When I was younger, I had this fear that there was a giant whale under my bed at night (who knows…mom blamed Oprah and threatened to stop letting me watch her show…?) My dad would walk out of the room and I would be paralyzed by the fear that the whale would get me. I would lay still as a board with the covers covering my whole body (because it is a fact that as long as your body is covered, the bad thing won’t hurt you. God forbid your foot gets uncovered!) Every once in awhile when I was scared, I would practically poll vault from my bed out the door, but the majority of the time I didn’t move.
I also had those horrible dreams where something bad was about to happen to me or someone around me. I have heard many people say that in those dreams they scream and cannot make a sound; in my dreams I run but do not move.
Apparently I have a fear of not moving, or staying still, or going nowhere, which brings me to my word of 2016. I shared that last year my word was freedom, and through painful events, I ended up finding freedom from the fear that had paralyzed my life for over a year. Now that my fear is gone, I have put my party pants on and braced myself for this year!
Well my word for 2016 (or however long it takes for me to feel ready to move on) is ACTION.
I want to be a movie star! Just kidding… that’s false.
Action for me is the sense of moving and doing and being and making.
I originally picked action because I have so many dreams and ideas and plans, but they all often went undone and I was left feeling frustrated and defeated.
My plan was to start little, all I wanted to do was hang some pictures in my house so that maybe you would know who lived in it when you walked in. And very quickly I realized how and why I got sucked into the trap of fear and complacency.
I would finally find some project I liked, probably thanks to my girlfriend JoAnna Gaines. I would get the ideas and work out how to do it, and before I could even get my thoughts straight, I would be bombarded with lies of all kinds.
You can’t, you shouldn't, you won’t be able to, you simply won’t.
And I wouldn’t.
I realized quickly that this happened in every area of my world. The lies I believed and didn’t recognize enough to fight impacted my future, my marriage, my friendships, my goals, and my ambitions. They quieted the purpose and the passions of my heart and filed them away under, “Someone else will.” So I didn’t.
But because I was saying no to the passions that I was given I was going against who I was made to be.
I feel like God was sweet in showing me this so quickly in the year. I recognized how many areas of my life this impacted as I listened for and now labeled lies, “lies.”
My relationships changed, my time management changed, and my house finally got some pictures in it! (overachieving I know.) I began to dream more and plan how to execute those dreams. I have begun to actually say things like, “I am good at ______.” and I have been encouraged more in the last few months than ever before.
I am not saying that this is something I have mastered, in fact, I am kind of at an impasse now. It is summer for me (#teacherlife) and I had some plans to start fulfilling dreams. But now that summer is actually here, I am overwhelmed by the fear of complacency again. Part of it is that I am too hard on myself. I have been out of school for 6 days and still have had to finish all of the things I need to graduate. (Yes it is finally happening!) And the other part is that I have seen it happen over and over in my life, and I don’t want to get to the end of summer and say, “better luck next year.” I have felt regret a lot in this area of my life, and I do not think I can carry any more, and the fear that I will have to, stops me from actually taking the steps not to.
I said from the beginning that picking a word and trying to live it out can be a painful process because it really touches the core of who I am and moves to change me to who God wants me to be, and I found that true once again. I have already seen a change in my little word and I am so excited about that. I am just in the middle of some of the painful stuff once again, trusting that I will come out of this hopefully looking a little more like Jesus.
If all else fails, maybe I really am supposed to be an actress.