for a weekend of the beautiful game. Soccer is my favorite sport–six kids playing it got me hooked.

Cal, at seven months, was contained for much of the weekend. The car trip up. A stroller to pick up groceries for eating in the room. The stroller for all the games and the waiting in between. The car seat to feed him in. He tolerated some of it, griped at much of it, cried intermittently, unless a kind soccer parent wanted to hold him or talk to him. His opinion was never considered; his wishes were never consulted.

This was the picture of my youngest daughter, Debbie, when she was the honorary “mascot” at tournaments. It’s what Cal has become. Tag along.

We’d take Debbie to games and tournaments, stand forever on the sidelines, sometimes holding her, often passing her down the line of kind parents who wanted to make her laugh or just be reminded of their own kids when they were small.

Confinement was the name of the game. We couldn’t set her on the grass unsupervised–she’d eat bugs, grass, or whatever waste matter was on the ground before her. Don’t get me started on fire ant bites.

By the end of most games, she’d be red-faced, cranky and inconsolable because she’d not had any freedom at all.

That was poor Cal. When put in his pack-and-play at night, he could see us through the mesh but couldn’t get to us. At the games, he’d reach for someone to release him from captivity.

A contented child, this pushed him over the edge. By the end of the last game, he was done. He wanted out–out of strollers, out of car seats, out of someone’s grip.

I can’t stand being put in a box. I don’t want to be captive to someone else’s assumptions. I want freedom to express who I really am.

Sad part is, I’m often the one who builds the box. I want to be accepted, liked, included. My fear is if people know who I really am, they won’t like me. Won’t want to be around me. So I become what I think others want me to be.

We all live with lies that plague us and destroy our hope. Lies that stem from the enemy of our souls who seeks to steal, kill and destroy all that we’ve been made to be by the One whose handprints are on our hearts.

The only One who can save us from the lies is Jesus. The Author of freedom. The true Keeper of the key of life.

We can be confined by the lies. Or find freedom in Jesus’ truth.

I’m ready to bust out of that box.

How about you?

 

 

 

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