New Year Mantra: Fearless
Updated: Jul 27
Have you ever taken a moment to think about the words that others would use to describe you? If your friends and family were asked to share just a few simple adjectives to tell others more about you, what do you think they might say? For me, I would imagine thoughts such as “kind”, “sweet”, “caring”, “sensitive”, “funny” and “helpful” would be offered.
And so, sweet friends, this really got me thinking. What about the opposite?! What if, someone asked those very same special people in my life, to use to words that would not label me. Characteristics that I do not portray in my day-to-day existence. My mind started spinning. This was a little tricky for me. A true look deep into my soul. Would these be good things? Bad characteristics? Qualities that others wish I would show more? It doesn’t really matter, I suppose, but it didn’t take me long to create my own list of things that I am not… “bold”, “lazy”, “outgoing”, “risk-taker”, “selfish”, “fearless”.
Such a tug-o-war I have had with that root word in my life. “Fear”. A four-letter word that has all but taken over my existence at times. That has entrapped me within a tiny glass box. Watching the rest of the world continue their lives with a smile. With a pep-in-their-step. With sunshine radiating in. Who make it all look so easy. While anxiety and sadness, worry and depression had/have ruled my own world many times. And I h.a.t.e. it.
So, as I was sitting in church this Christmas Eve, paying attention to the homily as best as I possibly could with three little ones vying for my attention. the words the priest released from the pulpit tugged persistently at my heart strings. (Okay, maybe yanked!) He spoke about Mary, the mother of Jesus. And the fear she must have felt bringing a baby into the world. For a time, as an unwed virgin. He continued to speak about the fear we feel for our families, and wanting to protect our loved ones from anything and everything bad in life. (Homerun, right there.) I knew, in the deepest crevices of my mind and soul, that I was meant to be there and listen to his words that evening.
But, it didn’t end there. As I was scrolling through my Facebook feed a few days ago, I was stopped suddenly in my tracks at a thought left by one of my favorite sites, Grace For Moms. Posing the question and follow-up assignment, “Are you familiar with the one-word phenomenon that has happened over the past few years? Basically you choose a word to hang as a banner over your year. You know…a word like Hope or Growth or Forgiveness or Courage…something that speaks to what you want your year to be about… Now think about what you want your word to be for 2015 and let’s meet back here next week and share our words. Don’t feel like you have to share now. Think about it. Pray about it. What’s 2015 going to be about for YOU?“ In my heart of hearts, I knew mine had to be about fear. And letting go of it. And putting it all into God’s hands. Letting Him take on my burdens. Lifting my prayers and anxieties to His ears. But I just wasn’t sure how to word-play it. Until…
I unwrapped yet another piece of Dove dark chocolate candy one evening last week, while hiding in the pantry away from my little pack of hyenas, ready to pounce on any aroma of food within breathing distance. And there it was, sweet friends, written on the flip side of the shiny silver-and-purple wrapper: “Be fearless.”
“Yeahhhh, right.” I thought. This is a great joke. “Be fearless.” This could not be any more opposite of the way I live my life. But then, it hit me. Epiphany. I was looking at it a.l.l. w.r.o.n.g.
F.e.a.r.l.e.s.s. Without fear. That just isn’t in the cards for me. But what is in the cards for me is to work from the inside out. From the depths of my soul, to the farthest gravities of my ceaseless mind to live in LESS fear. To live in MORE faith.
And so it is, sweet friends. Fearless. My “mantra” for the new year. My “banner” word for next 365 days. A personal goal potentially harder to attain than any other I have previously set for myself in my life. But I am not left without help. Or guidance. Or words of wisdom. Nope, nope. I am just pages away. When the going gets tough, and the worries flood in, I have just the pillars of strength:
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”
Matthew 6:27 “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?”
Romans 8:18 “The pain that you’ve been feeling, can’t compare to the joy that’s coming.”
Proverbs 12:25 “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down but a good word makes him glad.”
Psalm 62:8 “Trust in Him at all times, pour your hearts out to Him, for God is our refuge.”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself.”
Isaiah 35:4 “Say to those who have an anxious heart, ‘Be strong; fear not! Behold, your God will come with vengeance with the recompense of God. He will come and save you.”
Matthew 6:25-26 “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? 26Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and you your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Romans 8:28 “And we know all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.”
Pslam 94:19 “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.”
And as I sit here, in the middle of this post, I find myself reading the sweet words of a mother and college acquaintance, who has been publically sharing her story of faith during her young son’s cancer diagnosis earlier this year. Her story has been one of the m.o.s.t. powerful representations of faith in God that I have ever witnessed from “a far”. And what did she share today, as I share these words with you? A photo of a necklace, given to her by a neighbor, engraved with the word, “fearless”. And including a note left with the jewelry about how “fearless” doesn’t have to mean being completely and totally without fear; but instead, knowing that God is always and forever with us. In every trial and tribulation. And how He is so. much. greater. than. fear. And much more powerful. That faith in Him and focus on His goodness can eliminate the overwhelming presence of fear in our own lives.
I don’t think I needed any other boost to help me realize, beautiful friends. This is it. My mantra. My one-word banner for the start of a fresh New Year. Fearless. Living in faith. Loving in fullness of His power and presence in my life.
What about you? This is the first time in my life I have ever created a hymn, a word, for myself. What might yours be? What are your goals for the new year? What would you like to work on for yourself? I am here to listen, support and hold your hand in prayer along each-and-every journey amidst your path. I hope that you will continue to stay with me through this next year. I have found a community of support stronger and more faithful than I could have ever imagined experiencing, through revamping and managing my blog. And so I thank you, sweet ones. From the bottom of this ever-grateful-mommy-blogger’s heart. Thank you. Wishing each-and-every one of you a Happy, Beautiful New Year!