It might be early to be thinking about New Year's resolutions, but the Christmas shopping is done already (mostly because we actually used cash this year and it meant we bought a whole lot less) so I guess I'm getting a head start. My 2014 resolution was to live for things that last eternally, and it was quite the year. I'll admit, I didn't really know what that resolution looked like, it was an intangible goal. What I did know was it meant getting closer to God because only He was going to be able to show me what I should be living for. The year included getting out of debt and learning to handle money God's way. It meant learning to live with less stuff in order to gain margin for our family. It meant stepping outside of my comfort zone and starting this blog.
My women's group is finishing up a fantastic study called "She's Got Issues" by Nicole Unice and it is the inspiration for my 2015 resolution. Nicole is a Christian counselor, ministry leader and mom. In this book she writes about the six most common issues women struggle with: control, insecurity, comparison, fear, anger and unforgiveness. I opened the book knowing I would score VERY high on the control freakiness scale, but I wasn't expecting to have issues with the rest of the topics. Wrong.
During this six-week study, I've learned that my control freakiness stems from fear; fear of the unknown, fear of exposure, fear of failure. I lessen the fear by controlling the outcomes (or trying to). An example of this, although comical now, was my idea of how to avoid divorce: never get married. My husband, Zac, will vouch for this. Although he had purchased a ring only a few months after we began dating, he waited a year and a half before proposing. He knew we would get married eventually, but I was sorting through my own fears and I needed to come full circle before a proposal would ever be welcomed. Thankfully he was patient. He let me figure out the error in my conclusion on my own terms.
Here are a few of the fears I am dealing with today:
-Not having enough money
-Failing in a new career path
-Not being sufficient as a wife and mom
Fear is a tricky thing because it leads to anxiety, something I have experienced many times. I recently learned that it is impossible for your brain to be both anxious and grateful at the same time. When I start to feel anxious (which likely is stemming from one of the above mentioned fears), I pray. I thank God for something, nothing profound, sometimes just the cup of warm coffee on my desk. It works, I cannot be anxious and grateful at the same time. But what if we didn't have those fears and anxieties to begin with? What would a year with no fear look like? What would you do if you weren't afraid? Would you start a business? Would you write a book? Would you pursue new friendships and repair damaged ones? Would you be more vulnerable? Be honest with yourself, and consider joining me. Let 2015 be the year you find freedom from your fears.
"It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."