Living

Fear and the New Year

I just want to warn you from the start, some parts of this post may be a little more like brain dumping. Some parts may be a little more cohesive than others. So, I apologize for that already. I am feeling the need to process some of my thoughts, and maybe posting them on the world wide web is weird.

Or maybe it’s not such a bad idea.

Maybe there are some others out there dealing with similar things. It’s for those that I will press on and share my heart in hopes to encourage you that you’re not alone. So here we go…

I love the time surrounding the New Year! Love it! Thinking back on the year before, dreaming and planning for the year ahead, and just an overall fresh start are things I so enjoy in this season. But this New Year season has been really different. Fear has gripped my heart for various reasons, and it’s been tough to shake it. I am usually such an optimist and a dreamer, so these feelings have blindsided me! I’m not used to this at all! (Which is why I feel the need to process them.) My thoughts are normally like this:

“A new year! I can’t wait to see what The Lord has in store! Yay!”

But my thoughts this year have been more like:

“A new year. Who knows what The Lord may have in store. Sigh.”

And then my mind goes in 100 different terrible directions all of which leave me with the image of me crying in a little crumpled heap. (Just being real with you guys here. I’m a mess!) I keep having thoughts that something bad COULD happen this year. I COULD experience pain and loss. It COULD be a really tough year. Who knows what The Lord may have in store for me in 2015.

I am fearful of:

Something happening to my kids.
Something happening to me or my husband.
Not overcoming sin struggles that keep popping up in my life.
Not meeting standards that I set for myself.
Crumbling at the pressure of my responsibilities.
Seeing things that I hold dear change.
My husband continuing to pour out so much in business with little return.
Failing my kids in our homeschool by not doing enough.
Wasting time on and pursuing things that don’t matter.
Not seeing change at the end of this year.

These are just some of them. Some of these fears I have no control over. If they happen, they happen and I’ll trust The Lord through it. I have to trust that The Lord is before me. I have to trust that no matter what, He is good. I have to trust that all my days have been ordained for me before there was even one. I have to trust that God will use all things for my good and His glory. I have to trust that the best thing for me is more of Jesus, and by whatever means I get more of Him is good. I have to walk into 2015 with faith and trust.

Deut. 31-8

Where some of my fears may be ordained for me to walk in, some of them are rooted in lies or are self-imposed, sinful issues. It’s my choice, and ultimately my sin, if I continue to waste my time by choosing to pursue things that don’t matter. I can choose to believe the lie that I’m not enough for my kids in our homeschool time, or believe that The Lord is helping me. I can run hard and fast after a standard that I have set for myself that is not healthy and conducive to loving my family well. I can think this standard is so important and if I fail at it then I am nothing. Or, I can see that it is a lie and seek what God’s standard is and pursue that. I don’t want to chase my idea of perfect. I want to embrace that I am imperfect and that I serve a God who is perfect, loves me perfectly through Christ, and extends His perfect grace to me moment by moment. I know I will struggle with sin until The Lord calls me to be with Him, so I have to trust in His grace and mercy every day.

IMG_6543

This book arrived yesterday, and I’m thinking it’s going to be a really helpful thing for where I am. I heard about Lara Casey last year and went through her goal setting series on her blog (which I highly recommend!). I have followed her on instagram for a while and saw that her book was about to come out. She oozes with grace and love for the Lord. And, she oozes with encouragement! I was intrigued by the book for sure. A sweet friend wrote a review on it, and after her suggestion I jumped in and purchased it. I started reading and immediately knew that it was a great choice. The whole first section of the book is called “Surrender Your Fear.” Well ok! The first chapter is called “Stop Chasing Perfect,” and the second is called, “Meet Your Fear.” I cannot even tell you how perfect these have been and have met me right where I am. I am excited to work more through the book and see how The Lord will use it in my life. I don’t want fear to grip me. I don’t want to strive for something that The Lord hasn’t set for me. I want to please Him and honor Him with this life He has given me.

Over the next couple of days I’m going to try to work through Lara’s goal setting series more and I would love to share my progress with you here. I think in light of what I’m struggling with at the moment working through her process will be so helpful for my heart. I don’t want to walk into this year afraid and not willing to take risks. I want to plan my days and have goals to work towards. I want to do it all though trusting that It’s the Lord who will establish my steps in the days to come.

If you are fearful of the year ahead, or if you feel stuck and don’t know where to go, can I encourage you to walk along with me and set some goals of your own? Can I encourage you to look to Jesus? Just as the verse in the picture above says,

“It is the Lord who goes before you.
He will be with you.
He will not leave you or forsake you.
Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deut. 31:8

Grasping for HIs grace,

~Heather 

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