One Little Word 2014: Fearless

I’ve been planning this post for months, but between a broken blog and a slow pregnant body, getting it posted has been the first bloggy challenge of the New Year.

Each year for the past several years I have chosen one word to focus on as a “goal” or “resolution” for the year. You can read some of this here. The word I have chosen to focus on–especially together with my husband is…


Fearless Printable

It took a while to settle on the right word for the sentiment I want to convey, and I’m still not sure that the thoughts that first come to your mind when you hear the word “fearless” are exactly the ones I am focusing on. I thought about the word “Brave.” I’ve seen a lot of people use that word this year, and it is a great one–especially when paired with the Sarah Barielles tune–but to me it means, doing things that scare you anyway. That is part of what I may do this year, but my focus isn’t just on boldness and courage. I thought about the phrase “No Fear” but that conjures up images of teenage boys participating in extreme sports that might end up getting them killed. I seriously doubt you will see me cliff jumping or drag racing in 2014.

The truth is, we have fear for a purpose. Our species would have died out long ago if no one knew to be afraid when a tiger charged at them. Fear is a survival instinct meant to warn us of impending danger. But the last tiger I saw was behind some pretty strong bars, so it is kind of amazing how fear has and can creep into most every element of my life–even when there is no real danger to speak of.

Two of my sisters had a conversation last year that had a profound effect on me. One of my sisters was very concerned about the school situation of one of her sons. She was debating about whether to pull him out of school and home-school him or leave him at his current school. As she weighed the options, she found herself getting increasingly frustrated at her inability to settle on a decision that felt right. In discussing the situation with another of my sisters, she laid out all of her reasoning. “I’m afraid that if I home-school him, I won’t have the time to really give him the attention he needs.” “I’m afraid if I leave him at school he will slip through the cracks.” “I’m afraid he will be upset to be away from his friends…” etc. At some point, my other sister stopped her and pointed out that each of her thoughts had begun the same way: “I’m afraid.” She was trying to make this decision from a place of fear, and where fear has hold, faith cannot exist. How hard then, is it to feel at peace? Or to make any decisions at all?

Since learning of their conversation, I have become much more aware of how often I come at my decisions from a place of fear. My husband the “realist” (pessimists code word for pessimist), struggles a lot with this, as he has been taught to carefully anticipate all of the bad things that could happen and then prepare so they don’t. I truly appreciates the way he protects and watches over our family, and preparation is a wonderful thing, but it is impossible to be prepared for every eventuality. What good things might we miss out on in life by always focusing on the bad–especially the bad that hasn’t even happened yet. I wonder if fear doesn’t sometimes hold us back from achieving our full potential because we are afraid of the unknowns that would exist if we actually achieved that success we’ve been dreaming of.

My goal is to recognize when I am feeling afraid, make sure there aren’t any tigers in the vicinity, and then banish that fear to an appropriate place so I can more fully experience my faith and determine my future.

For a printable pdf of my graphic, click here.

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