Stand Firm Without Fear
Last year I sat down at my computer and shared my word of the year. The word I chose was COURAGE. I had no idea what 2016 would hold for me and my family at the time I typed each letter of the word out. I thought in my heart that the word courage would apply to pursuing my passion in home decor and design. I wanted to take on more projects and focus on design opportunities to expand my experience and grow my skills.
However, God had other plans for what the word courage would look like for me and my life. I found myself needing courage more than ever within a few short months into the year.
I would describe last year as a year of letting go....
letting go of myself so that I may serve others,
letting go and surrendering my dreams,
and letting go of someone that I loved and meant the world to me.
I have to admit that letting go of these things wasn't easy. There were some very hard and difficult days. I felt so lost and that my identity was taken away from me. In addition, I felt like I was inadequate and a failure. There were days when my heart was filled with so much hurt that I could not utter a word in prayer. Instead, the only thing that I could offer to God was my tears. These were some of the hardest days that I had experienced in a very long time.
Some may perceive last year as a year of loss for me but I choose to focus on it as a year of growth. It was through this season of pain and letting go that God revealed so much to me.
I learned that being obedient to God's way is not always easy. Obedience is often uncomfortable and inconvenient but being obedient to HIS plan is necessary.
I realized that my dreams and desires for my life may not align with God's plan and purpose that he has for me.
I found that when you pray for guidance and direction that you may end up feeling more lost than ever. It is in those invisible moments of uncertainty where true trust in God is exercised and where steadfast faith is found.
I experienced that letting go of someone you love is never easy but learning to live life without them is harder.
I understand through my journey of grief that it is a process that we all must go through and that there is no timeline or limit on how long we are to grieve. We must navigate through our own grief journey in our own way. There is no right or wrong way to grieve.
It has taken much courage to surrender these things...courage to let go and let God. These are things that I love and cherish and part of my daily life and routine. During this time, God gave me courage that I didn't know that I had and courage for making decisions that I didn't want to make.
HIS word tells us:
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
This promise is so true and one that I experienced and lived through last year.
I realize now that everything that I experienced in 2016 has developed my spiritual character, help me to deal with my pain, grow my faith and trust in God. I learned through this process that I was not who I thought I was but was also reminded that I am not who I used to be. That is what growth is...a process of increasing.
Last year was a year of growth for me and it taught that letting go of my dreams, desires and those that I love takes courage. A lot of courage.
It takes courage to surrender to God without resistance and without struggle.
"Yet if you devote your heart to HIM and stretch your hands out to HIM
if you put away the sin that is in your hand and allow no evil to dwell in your tent,
then, free of fault, you will lift up your face; you WILL stand firm and without fear."
My idea of what courage looked like for me in 2016 was completely different than what God had planned for me. But I realized that in every loss there is always gain when we choose to seek HIM....when we choose to stand firm on HIS promises without fear.
As this year approached, I didn't choose a word, one word, to define my year. I chose to define my life based upon HIS word instead.
Love and Prayers...