“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” —Philippians 4:13 NKJV

Sitting alone in an empty house a feeling of deep despair bubbled up in my spirit as I cried out to God. My children were at school and my husband was at work. I treasure my mornings alone with God. On this particular morning a battle was raging in my mind. My soul was in mourning as I began to wonder why certain aspects of my life hadn’t played out the way I thought they would.

As I prayed I began to cry out to God.

“Why God…

Why is this so hard…

I can’t understand why this isn’t working out like I sensed it was going to…

The way YOU showed me it was going to?!!”

Tears flowed from my eyes like a raging river crashing through a newly broken dam.

God spoke.

“Krissy…” His voice was calm and fatherly.

“You’ve been trying so hard to color inside the lines.”

Peace came over me instantly as I sat in His presence hanging on His every word.

“It’s OK to color outside the lines…” He continued.

“It’s OK…”

His words echoed in my spirit.

And that was all He said.

But I got it.

Eyes closed I sat in the warmth of His presence and began to imagine my children as they colored. My nearly six-year-old daughter is very serious about staying inside the lines. She is in Kindergarten so there is a big emphasis about developing this as a skill and she is always so proud of herself when she does, rightfully so. My four year old son however, who is more of a free spirit by nature, has not had that particular teaching yet in school so when he colors he is all over the place!

Though completely different approaches, each of my children colors from a place of joy and freedom. Then I began to reflect upon the scenario a little more and consider what happens when my daughter would challenges her brother’s to coloring.

“Buddy…” She would say with deep concern and a splash of irritation.

“You’re not doing it right…

You’re not coloring inside the lines…

You’re just scribbling!”

Most times my carefree son would just look at her, laugh, and then scribble bigger and more ostentatious than ever, but every now and then her words would get to him. Every now and then her expectation would box him in and cause discouragement to drape over him like a heavy blanket, one that he lacked the strength and skill set to simply brush off. In these cases big crocodile tears would begin to pour out of his sparkly blue eyes as he compared his paper with his sister’s noticing the vast difference between the two.

God used this to teach me a very powerful lesson about myself.

That the once out of the box aspects of myself had somehow gotten boxed in.

I had gotten so concerned about fitting in when God made me to stand out.

I was afraid.

Afraid of stepping out fully into the plan of God for my life.

Afraid of running full speed ahead the path marked out for me that I had begun slowing down nearly tiptoeing through life scared to death of messing up, saying the wrong thing, offending someone, failing, etc. Even the thought of succeeding scared me!

So here I sat—faced with a decision.

Do I continue down the path of a careful existence mindful of not stepping on any toes along the way?

Or do I jump feet first back into the life of freedom and purpose God had called me to—unafraid of coloring outside the lines?

Thankfully I chose the latter!!

I choose the path of the fearlessly obedient Spirit led life!

What fear had tried to silence, I will rise up and SHOUT!

What discouragement had tried to cover, I will stand boldly and allow to shine!

I wonder, how many of you can relate to this?

How many of you are feeling that same stirring that God is wanting you to let go of fear, embrace His call on your life, and color outside the lines? He has called you to stand out—not be boxed in.

It’s the life outside the boat.

The life of running and dancing upon the waters of destiny with Jesus!

“Arise, shine for your light has come and the glory of the Lord rests upon you.” Isaiah 60:1

If this was for you today, fall to your knees and ask God to remove the cloak of discouragement and replace it with His cloak of righteousness! Rebuke the fear that has crippled you and declare freedom over yourself right now! Remember, the same spirit that raised Christ from the dead lives in you (Rom. 8:11)! So as a child of God you walk in authority and victory! You hold the keys to unlock your heart and set your feet to dancing!

God is releasing JOY over each and every one of you as you read this and embrace that He has called you to stand out and not be boxed in.

That’s a BIG—Yea God!!

I love you,

P.S. How can I be praying for you today?

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