Everyone goes somewhere when they are afraid. When I was little, it was the depths of my walk in closet. Outfitted with pillows, blankets and candy; it felt more like today’s tiny houses on HGTV. And in that tiny house, I could shut out everything that brought tears to my eyes. At least, that’s what I thought. But even my rope-pulley candy system wasn’t enough to hold back the floodgates of divorce and death in my family. So the doors of my closet, and my heart, became increasingly closed.
I started this blog back in 2013 with the goal of documenting all blessings the Lord has given me. However, it has grown into a project of spiritual growth like I’d never expected. Amidst the articles about running and travel, I weaved in yearly-themes that the Lord highlighted for me. After a Grateful 2013, I was led to pursue a Presence Filled 2014. I wanted more of God and less of me. With His presence giving me strength, I endured through the most difficult and rewarding year of my life. So when 2015 rolled around, I felt a resounding urge to declare it the year of Freedom. In all honesty, when I reflect back on that initial proclamation, I laugh at my own naivety. Did I really think the freedom would come without cost? Without pain? Without sacrifice?
I learned that year that freedom requires all those things, and I wasn’t always willing to give them. As the year rolled on- and I rolled out excuses- I began to hate my chains more and more. And freedom came in blissful shards of brokenness, as my facade dripped away. So much so, that I was awestruck by the faithfulness of the Lord- which then became my driving theme for 2016. I saw it as my chance to draw nearer to Him and break from the last of the chains that had held me.
So why then, am I not completely free? Why do tendrils of the control and perfectionism still choke the very breath I long to give the Lord? I chalked it up to laziness, not wanting to put forth the effort. But as I prayed this past week, I came to the realization that laziness has nothing to do with it. It’s fear. Just like a six year-old hiding in the corner, I am closing my own doors because I am so afraid.
I was deliberating between a handful of words for this year, but God kept bringing me back to this one. “But Lord,” I said, “I really feel like this is the year of pursuing you, of throwing off everything else and search of greater intimacy with you.” He responded: “And what do you need to throw off?”
Fear of losing control. Fear of what people think. Fear of dying along. Fear of not being beautiful. Fear of being too much, and yet: Not enough.
It has entrenched itself into every facet of my life, and I’m just not cool with that anymore. What’s more: Neither is the King. So this is my year of throwing off fear and grabbing ahold of courage. A year of running whole-heartedly towards Christ. I invite you to join me as we dare to live out a year of courage and conviction, for the cause of Christ.
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