Get Real: Resolutions.

2013 is nearing an end and as I watch it wave goodbye in the rearview mirror, a satisfied smile gently creeps across my face.  It has been good to me.  It has been tough and gentle, kind and harsh, full of great and not-so-great moments.  My heart has been broken with grief that questioned and didn't understand.  My past has been ripped open to reveal healing among the awkward smiles and tear-filled relief.  My faith has grown deeper, richer, with the vast complexity of life and all the confusion it has to offer.  I have received so much more in 2013 than I ever bargained for.  Isn't that how it usually works when the Lord is in it? 

Before this year even began, this year of growth and despair and heavenly contentment among the chaos, I made a resolution.  Before you roll your eyes, hear me out.  I know that, generally speaking, we make a joke out of resolutions.  We promise to lose weight or save money or quit drinking pop in the new year.  Most likely, those decisions last about two weeks.  But a long time ago, a friend and I decided that we would make resolutions that actually meant something.  Ones that weren't materialistic or superficial, but resolutions that would stretch us and make us better people.

This year, my resolution was simple in theory.

Conquer fear.   

Some may look at those words and think it would be no big deal.  Others may look at those words and think I bit off more than I could chew.  And, to be honest, for the first few months of 2013, even I believed I had made a foolish decision in choosing such a goal.  Conquer fear?  Me?  Impossible.  I've had more issues with anxiety in the past year than I have had in the entire duration of my existence.  There were some days where it seemed like such a massive task.  There were other days where it seemed so minute, as if there were a million other things, better things, I could be striving towards. 

Yet I had goals that I wanted to meet this year, and to meet those goals, I had to take fear by the throat and body slam it to the ground.  I had to slay the giant standing before me if I ever wanted to move forward.  And I was so desperate to move forward.  "I'll go," I uttered in prayer.  "I'll go if You'll meet me."

And He did. 

Every single time, He met me.  When my knees shook together, He held my hand.  When my heart trembled, He smiled and whispered peace.  When I dared to look into the eyes of my motherless cousins and offer my presence when I could offer no answers, He tucked me near His heart.  He has been present every step of this treacherous journey.

When I originally thought of conquering fear, my main purpose was to quit hiding behind a coward's heart.  I can't tell you the exact moment it began.  I can't even recall the first small step I took towards bravery.  But there have been some massive moments for me in the past year that have only happened because the Lord gave me the grace to conquer fear.

My very first Ferris wheel ride!

The Bridge of Doom!

Alison and I before crossing the Bridge of Doom.

Facing old hurts and finding His light.
(And so many more occasions!)

I finally took the driving test and received my license.  I have braved crazy heights (see above).  I entered a special needs classroom to work with children, not having the slightest clue what challenges I would face or how easy it would be to fall in love with my rambunctious kiddos.  I have faced exes, their friends, their families, and have not fallen apart at the seams.  I have walked into buildings and have looked into familiar faces that once housed my deepest hurts, all while wearing a smile and holding my head high.  And I am currently learning to have the courage to trust God even when you don't understand Him and love people even when you know they will break your heart.

In preparing for this post, I searched for the actual definition of 'conquer'.  I didn't think that I had actually conquered fear, merely that I was in the process of becoming more brave.  But as I stared at the screen, the definition settled in my spirit and left me grinning like an idiot.  Dictionary.com defines 'conquer' in this way: "to gain a victory over".  And doesn't it say in Romans 8:37 that we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us?  

We are victorious because of Him.  I am one that has gained victory over fear through Him, and only through Him, that has loved me with an everlasting and eternal love.  Will I still be scared at times?  Of course.  I am human and fear is a necessary evil of this flesh.  But I am no longer a slave to fear because I am more than a conqueror through Christ! 

What is God asking you to conquer through Him?  Are you believing Him for the victory?  Because I am a living testament that it may not always happen as quickly or as smoothly as we would like, but He does offer the victory.  And you can claim it daily because He has a supply that never runs out.  As this new year begins, I encourage you to dig deep and examine your heart and your life.  Discover the dusty corners where God wants to move, where He wants to show what He is awesomely capable of, and I promise you that it will be life-altering.  

Father, we thank You for blessing us with another year to honor You and to grow and learn.  We thank You for the victory that You won for us on the cross.  We apologize for not always reaching for Your hand first when we are frightened or frustrated.  Thank You for Your mercy and grace and patience with Your children.  We ask that You would show us where You want to reveal Yourself in our lives, Father.  May this new year be a year of spiritual growth like we've never experienced before.  Give us a hunger to trust You for the mighty things You are capable of doing in our lives.  Let any chains holding our hearts captive be removed and destroyed so that we may experience the freedom found in being conquerors through You.  We love You, Lord, and we ask all of these things in the awesome name of Jesus, amen.  <3     


1 comment:

  1. Beautiful, Inspiring! Proud Of You!!!<3
    With Him ALL Things Are Possible!!!!!<3