The week between Christmas and New Year has always been a good time for reflection. So I’ve been thinking about my “One Word” for 2013 – Fearless.
Not that I saw myself as fearless, but I believed God wanted to grow me in that direction. It didn’t feel like it was “mine”. It was an aspirational word. Kind of like “thin” will be an aspirational word my whole life.
There was the acknowledgement that “Fear not.” is the most common command in the Bible and that other command, “Follow me.” which usually involves risk and the F word, at least in my life.
Living with this “One Word” in 2013 helped me to pay attention. Henry James, a novelist, writes “Try to be one of the people on whom nothing is lost.” This was my goal.
Not that it’s been a smooth ride. I had a panic attack for the first time in my life. And that’s not “me”. At least that’s how my pride responds.
But I also took risks, and went public with a big goal that I felt was beyond my ability.
I think the biggest “fearless” lesson I learned came while I was running. And running. And, you know… trying not to die.
It was this: Just stay in this one mile. Trust God for courage in this one mile. Even this one step. Be present to Him in this. Talk to Him in this, and He will provide courage in this one step so you can take one more step. One more mile.
We may not be fearless in the face of all the things, but if we can hold God’s hand through
this one hard conversation,
this night of black-hole loneliness,
this painful hour when we feel crushed,
this day of bill-paying or job-searching, or sobriety-striving…
it will add up.
We are not fearless, but God is. And if we can’t trust Him for all of it, maybe we can trust Him for a minute, or a mile.
Here are a few more lessons I’ve learned as I prayed to grow into this word, Fearless:
- “Jesus is in the business of making braver people, not safer situations.” Gary Haugen
- God often sees more in us than we see in ourselves.
- “God most often likes to meet you outside the circle of your control.” Stephen Furtick
- Looking around (comparison) breeds fear. Looking up and in breeds courage.
- “God’s dream for you is bigger than a second-hand faith.” Mark Batterson. But first-hand faith requires risk.
- “God isn’t surprised when we fail, He’s surprised when we quit. We’re not our successes or failures, we’re His.” Bob Goff
Lastly, everyone needs a team. Prayers, encouragers, coaches, truth-tellers, run-alongsiders. I’m so grateful for my team.
What was your One Word this year and what have you learned? Are you choosing a “one word” for 2014?