Here's Debby Lee: Our Forefathers marched through sleet, snow and hail to fight the British with shoddy weaponry, minimal ammunition, and sorely lacking in food and shelter, all to bring us freedom. The odds were against them, but they forged ahead anyway. They had a dream of overcoming tyranny to find a better way of life and they didn’t let fear and intimidation get in their way.
As I write this blog on the week our country celebrates its freedom, I think of some of the issues that have held me captive. Issues that have caused me to draw into the shadows of life and sit comfortable unnoticed.
I wasn’t a real big kid growing up. If anything, I was down-right scrawny. Anybody who knew me then would surely agree. This made me feel vulnerable and thus retreat into the shadows of the school’s hallways and hide in corners. I didn’t think anybody would notice a little thing like me anyway. Well, the Colonials were a much smaller force than the Redcoats, yet look what they were able to accomplish. Although they were hopelessly outnumbered they were able to defeat the enemy. Don’t let the lack of strength or any kind of weakness keep you from dreaming big. Set your goals high and then stretch, and reach higher.
Like everyone else in life, at times I’ve been taken advantage of. Trauma happens. Heartbreak can keep us in the shadows licking our wounds and preventing us from venturing forth and staying the course. Don’t be afraid to grieve properly, it will make you a stronger person. But don’t be complacent with unfairness either. When the Colonials were taxed unjustly, they dumped a boatload of tea into the Boston Harbor. They didn’t stand for injustice and neither should we. Venture forth anyway. Stand up for what’s right even if it costs.
Failures are another thing that has caused me to withdraw. It seems that everybody notices failure making it difficult and scary to try again. Sometimes it’s easier to stop trying than to risk drawing even more negative attention. But where would our country be if our forefathers had given up after the Battle of Bunker Hill or at Elizabethtown? They reached deep down into their hearts and found the courage to try again, and kept fighting until the enemy surrendered. How glad I am that they didn’t give up. Let me encourage you to be bold, be brave, be willing to find courage to stand up and try again.
Lots of folks tend to think of colonial times during the Fourth of July, but let us not forget the sacrifices of other brave souls who have fought for freedom. There are scores of military personnel who have faced combat on a number of battlefields. There are those who have defended this country over the waters of Pearl Harbor, in the jungles of Vietnam, and currently in desserts of the Middle East. These soldiers are every bit as courageous as the ones who fought with rusty muskets hundreds of years ago. They have earned and deserve our respect, our honor and our praise. Don’t be shy about telling them so.
The struggles for freedom also happened in the streets across America as Susan B. Anthony marched and protested to give women the right to vote. It happened in factories as Rosie the Riveter took up the drill and built airplanes that were eventually used to protect our country. It happened on the steps of Washington DC as Martin Luther King proclaimed "I have a dream . . . I have a dream . . . I have a dream!"
In closing, I hope you will bring honor to those who have fought for this country by doing all you can to make it a better place to live for others. Break free from the chains of fear and intimidation and be the best person you can be. Remember to always pursue your dreams no matter how dark it may seem. Like a caterpillar that struggles to free itself from the constricting cocoon, realize that light and freedom are out there. Spread your wings and fly high my friends.
What do you dream of breaking free from? What fears are you willing to face in order to achieve victory? What goals are you willing to strive for in spite of overwhelming odds? Please be willing to share, I’d love to hear your story. Those who leave a comment will be entered in a drawing for a devotional book I’m published in and a 10 dollar Starbucks gift card. Those who visit my website and sign up for my newsletter will be entered in another drawing for an additional devotional book and 10 dollar gift card.
Debby Lee has always enjoyed writing poetry, short stories and in her diary. Her work has been published in numerous newsletters, college journals, e-zine’s and in a book of devotions. Besides RWA, she belongs to the Christian Writers Guild and the American Christian Fiction Writers. She is happily married, has five children and lives in Centralia Washington with her family. Reading is one of her favorite hobbies. Her other interests include traveling, being active in her local church and cheering for the Seattle Seahawks. You can learn more about Debby Lee here.