Well, here we are. 2010. Wow! I have definitely been looking forward to a new year and new goals in life, but I've done A LOT of reflecting on 2009.
At church last Saturday our pastor posed the question, "What was the theme of your life in 2009?" I could answer that question several ways but one answer mightily rose above all of the other answers.
Fear consumed me. Not just basic fears like spiders or heights (yes, I'm afraid of both). Serious fears. Unhealthy fears. Unrealistic fears. Unnecessary fears. Fear of the "what ifs."
Minor, controllable anxiety turned into not being able to focus, not being able to drive, not being able to go to work, not being able to go to the store, not being able to eat, severe anxiety attacks, having to be right at my husband's side, not being alone, and an emergency room visit. This specific time in the summer of '09 was the most difficult battle I've fought in my 27 years of life - I'm glad I didn't have to go at it alone. So many people invested in me and my well-being and spent valuable time praying for victory including my amazing husband (man, I put him through A LOT), family, pastors, friends, even people I didn't know, but people who cared. Most of all, the person who literally never left my side - my sweet Jesus!
I had never had to rely on faith like I did during that time. I had to quickly learn how to fight a spiritual battle. I really had to learn what it meant and how to "take my thoughts captive" and how to trust in the Lord completely and wholeheartedly. It is such a learning process. I pray I never stop learning.
I subscribe to the LPM blog by Beth Moore and her "New Year's" post couldn't have have hit home more. She refers to Exodus 33 where Moses asks God to show him His glory and the Lord replies by saying "There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen." (v. 22)
Here's what Beth had to say:
When a shadow overtakes our lives and the light dims nearly beyond recognition, we may not see a single evidence of His arrival in our crisis. Sometimes we're in such blackness, we may go weeks or months that we don't sense God right by our side or feel the presence of His abiding Spirit within us. Those are the seasons when we make the choice whether we'll go by what we see and feel, or walk by what we know to be true. These are the places we learn what it really means to walk by faith and not by sight. To sow the seed of Scripture in our tears. It's often not until the crisis begins to dissipate that we look back upon the outstretched horizon and see God's hand prints all over it. No, we do not see His face, because, as Scripture says, our mortal bodies are not equipped to bear the sight. But, in a beautiful sense, we do indeed see His "back." As the season draws to a close, we see that He took every single step we did.
Man, I wish I had written that!!! She is so wise.
As I look back on the low point of this battle with fear and anxiety, I do see those beautiful hand prints. I also know that I'm still growing. God is still putting His handprints on my life and my situations. The difference is that I can see them now. It isn't dark anymore.
I feel like I am a different person than I was a year ago. I have learned a level of faith that I didn't even know was there. For me, it goes way beyond believing in God; it is simply BELIEVING GOD. Believing truth. Believing that He is crazy in love with me. Believing that He will fight for me when I'm too weak to give anything more.
I haven't decided what my theme is for 2010, but I know it won't be fear.
That's a nugget --B
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