Afraid to Move Forward?

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As the New Year approached I found myself seated at the table of reluctance.  I  heard whispers of new things to come in the New Year, but I was stuck wondering  what those things would look like. I still had the gritty taste in my mouth of the previous year which included losing my dear mother to cancer. It had been an intense journey that left me feeling exhausted!  

My feet were weighted down with skepticism at the approach of 2019. The previous year had truly stretched me. It had pushed me out of my comfort zone and took me places I felt certain I was not ready for. It had called me to trust my Father in a way greater than I had ever known. While He had faithfully seen me through every twist and turn, I still found myself stalling.

While others around me were celebrating the future and anticipated promises held there, I found myself afraid to move forward. I was afraid to accept a new assignment from the Lord. Deep within I knew I wasn’t ready to walk into another battle of faith similar to what I had just exited. 

I found that somehow I kept looking to the past as an indicator of what the future may hold.  It was wrecking my faith. It was filling me with doubts and fear. 

In various ways over the past month, the Lord has been showing me that there is a new era ahead. A definite sweeping away of the old and bringing in a entirely new thing. He has spoken this to me in numerous ways, and while I gave Him my verbal “yes” to follow Him. He wanted more. He gently whispered to me that what He really desired was for my heart to be in agreement. All I knew to do was to repent and ask Him to help me get unstuck and lay aside the fear, pick up my faith and move ahead. I also asked Him to stir the passion up in me again so that I could find my want-to. 

He showed me an interesting contrast. The past few trial-laden years, and especially the most recent, had required me to be super-vigilant, alert and focused. It was absolutely necessary that I learned to be in tune with Him. I had to depend on Him for my every move. While learning to move in step with Him had been intense, it had also been invigorating in some way. However, when it finally came to an end, I was left feeling depleted and worn out. You know those moments when you find yourself in situations where your fight-and-flight kicks in? You have tons of energy and focus to push-through. It seems you are able to do the seemingly impossible. It’s a great feeling, but once it wears off, it often leaves you feeling spent, winded and in need of rest. This is what the past years have been for me, and I found myself stuck in pause mode. 

God cautioned me not to take the few puzzle pieces I have been given and judge the entire picture He is unfolding in my life. I was judging what was to come by what had already been. 

God showed me a glimpse into what this New Year will hold. He did it through the word ‘immersion’ (state of being deeply engaged or involved; absorption. dictionary.com) Immersion also has those high energy, exciting places like I spoke of previously. When I am doing something that I really love to do, I often find that time just flies. Sometimes I even forget to eat because I’m just simply enraptured—immersed, in the process of that which I enjoy. The contrast with this kind of intensity from the previous hyper-vigilant state I mentioned is that when this activity comes to an end, I am not left feeling washed out and exhausted and in need of recovery time. I walk away feeling full, satisfied, and savoring the moments. It is the latter that the Father lovingly laid before me as a taste of what is to come. It is what He has been trying to tell me for the past month. Numerous times He has given me this message that what lies ahead is something I will do with joy and excitement. What lies ahead is a year of release; releasing what has been gifted to me by the trials and firing process of the previous years. It includes moving in to do that which I have been training for. 

The Bible says in 2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV), “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” When this scripture began to ring out in my mind, I realized I was not feeling some grounded premonition of something looming ahead behind the shiny white curtain of the New Year. Those thoughts wrapped in fear were straight from the enemy! He was attempting to use my past trials to taunt me into believing they were moving forward with me. 

Driving down the road with tears filling my eyes, I started whispering the words aloud, “I’m ready now, Father; I’m ready to get up and go again. I’m ready!” I don’t know what will meet me along the road of 2019, but I do know that my Father is going to be there, alongside me. He has already walked this road out before me, making the path straight, preparing the way. I trust in the big picture He is completing, that it is good. Can you relate to me? Is there something God has been asking you to do, yet you’ve not been able to get up and get going? I’d like to encourage you to stand with me. Let’s choose to live like we believe God will fulfill His promises. Let’s get up from the table, forgetting what is past and reaching to what lies ahead (Philippians 1:13b). 

Father, thank you for being so patient with us while you are waiting for us to surrender our hearts and voices in a united, ‘yes’ to your will. Thank you that we can always find hope and courage in you and your Word. I trust you see the big picture that I cannot understand with the few pieces of the puzzle that I hold. Help me remember to press ahead and not allow past struggles to halt my progress of today. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

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