Here we are, about to dive into the New Year 2016! The New Year brings an anticipation of hope. Some will embark on a resolution journey, others will pick up a new hobby and start something new. This time of year, like many of you, encourages me to reflect on what I’ve done over the past year; the accomplishments or what was left undone. When I look back on 2015, I would call this year a tremendous growth year spiritually for me. 2015 was full of many highlights, full of bliss as well as several dark moments filled with fear. Taking a step back, looking at the whole year, I am grateful for all of the moments. It was in the darker moments I began to understand what a specific word given to me in the beginning of 2015 meant. The darker moments revealed to me the big fear story that I have continued to rehearse in my head, over and over and how love is here to cast out fear and inspire me to EMBRACE love and dive in!
For the past few years, I have received a specific word for the year. This word has not come in the form of prophecy, or in bold lights, the word has come in the still small moments spent in prayer and meditation.The word for 2015 was EMBRACE. Ironically, I spent a majority of the year asking God what this word meant. EMBRACE what?! Many thoughts of possibilities came forth to explain the significance of the word EMBRACE. It wasn’t until I revisited this blog that I would finally understand what I needed to EMBRACE or hold onto as though my life depended on it.
Several years ago, I took an advanced writing class at the University of Minnesota. The class was challenging and it became evident it was geared toward experienced writers and authors. To this day, I am uncertain how as a freshman I landed in an upper level class like this, however, I was up for proving my ability. I thought I was good at putting my thoughts together and enjoyed sharing through written word. I was ready to take on these upper classmates! The short side of the story, I lived on the struggle bus and hardly “passed” with a D-. I never saw so many red marks on a paper in my life! I just KNEW this professor had stock in Sharpie Markers! On the last day of the class, the professor pulled me aside to hand over my final project that I had put my heart and soul into. He strongly advised me to NEVER consider writing as a profession. Thus the fear story began; you’re not good enough at writing and you should never consider writing. The fear story lingered and has remained until October 27, 2015.
October 27, 2015 was a Dive In moment for me. Over the past several years, the pull to write has become stronger and stronger. I couldn’t avoid or run from the call to share any longer. Dive In meant revisiting the blog that I had set out over a year ago to pursue. I had avoided the blog for fear of it being rejected or disliked. I had rehearsed and lived the fear story from my past that I had never confronted. October 27 was that moment to EMBRACE a new story, a story of love and reminding that God’s perfect love casts out fear. It was not placing stock in what others thought, because what others think or thought is none of my business. My thoughts became more of what God says and to allow Him to use this vessel for His glory. It was embracing what God can do through me and through this surrendered state releasing my own strength and abilities to His strength and abilities!
Let me share the end of year WordPress stats and show you what God did in just 3 months after I released my fear story and received His love to DIVE INTO the gift he has given me!
Look at God! 400 visitors? In four countries? Truly an example of exceedingly above all that I could ask or think!
Where do you need to DIVE INTO in 2016? What gifts has God given you to share with the world? How will you surrender the fear story that has kept you from choosing God, who is love, to lead you into all truth?
Thank you for taking the time to read this! I’m excited to see 2016 and all that it has! Be encouraged! Someone is waiting on your gift. Someone is waiting for you to DIVE IN!