I bought a fun stamp set by Kristin Wolbach from Illustrated Faith when they still had an Etsy shop. I love Kristin’s art, but from the moment the stamp set arrived, I’ve been wondering where I could use the phrase “Wild and Free.” It’s not a phase I could easily connect with scripture or my life as a Christian. Mostly the phrase “Wild and Free” reminds me of the wonderful German exchange student, who lived with us my senior of high school. I can still her singing “I’m Free” by the Soup Dragons—oh the nineties! My parents were not particularly strict, but they did sort of want to know when she would come home at night—even that felt like too restrictive to my friend and roommate.
When I saw that Jess Connolly and Hayley Morgan wrote a book called Wild and Free. I thought, “I’ll get the book and then I’ll know where to use the stamp! Problem solved.” But I went from having no clue where to put the stamp to way too many options!!!
It strikes me funny in a way how Jess and Hayley understand the phrase “Wild and Free.” Were I to describe the same feeling, I would simply say, “In Christ.” And it’s absolutely true: There’s something wild and free about being in Christ.
- In Christ we are a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) Henry Thoreau is famous for saying: “All good things are wild and free.” There’s theological soundness to this statement: When the world was created, God called all of creation good. In Christ we are made new, wild and free! We are God’s good creation.
- In Christ, nothing can separate us from the Love of God. (Romans 8:39) We are wholly loved, no matter what! We are more than conquerors!
- In Christ, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing. We are holy and blameless. We are predestined as sons and daughters. We redeemed and forgiven. We are lavished in grace. (Ephesians 1:3-8)
- We are saved and given a holy calling, not because of our works, but because of God’s purpose and grace, which were given to us before the ages began! Crazy wild! (2 Timothy 1:9)
- God lifts us up to sit in heavenly places! (Ephesians 2:6)
- All of God’s promises find a Yes and Amen in Christ. We are established, anointed, sealed, and filled with Spirit. (2 Corinthians 1:20-22)
- We can trust that all our needs will be supplied: “And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)
- In Christ, we can find the peace that surpasses understanding. (Philippians 4:7).
- We are given the free gift of eternal life. (Romans 6:23)
I don’t know why it makes me giggle to say this, but yes, all of the above is pretty wild stuff! And I’ve been blessed to live “wild and free” my whole life. I just never quite called it that.
And the consequence of living wild and free in Christ isn’t what you might expect from the words. In high school, I generally went to youth group or hung out at the park playing volley ball, but the semester I had a German exchange student, I got invited to a “wild” party. That night after passing a group of kids with needles in their arms and a room full of smoke, I bumped into someone who looked to me in relief to say, “I’m so glad I’m not the only one drinking.” In that moment, where I was so out of place, I was still completely free to be myself, not worried what others might think, and this other young lady found some encouragement in that. It’s been a blessing and protected me in more ways than I can count to be wild and free in Christ!
Here’s how Jess describes a “wild and free” woman…
Her eyes are on Jesus. He determines her path, and she trusts Him. She isn’t concerned with fitting in or standing out, since her identity is in step with her Father. She knows better than to expect to be tidy and put together, since that is not her aim—but she also doesn’t feel an ounce of pressure to be set apart from the crowd. She would point any attention offered her to her Father, anyhow. Her hands are open. Her rights are relinquished. She holds the staff of the daughter of the Most High God and believes Isaiah 54:17, which tells her that no weapon forged against her will prevail, and Romans 8:37, which tells her that she is more than a conqueror through Christ. The world can get hung up on the word wild and what it means to them—and anytime they want, the world can throw a big side eye at the woman set wild and free in God. She doesn’t live for them; she sees only her Father.
Wild and Free was fun to read, and I think it could be wonderfully healing reading for anyone who grew up thinking that being a Christian was about fitting certain norms and expectations. The book made me feel grateful for my childhood church who helped me to understand the true meaning of being free in Christ!
I asked myself the question: What Bible verse makes me feel most wild and free? Proverbs 16:9 came to mind. Somehow knowing that God establishes my steps, even as my heart plans the way, allows me to feel both wild and free.