My Word of the Year: Free

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

I've never been a free spirit. I've never been able to "dance like no one is watching", and I've never been able to stop worrying about something on command. Even on my best days, I still struggle to live completely, 100% free.

And this is especially true of my relationship with God. I know he is good. I know he loves me. But I rarely feel that way or live that way, because I am living a shackled life.

I live shackled by fear. Shackled by anxiety. Shackled by OCD and paranoia.
I fear I am doing something wrong. I fear I am annoying people, frustrating people, or somehow making a mistake. I fear that people will hurt me in irreparable ways. I fear many, many things.

Oftentimes though, how I feel and what I see in scripture are two very different things.

God is all about freedom. Yes, there are rules that we would do well to follow- that God commands of us- but even those are for our ultimate freedom. But more than rules, God is about us being free from sin, guilt, shame, and the hurt we've felt in this life. He wants us to live lives that are free from feeling chained to our pasts, free from guilt that shouldn't exist, and free from condemnation.

When we come to Christ, he sets us free and makes us new.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free (Galatians 5:1).

But we frequently live like we've forgotten that truth. We live like we are still prisoners to our past, when we've already been let out of prison.
If a prisoner who was in a physical jail came back to his cell once he had been set free, we'd say he was stupid or crazy. So why would we, people who have been set free, ever live like we are back in our spiritual jail cell?

As Hayley Morgan (co-author of Wild and Free) puts it,
"Anything kept in captivity will only grow as much as its cage will allow.” 
I want to grow, grow, grow, and keep on growing. But if I allow myself to remain caged in shame, fear, etc. I will never be able to get to where I want to be. In order to improve physically, mentally, emotionally, relationally, and spiritually, I have to break out of the cage that I have put around myself. I have
to fight against the evil that comes at me and locks me up.

So that's why my word of the year is "Free". I want to be free far beyond what I've ever experienced. I want the freedom that Christ has granted me.

Guess what...

I actually have two words of the year! And honestly, when I tell you what the second word is, it may seem like it's in contrast to my goal of being free. Curious? Be sure to check out Friday's post to read about my second word.

What does freedom mean to you? Do you feel free? Comment below.


  1. What a great word! It's good to hear that you've got 2 - I have narrowed it down to 2 myself and was wondering how I would pick one!

  2. What a great post for the end of the year! Free is definitely a great word to have and an important one! I've never had a word of the year, but this definitely has me thinking about one.

    Clothes & Quotes

  3. That is such a great word! Especially when taking back all that anxiety takes from you. Praying for your year!

  4. Love! Just talked about freedom today on facebook live. I sought out freedom for so long. Freedom isn't living with abandon but living within the boundaries of safety God provides for us. Those boundaries are different for everyone and each situation. I talk a lot about it in regards to health and fitness. some may see that eating whatever you want is freedom, but it's really not because it doesn't leave you feeling good or healthy so there are boundaries that you stay inside so you can fuel your body properly but it doesn't require attaching to numbers, strict rules, etc. Beth Moore has some great things to say about living in freedom. Thanks for sharing!!

  5. Such an awesome word! Free could mean so many things, and I'm excited to see someone deciding to free themselves from fear and shame!

  6. Great choice for your word! It's so incredible the freedom with have in Christ. I hope 2017 will be an awesome year for you.
    I'm still trying to come up with my word.

  7. I love this as your word of the year. For 2016 my word was "confidence" and it helped so much to remember that. I'm thinking of making 2017 "strength." It is similar to confidence and works well with it, but there are some differences between the two that I would like to focus on now for 2017.

  8. Free is such a lovely and inspiring word of the year. I relate to that a lot - especially being shackled by anxiety. But it's wonderful to remember how much freedom we have in Christ!

  9. I LOVE this, Kristin. And I love your honesty and vulnerability here. You're absolutely right - we are FREE because of Christ, and that's such a good word and intention for the year ahead!

    Coming Up Roses

  10. I really love this post!!! Wow, when you think about it you really need to be free in order to grow. Thank you for posting this!

    Corsica Nambiar |

  11. I love this word choice for the new year! Here's to a great 2017!

  12. That is an amazing word for the year, and I can't wait to find out what word #2 is!

  13. I like it. I would like to be free next year from a lot of things as well. Mainly, fear and anxiety.

  14. I like this. I also find it hard to choose just one word, because I want different things in different areas of my life!

  15. I love this word! Such a good one to focus on and something I need to work on as well.

  16. I love this, Kristin! I am so with you, I don't consider myself a free person at all. I am too wound up. But bring on a year of growth! I am ready for all God has in store!

  17. Great post, Kristin! (and great name, by the way!) I just wrote about freedom on my blog, and that is my word of the year too! May you live in greater freedom, fruitfulness, and fullness in Christ this year! Blessings to you! :)

  18. When I read your disciplined post, I thought these two words absolutely meshed perfectly! ;) Almost a paradox of sorts, but in our discipline we are free! Love it!

    Thanks for being a part of the link-up Kristin.

  19. You have opened my eyes! I'm definitely not "free" in the sense that I worry so much and don't trust in the Lord. This is a great word to live by! We are free in Christ!