Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Do Not Be Afraid: Part Two

Christmas season is coming.  It's kind of what my calendar revolves around.  I spend Septemberish-Marchish celebrating Christmas.  That's sixish months of the year.  And I'm okay with that.

And every year, I theme my Christmas and my year around a word or statement from the Biblical Christmas story.  This year, the theme has been "Do Not Be Afraid."  And God has taught me a lot through that theme this year.

And I don't think He's finished.

So many good things have happened this year, and so many hard things have happened this year.  I am battling depression right now big time.  I usually do in the autumn, when it gets cold.  But this year, it started in the summer and never let up, and then hit me all over again in the autumn.  Right now, everything is hard.

Even writing is hard, so sorry I haven't updated this very much.  ...not that anyone has really wanted to read it anyway.

But when I started thinking about what theme I would have for next year, when I started looking at different words or phrases from the Christmas story, I realized that I'm not quite ready to let go of this year's theme.  I still think there's a lot I have to learn.  And I think the lessons are going to get harder from here on out.

I'm a really independent person.  I am introverted and need a lot of time to myself.  And while I love people, I really don't need to have a lot of people in my life to be happy.  I can be alone and be just fine.  But I've had a lot of health and financial issues this year.  I've had some hard stuff happen--not devastating--just hard.  And I really think God's leading me to start letting other people help.

I don't like being taken care of, but I think God's leading me to start trusting people a little more, and stop depending on myself for everything.  It's hard, because trust is hard.  I know I won't let myself down, and if I do, I only have myself to blame.  That's comfortable.  Trusting others isn't comfortable.  Relying on others means I have to let go of that little bit of control that I'm still holding on to.  I have to trust God to help me trust others.  I have to open myself up a little bit more.  It's scary.  It's more complicated.  It's hard.

But I don't remember God ever promising us that following Him would be easy.

And it's weird how He's leading me to be courageous and strong even in something like relationships with others.  But here I am, still hearing Him tell me: "Do not be afraid."

So, I'm looking forward to 2015, not knowing at all what to expect.  I know it will probably continue to be hard.  I know that there will be new challenges, new obstacles, new choices, new risks.  But He tells me not to be afraid.  He tells me to be courageous and strong.

And I have learned and am still learning that love is worth the fight.