“A life lived in fear is a life half lived.” ~ Strictly Ballroom
For the last few years, I’ve been asking God to give me a word for the year — a word that describes something He wants to do in me or through me. A word He wants me to hold in my heart. A spiritual theme I can focus on for the next twelve months.
In 2012, it was COURAGE — as in “Courage, dear heart!” — as Aslan says to Lucy, when she finds herself in a dark place on The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
In 2013, it was RELENTLESS — as in relentlessly cheerful and determined not to give up or give in to discouragement.
This year, in 2014, the word He’s given me is FEARLESS.
I have to be honest: That scares me a little.
It makes me wonder what exactly He has in store for me this year…
In the last chapter of my latest book — What Women Should Know About Facing Fear — I wrote about what it looks like to live fearlessly. What it looks like to walk in freedom from fear.
I’ve experienced that freedom. I know it’s real!
I also know how easy it is to slip back into fear’s power. Especially the kind of fear we also call anxiety, worry, or stress.
That’s the battlefield where I face fear most often in my own life today. I’m constantly tempted to worry and fret and stress and churn over all kinds of things.
When I surrender to that temptation, I willingly go back to the land of slavery — the place from which God delivered me. I drop my sword and my shield, and I pick up the shackles — fastening them back on my own wrists.
If I’m not careful, I will forget I ever knew what it was to be free. To be the woman God created me to be.
Jesus has been so faithful to come after me, to call me, to whisper the Words that bring hope and healing and life to me.
I think this year He’s inviting me to pick up my sword and do battle once again. Take back some of the ground I’ve lost over the years and conquer some new territory. He wants to lead me into victory!
Want to come with me?
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We are better together. Stronger together. Braver together. Free.
As I reflect on what the word FEARLESS might mean for me in 2014, I’m reminding myself of this important truth:
Living fearlessly does not mean you never feel afraid.
“Sometimes you do still feel fear — but you don’t let it consume you or control you. You let it serve you. Let it alert you, either to a real danger you need to guard against or a heart condition you need to address. And you remember that courage is not the absence of fear; it’s the determination that something else is more important. It’s the willingness to act in spite of it. The triumph over it.” ~ What Women Should Know About Facing Fear, pg 162
Together, let’s be fearless in 2014!