While in Philadelphia, I had the privilege of visiting Independence Hall where the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States were signed. Originally the Pennsylvania Statehouse, from 1775 until 1783, the Second Continental Congress met there as Philadelphia was conveniently located in the colonies and accessible by sea. After going through security and an incongruous search of our bags, we met our tour guide who made the events that took place in that room come alive for us. She had a dramatic voice and spoke almost as if she had been there in the room when Thomas Jefferson first presented his draft of the Declaration of Independence on July 2, 1776. The document was approved and independence from Britain declared that day, but the Declaration was not officially prepared for signing until July 4, 1776 when John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first to boldly put his signature on the document that Britain would proclaim treasonous. It was read aloud to the people of the newly formed United States from the steps of Independence Hall, and for months afterwards copies of the Declaration made their way around the colonies to be read over and over again. The war lasted until 1783. In that year, the 4th of July was first declared a holiday in Massachusetts, but it was not an official federal holiday until 1941. In 1948, the hall was restored. Many changes had taken place in its 200 years of use, not the least while British forces occupied it and used it as a hospital and barracks for officers during the Revolutionary War. While we do not know if the room looks exactly as it did in 1776, from the hushed tones of the security guards to the reverent expressions on visitor’s faces, one thing is clear: freedom was born here. While today is the 233rd birthday of our country, I also celebrate a day when I became free. Actually, two days. In November of 1966, as an eight year old, my Sunday School teacher and my pastor helped me to see that I was a sinner in need of a Savior. I admitted my sins, believed that Jesus Christ was God’s Son, and confessed that I wanted Jesus to be my Lord. From that day on, I was a Christian bound for Heaven, but the third part of the simple prayer I prayed also known as the ABCs of salvation, (admit, believe, confess) was not as easy. It was not until I was an adult, married and a mother of two that I finally realized that I could not live my life on my own and needed Jesus to take charge of my life. That is when the true freedom began. How about you? Do you have an independence day of your own? Unlike the United States on that long ago day in July, our personal freedom comes not from abandoning our King, but acknowledging our allegiance to Him.