Last year, my word was discover. It felt adventurous, curious, hopeful…I didn’t quite know what would unfold during the year, but I was sure something was unfolding.
I was right. 2017 was a mixture of many different kinds of discovery. It held triumphs and pains unlike any other year I have ever had. Discover, I learned, didn’t mean reading through National Geographic on a more routine basis, or taking more nature walks, or finding a new hobby.
Discover meant that I unearthed things about myself that I would have rather left buried. It meant that I discovered my capacity for intense pain. I learned about my Enneagram personality number, and all the necessary steps to growth that come with it. I discovered that, as emotional as I thought I was, I was not very good at feeling things in the moment. My emotions take a while to steep and process–and boy, did I have a lot to process in 2017.
Discover was a lot harder than I thought. And, honestly, welcome, my word for 2016, took a lot of unexpected twists as well.
So, as I pick fearless as my 2018 word, it’s, ironically, with a bit of fear.
It’s sort of like the story of the girl who prayed for patience, but got upset when the Lord sent turmoil into her life. I would like my fearlessness bestowed upon me in a Divine impartation.
“Do you mind, Lord, if I skip the trial and tribulation and fearful part of becoming fearless?”
For me, being fearless in 2018 means looking forward to a year that will likely involve intense change. I am planning a move across state lines sometime in this year, from Arkansas back to my native Texas. In the months to come, I will be changing jobs, changing states, changing homes, changing churches…pretty much everything constant and stable in my life will rearranged or replaced.
But that’s not all. As I discovered more about myself in 2017, I learned that I am very fearful of venturing out verbally. I might not be fearful of a giant, transformational move…but I am fearful of telling you what I think, particularly if my opinion could cause you discomfort.
As I consider the ramifications of being fearless, I wonder what it would be like to finally let go of all this burden. What if I could finally stop fearing that God disapproves of me? What if I could enter relationships freely without being afraid of others not accepting or enjoying my presence? What if I could stop second-guessing my family’s pride in me? What if I could stop reliving the haunting memories out of the fear that I will miss an important life lesson?
I have no doubt that fearless is the perfect word for this year.
There is freedom waiting for me on the other side of fear.
And, as afraid as I am of this word I have chosen, I still pick it.
May I chase it. May I study it. May I get a taste of what life could be without a drop of fear. May I lean fully into the Everlasting Arms that promise to never, ever, ever let me go.
“The Lord is my light and my salvation—
so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
so why should I tremble…
Though a mighty army surrounds me,
my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
I will remain confident….
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music.”
Join me in 2018 as I explore what I am learning about my journey to fearlessness! Each month, I’ll be back with a new aspect of how fearless is changing my year. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t afraid. But I’m also very excited. Won’t you come along?