Independence Day: A Non-Writing Related Post

Today our country celebrates its independence. I was thinking about how independence for a country is a wonderful thing. But as individuals? Not so much.

The Christian life is all about my dependence on God. Marriage is about interdependence with my husband. Parenting is about my children’s dependence on me, and allowing them to be less and less dependent as they grow. Writing and editing and agenting are all about my dependence on others.

I can remember some great moments in my life when I celebrated my own independence, like when I moved out from my parents’ home, and when I graduated from college. But generally, there’s not much true independence in my life. Many of us spend a lot of our lives trying to assert our independence, trying not to need anybody, especially God. Eventually we come to realize personal independence isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

But… freedom! That’s another story. As a Christian, I experience freedom in the ultimate sense— freedom from death. Freedom from the consequences of sin that I really deserve. Freedom from worrying about my future. Freedom from living selfishly.

As an American, I have freedoms that are unparalleled in history. I am so thankful for the freedom to openly worship the one true God, and to speak about Him and write about Him all I want!

As a married person, I have some freedoms, too. I’m free from terminal loneliness and free from having to take care of every little detail of life by myself. I’m free to grow as an individual within the safety of being a “couple.” In my work life, I experience freedom to be creative and to relate to others and to be involved in the book world that I love so much. Being self-employed frees me to set my own schedule and work as many hours as I want.

So today I’m celebrating, not so much independence, but freedom. “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:32). The truth of Christ has set us free! Wave the flag, strike up the band, set off the fireworks. This is something worth getting excited about.

What about you? What freedoms are you celebrating today?

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Find out more by pressing below on April 4, 2013 at 7:11 AM

    Asking questions are really good thing if you are not understanding anything completely, however this piece of
    writing presents nice understanding yet.

  2. Danica/Dream on July 7, 2008 at 12:39 AM

    >What a great post!

    I’ve been thinking about this off and on, and the thing I keep coming back to is how unaware we are today of how precious our freedom is. It’s so amazing to me how blessed we are. All too often, we forget the price of our freedom, both as Americans and Christians. I did nothing to deserve any of it. Yet what an amazing gift.

    I am so thankful for those who fought for my freedom as well as the One who died to guarantee it. I am slave to neither another human being nor sin. Incredible.

  3. Pam Halter on July 6, 2008 at 1:57 PM

    >I agree with Timothy and Chatty Kelly. We visited my parents this weekend at the shore and we all prayed for our persecuted brothers and sisters on the 4th of July.

  4. Chatty Kelly on July 5, 2008 at 7:06 PM

    >Freedom of religion! The ability to believe in God and not be killed or persecuted like in other countries.

    I blogged similarly yesterday, about instead of celebrating my independence, I’d celebrate my dependence on God.

    Great minds think alike? (me, a great writer’s mind like you? I wish!)

  5. Carla Gade on July 5, 2008 at 3:32 PM

    >What a wonderful post, Rachelle.
    Praise God for the freedom we have inHim!

  6. Jackie Colburn on July 5, 2008 at 1:53 PM

    >Good morning,
    I can’t imagine a Christian could read this post and not get blurry-eyes with tears.
    hhmmm…my thought is that this post needs to be widely published. People who don’t read your blog are really missing great truth here!

  7. elaine @ peace for the journey on July 4, 2008 at 6:52 PM

    >I think that some of the wonderfully freeing moments I have known as a believer in Christ are those moments when my focus shifts upward. Simply upward to behold a splendor that can never be found at the horizontal.

    Fireworks and Jesus. They go together.


  8. jess on July 4, 2008 at 3:19 PM

    >What a wonderful post. Something sad and beautiful about it. I’m going back and read it again.

  9. Richard Mabry on July 4, 2008 at 2:27 PM

    If you ever decide to leave “agenting” (but don’t you dare!) you can go back to writing. You’ve said it all and said it well. Thanks for expressing what so many of us feel today.
    As for what freedom I’m celebrating today, probably the freedom to put aside for one more day that chore that’s staring me in the face, murmuring “It’s a holiday.”

  10. Julie Johnson on July 4, 2008 at 12:54 PM


    Really well said. I have nothing to add except Amen . . . and thanks!

  11. Anonymous on July 4, 2008 at 10:59 AM

    I met you a few years ago when you were at NavPress. I have been following your blog for a couple of months now. Just wanted you to know that you have one of the best blogs on writing that I have found. It is worth reading every single post. Thanks for all the hard work!

  12. Nicole on July 4, 2008 at 10:58 AM

    >I celebrate the Blood of the Lord shed to set us free and the blood of many soldiers’ lives to establish and keep us free in this country. Praise the Lord. God bless those who fight for our freedom.

    Amen, Rachelle.

  13. Marla Taviano on July 4, 2008 at 10:20 AM

    >Love this post. Happy Freedom Day to you!

  14. Anne L.B. on July 4, 2008 at 8:41 AM

    >As a writer living in the United States, I celebrate freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press. I celebrate the blood that obtained my political freedom, and the blood that obtained my spiritual freedom.

    Freedom is purchased with blood, and requires a greater commitment than that which puts ink to paper. Yet without the written definition of what is purchased with blood, men might not give their lives. Without the permanency of written words, the intent might be lost. Without a decree to set aside time to remember, the price might be forgotten.

    July 4th is when we declared our independence with the pen, not won it with the sword. Had we not first defined freedom, we might not have fought as hard to win it. This is why I believe the pen is mightier than the sword.

    Had God not first given the law and prophets to define sin and salvation, and then put the Gospel in writing, the blood of Christ would not be so understood and remembered as precious.

    The call to write is a treasured gift.

  15. Catherine West on July 4, 2008 at 7:48 AM

    Today is always a little bittersweet for me. Had my life taken a different path, I would have been born and raised in the United States and I would be celebrating all the patriotic things you have talked about. But God had a different plan. Although I can’t call myself an American and wave the flag with pride like you can, I still celebrate freedom just the same – freedom to trust in God for the plans He has for me, freedom in knowing the truth about my birth and seeing His hand in it all, freedom in discoveries that could only have come about through God’s intervention. Ultimately, all these earthly things don’t matter. Like you said, we have a secure hope in our future and we do not need to fear what it might bring. That’s really the only kind of freedom that matters, isn’t it?
    Have a wonderful Independence Day and wave the flag for me!! I have a little one here in my kitchen that my sister gave me – I have to wave it when my husband isn’t looking! He’s one of those Canadians… :0)

  16. Timothy Fish on July 4, 2008 at 6:50 AM

    >One of the greatest freedoms we have to celebrate is the freedom that separation of church and state affords us. In many areas of the world, people worship in secret because the government is opposed to their religion. In parts of the Middle East, it is illegal to become a Christian because Islam is running the government. In the United States, God has blessed us with that “wall of separation” that gives us the freedom to practice our beliefs and helps prevent other religions from hindering that practice.

  17. Chelsea Talks Smack on July 4, 2008 at 1:21 AM

    >AH FREEDOM, YES INDEED…We often forget that thisholiday isnt just about beer and hot dogs. I am celebrating that I’m even allowed to say that. I’m celebrating the freedom I have to BE who I am, say what I want…..have a blog that is completely raw un inflitered and that there are people out there who are FREE to read it. On another note I’m so glad I found your blog, I’m working on my query right now in regards to a recent blog that received 107 comments and now I have a book idea (which Ive always had but this had validated it) and I am celebrating THAT. !!!! Cheers, I look forward ot reading more and HAPPY 4TH!