One day, it hit me. I was living most of my life looking at or through a box. Not literally, of course. But my eyes and ears were mostly focused on messages with four lines surrounding them.
Sometimes, it was the TV box. Other times, the boxes were of computer screens, calendar dates or pages of a book. My phone and its apps made up many little boxes soaking up my day.
I felt conflicted about it.
I loved the boxes in so many ways. The boxes helped me remember where to be, how to get somewhere and numbers to dial. Boxes sent alerts if someone needed me, and they reminded me of special days and memories.
Boxes allowed me to work and make a living.
These boxes brought photos, new recipes and funny GIFs my husband sent me. Yet even with all of the well-intentioned boxes, something was missing.
What life looked like beyond a box - the places void of messages suggesting what to think, feel and do were absent. I couldn't imagine a life not confined, constricted and controlled by a box.
But, I wanted to.
One day, the longing grew so deep, I finally did it. I gave myself permission to venture out beyond the box.
I set down all of my boxes and stepped into fresh, open air to simply just be.
Words typed through a box, so others can read them from a box, won't put to justice the sensation I felt.
But let's just say I reconnected with the smell of freedom, the feeling of nourishment and the longing for creativity.
Without any lines holding me in, I began to notice beauty and color once again. I marveled in what's unknowable and reconnected with God - the source of the deep tug leading me into this creative place.
I saw the natural order of things, and the hope and grace woven within them.
Like the sun's rays that go as they please and magnificently pierce through the clouds.
The waltz of the leaves that move in chaotic harmony. The birds flying high forming perfect lines and patterns. Green buds following an unspoken earthly timer, an invisible tick all of nature seemed to hear.
Everything around me appeared to be listening to an unseen voice that was also calling to me, waking up my creative senses to connect with creation.
"I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God," the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus.
As I stood there grasping the width, length, height and depth of God's love for me, I offered gratitude for all of the boxes that helped establish and introduce me to God's love.
But then, I fell freely back into the space without a four-lined boundary or routine for just a little while longer. A space where I felt both rooted and grounded, yet fully loved and free. A place that only came when I stepped outside of the box.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me notice how often I focus and get stuck on what's safe, routine and inside of a box. Give me time, courage and creativity to step out from what's comfortable into an unbound, exciting experience with you.
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