Friday, January 17, 2014

Living Fearless

I follow several bloggers who pick a word each year that they want to focus on for the entire year. Its a word that speaks to them, that they want to live by and that they feel God is directing them towards. The organization describes it as "choosing to live with purpose and intentionality."

I've been thinking and praying on this idea a lot during these first three weeks of 2014. After thoughtful consideration, my word for this coming year is fearless.  I have mentioned before that I have often lived making decisions that are rooted in fear.  I have also seen that a life that operates out of fear can be just as damaging and heartbreaking as a life lived in which you aren't held back by the scary potential of an outcome that will hurt.

I have learned much of this the hard way. I've also learned that when the ground falls out from underneath you, He is there to hold you and that He can work those hurtful and difficult things out for good and for glory.  The Lord has held me through heartache and pain and He has produced peace and joy in me, which I am abundantly thankful for.

But I am still a work in progress and I have growing to do in the area of learning to believe that I have nothing to be afraid of because God loves me and is for me. New situations, blessings, and sources of hope can also be frightening if I allow them to be because they require me to step out in faith.  They require me to put my heart on the line and they can expose old wounds.

I trust in a good and loving God though, and so this year I want to walk by that faith and learn to live a life that is fearless. I think the first step in that journey is found in 1 John 4:18, "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear. . ."  The grace in this verse is that it is not my love that casts out fear, it is His love that is perfect and that has the ability to destroy the bondage of fear.  When I learn who I am in Christ, and when I can fully grasp how completely and perfectly my savior loves me - it paves the way for me to live a life of freedom.

So instead of a long list of resolutions this year, I am setting my sights on one thing. I am asking the Lord to walk me through this journey of becoming secure in His love for me and unafraid of anything that may come, so that I can in turn freely give love out to those in my life.