cheering woman open arms to sunriseOne of the saddest things I think people are afraid of when it comes to surrendering yourself to someone or anything would be that they might feel trapped, tied down, or a loss of independence.

I ditched the Super Bowl last night and watched “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” I don’t remember ever seeing the whole movie before. However, I do remember singing “Moon River” over and over again when I was younger. It’s a sweet and quirky movie with Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly.   Basically, it’s the story of a young woman who is afraid to love and be loved. She sees herself as a free-spirit and doesn’t want to be captured.

I loved it. I saw a lot of myself in Holly Golightly. I’m a free spirit. I don’t like to have people tell me I can or cannot do something. I like my space and only allow certain people or things to occupy it with me. I don’t like restrictions when I want things my way.

The end of the movie was Hollywood cliché, but I was surprised by the dialogue when Holly’s long-time friend and neighbor tells her again that he loves her. Her reaction is typical of anyone who wants to live a free and unattached life.

Paul Varjak: I love you.

Holly Golightly: So what.

Paul Varjak: So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!

Holly Golightly: [tearfully] No. People don’t belong to people.

Paul Varjak: Of course they do!

Holly Golightly: I’ll never let ANYBODY put me in a cage.

Paul Varjak: I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!

Ok. Big deal. It’s a Hollywood love scene with all the drama included. But it struck me. I could have had this very conversation with a man who wants to love me just for who I am. I used to think that if I allowed him to love me it would mean giving up the life I wanted. I used to think that surrendering to him meant being someone I didn’t want to be. I used to think that letting him love me would leave me feeling trapped and caged with legalism.

To make my point I’ll change the names to protect the innocent and let’s read the dialogue again.

Jesus: I love you.

Me: So what.

Jesus: So what? So plenty! I love you, you belong to me!

Me: No. People don’t belong to people.

Jesus: Of course they do!

Me: I’ll never let ANYBODY put me in a cage.

Jesus: I don’t want to put you in a cage, I want to love you!

The fact is that Jesus loved me first and I do belong to Him. I love Him because He first loved me. And his love is exactly what sets me free. Because with his love comes grace to be free from my sins and mercy to be forgiven. With grace and mercy comes freedom. With freedom comes the ability to roam and grow. Roaming and growing causes dreams to be born and if you love someone, you trust each other with your dreams. Jesus loves me enough to dream for me. And He’s got God-sized dreams for me!

That’s a love worth my eternal devotion.

Jesus doesn’t require rituals. He’s not looking for strict Bible reading schedules and memorization for me to be loved. He knows I’m gonna screw up! That’s the whole reason He died for me. My lack of deity does not make him love me any less. Could there be any more freedom in the fact that no matter what I do I cannot be loved any less?

It tells me of a Savior’s love,
Who died to set me free;
It tells me of His precious blood,
The sinner’s perfect plea.

Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Oh, how I love Jesus,
Because He first loved me!

Bethany Donham

Bethany E. Donham is married to her high school sweetheart and the mother of two beautiful teenage girls. She is a full time Minister to Preschoolers and Families, but has a passion for guiding others to see the world with a Biblical perspective through her writing.

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  1. What a freeing and beautiful post on His love for us, Bethany! I think this post is my new favorite of yours!

    1. Thanks, Stephanie. I am trying really hard to wrap my brain around His love. I know it’s impossible, but it’s fun to try. Perhaps I should just wrap my heart around it then?

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