An Open Letter on Freedom

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Aria Lott

Man, sometimes when I sit to write, I feel so redundant. In the past, more often than not, I was writing to inspire from a low place. I was still in the midst of spiritual and physical and even emotional battles-if I may be candid.

I think the artist Brandy says it best in her song “Have You Ever.” She poses the question: Have you ever needed something so bad you can’t sleep at night? Have you ever tried to find the words but they don’t come out right? Have you ever?

I wish to God that I could say that I haven’t but I’ve spent many nights awake because I was worrying, or should I say, praying because technically if you’re gonna pray, you’re not supposed to worry…right? And Christians aren’t supposed to worry if we say we have faith, right? I digress… But I have spent countless gut wrenching nights wondering how things would turn out; hoping that they turned in my favor but I could never seem to find the words to express to God just how much I needed Him to come through this time and that time. It seemed like I wasn’t getting it right because I was doing some sort of  salsa with life where I was taking one step forward and then several steps back. If you’ve ever been salsa dancing, it’s tiring!!! So it was with life. It was getting tiring! I was losing sight of the fun but I can say, I didn’t have it in me to give up.

I don’t know if you remember the article I wrote on family a while back. In it, I was kind of having and “in my feelings” moment where I was hearing about the fun and exciting things my parents and siblings were doing. I was admittedly bitter because I wasn’t anywhere near them financially and couldn’t afford to enjoy the things they could. Also, professionally, while I loved my job, I wanted to officially be a teacher. I wanted to be done with the test taking process. I wanted the offer letter on the table. I wanted a salary that would speak of all the things I’d done to get there, not one that would constantly leave people asking me how I survive. By the way, don’t ask people that, . Don’t ever look at people with that well, bless your heart look on your face and ask that question. It is incredibly depressing and semi-offensive…

1294510_662015569509_6180666016605984954_oAnyhow, in that article, I was so close to financial freedom and professional success and freedom that I could taste it but it wasn’t my turn yet…Then yesterday happened. Last week I got a call from one of the “big dogs” at a particular school where I had submitted my resume. We spoke on the phone about my interest in teaching with their schools and I was extended an invitation for a formal interview that Friday. The interview went well and I was told I’d hear something by Friday (yesterday). I was checking my email like a mad woman and I was seeing nothing. Everyday, nothing. Then I received word that I would need to do a phone interview (which I passed). I had not heard anything and I knew the district to be taking Friday off. I was discouraged but I didn’t question what I felt in my spirit when I first knew this was not only where I wanted to be but where I am supposed to be at this point in my life and career. It was right after I’d checked my email when my phone rang. It was one of the directors that I’d interviewed with. I was nervous but hopeful. When I heard that they would like to extend an offer for employment, I was able to breathe. If you know anything about my story, you know that I have been bound by epilepsy, having as many at 40 seizures in 2014. As of July 1, 2016, I’ve had only 1 seizure in a year’s time. I was making less in one month than many of my friends pay in tithes. I was barely eating for having to stretch my funds for incidentals. I have had to depend on the help of food pantries in the past. I have had to receive help paying for utilities. I can’t begin to name the times I really thought I was going to break. But I now am gainfully employed as of July 25, 2016. I am finally free.

I thought that I would feel overwhelmed but throughout this time, I’ve leaned on Psalm 34. In it, it says that many are the afflictions of the righteous but the Lord delivers him out of them all. I’m reminded also of Jeremiah 29:11. It says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil to give you a future and a hope. He has done just that for me. I can’t explain what it feels like to know that you have finally come to the end of a season of need and want and desire bred out of a season of need and want and hunger and hurt. I don’t regret my path. I don’t curse God because, down to the second, I have learned many important things that will help me in this next season. The difference is that I don’t carry that crippling fear of being stuck forever in a place of lack and sickness and less than. No matter what lies ahead, my faith makes me free to trust that there is purpose and deliverance in my journey and that there can be peace in the valley on the way to the mountain top.

Oh-and there IS a mountain top.

12592486_658758486729_2376061505488647434_n-Aria Lott

Aria Y. Lott is a person who is continuing to evolve through sharing her experience and is finding there is not only power in the love of God, but power in using her own successes and failures to encourage others to push until they cross the finish line. Aria is a joyful soul. She has experienced much to the contrary but realizes our belief in the possibility or existence of joy is what makes it tangible and challenges you to open yourself up to the possibility of joy and see what happens.

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