But when I am afraid, I will put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
My children often teach me many lessons on life and parenthood. Having one child with autism has also taught me to embrace the fact that many of the obsessions children with this diagnosis have are often not completely rational, and sometimes others may think their likes are downright weird. Our son, Hunter’s, obsession? Sharks. Despite his love for this ocean creature, I am deeply terrified of sharks. While Hunter learns all he can about them (did you know there was a Lemon Shark?), I can’t get past the only thing I care to remember about them.
They swim in the ocean. Underneath my feet. And they bite. Hard! I’m afraid of the ocean. I’m afraid of sharks.
He will cover you with his feathers. He will shelter you with his wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection. Do not be afraid of the terrors of the night, nor the arrow that flies in the day. Psalm 91:4-5
Yet, there are many things this heart fears.
I’m afraid of failure. I’m afraid of speaking up. I’m afraid of being vulnerable. I’m afraid of taking big steps, moving forward into unknown territories.
Why? Because it means I may fail. I may have to speak up. I may have to be vulnerable.
I’m afraid of not belonging. I’m afraid of roller coasters, spiders, and snakes. And while its contradictory, I’m afraid of not indulging in and reaching for everything this life has to offer.
I fear not being good enough, and I let this fear hold me back from living a life of purpose.
I fear looking back and realizing all the things I said I would do and accomplish were never accomplished at all.
That’s why this year, I have no resolutions. I will not make plans to do more or less of anything. This year my resolution is simply one word: FEARLESS.
“Don’t be afraid. For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears.” Zephaniah 3:16-17
FEARLESS. The word that God revealed to me as I reflected on the past year, and thought about the one ahead. Maybe it’s because too many times lately I have been afraid to speak up, move forward, and be vulnerable. Afraid of what others would think. Afraid to hurt others’ feelings. Someone who is often known for having so much spunk, has been anything but spunky!
I have been so overcome with fear that I have certainly not been FEARLESS.
I can’t tell you what this word will look like for me this year. Only God knows this. But, I do believe that in order to be FEARLESS, my purpose must be to face my fears. Admit I am afraid. Tell myself that being afraid is natural and totally OK.
While it may not mean I get over my fear of spiders or snakes, it does mean I learn to step outside my comfort zone…
To jump into the ocean, even though I know sharks swim in there.
To speak up, even though I may be the only one sharing.
To fail, be fine with it, and maybe even fail again.
To be vulnerable, even if it hurts.
To realize I am good enough, despite what others may think.
To reach for, indulge in, and grasp everything that God wants for me to have in this life, even if the path looks too long, too hard, or too scary.
To be FEARLESS.