The Your Stories blogs are a place where women can bravely and authentically tell their story as it really is. We invite women to collide with Jesus and share how He is meeting them, transforming them and redeeming them. We hope this “your story” meets you in yours…
I love the seasons that we enjoy in the Pacific Northwest. Being immersed in all the wonderful things about each one and then looking forward to what is coming next. The warm sunshine and watermelon, the changing leaves and foggy mornings, the sound of rain on the roof at night, fluffy snow and cozy fireside conversations, and the new blooms on trees as they wake up from their winter slumber.
I wish that I loved the changes in the seasons of life as much as nature. My hesitation to embrace the new has become very apparent to me over the past couple of years. As one season starts to slip away and another season is approaching, my first reaction is to dig in my heels and try to hang onto what was. I find that I tend to look back with longing instead of looking forward with anticipation. I know that having kids is absolutely part of my awakening to this desire to hold on. People would tell me that they “grow up so fast,” “time flies by,” “enjoy these years!” I feel that I have enjoyed the years and I fully agree with every one of these statements.
The problem with change is that when I find myself in a place that I love with the people that I love, I just want it to stay that way. As I get older I see how precious these moments are and how things can change in an instant, and how scary this world can be. I see kids that go off on their own, family relationships that become broken, parents that pass away and I get scared. So in all reality it is not my wanting to hold on to the season, it is me wanting to hold onto fear. Fear is not allowing me to fully live, to fully love or to fully find out what God has in store for me. The harder I hold on the more I fear.
You would think that the more I hold on, the more control I would have but it is exactly the opposite. Fear is a growth inhibitor. I am asking the Lord to help me release my grip on a daily basis. There is a reason that fear is mentioned over and over in the Bible. God knows that we tend to be fearful or full of anxiety. When I am full of fear, then I am missing out on what good God has for me. I love how God’s word is full of encouragement. One of the verses that I find comfort in is John 14:27… “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
I have no guarantees of what my future will look like, the decisions my children will make, the state of the world with all the ugliness of sin and the brokenness left in its wake, but I know for certain that God is unchanging. He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow and loves me so dearly that He gave up Jesus for me. His peace is beyond this world or human understanding. This peace is available to me. I can try to control my life and live stressed out and bound by my own fears. Or I can choose to release my grip, have faith, and keep my eyes on Jesus. This is so easy to say and yet so hard to do.
God has dealt with me gently over this past year and I am trying to learn. I have seen His goodness time and time again in the messiest of situations, and He has been faithful. I have seen some amazing things in these new seasons. I’ve seen restoration in lives. I’ve seen my kids growing into young people that have opinions and that have great conversations with me. I’ve experienced a deeper love between my husband and myself over the past 16 years, and I have seen women’s lives changed as they collide with Jesus. He is faithful in the bigs and smalls of life and I need to release my fear and focus on that. Strengthening faith will drive out fear and this is my prayer for myself.
I struggle daily with my desire to hold on and I know that I am far from achieving my goals of getting rid of fear. But I also know that God is a big God, a faithful God and He will take me as I am as I try and try again. Each time I begin to feel fear creep in, or I feel my grip getting tighter I remember… I look back over my life, not with longing, but with gratitude. I see how God has intervened, protected, restored, and guided me in so many ways. Why would my future look any different? Would God abandon me now? Of course not!
If you can relate to my struggle, I would challenge you to look back as well and see the goodness, the faithfulness, and the care that the Lord has shown you. This practice allows me to refocus my heart and calm my fears, for I am deeply loved, and so are you. May His peace cover you and strengthen you as you release your fears and allow yourself to fully live.
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