In January, I wrote a post about my New Year’s resolutions. My plan for this year was to make it epic. While it may not be obvious in that post, I had big hopes for this year. I wanted to move upwards & onwards. I wanted to see changes for the good. I wanted to climb mountains & go on adventures. I wanted this year to ignite my soul.
This makes me laugh because, whether I express them verbally or not, God knows the desires of my heart. I can lock them up inside myself, but God knows. Oh, He knows. When I wrote that post & expressed my hopes for this year to others, I feel like God said to His angels, “Man, Michaela will not know what’s going to hit her!” I think God may have giggled in excitement and/or given Jesus a high-five.
But whether those things transpired beyond the pearly gates or not, God has done a mighty work in me. He has transformed me in ways that I didn’t expect & I wasn’t even hoping for!
We are only four months into 2011 & I feel like I’ve overcome & changed so much. Before all this craziness that God has immersed me in, fear had a nasty grip on my heart. I was so afraid to stick up for myself in case people would hate me. I didn’t dare dream for fear that I may never see those dreams realized. I never experienced radical joy because I was afraid that it would be taken away from me, like a tease.
To be honest, I never pursued much of a relationship with Jesus because I was so afraid that I would wake up one day & find that He stopped loving me.
Fear crippled me. It crushed me. It smothered my passion, my silliness, my everything that made me the way that I am. Fear locked me inside a cage & said, “You must be small. You must be shy. You must be silent, timid, weak, hopeless, helpless, lost, sad & wounded.”
But God was not satisfied with the fearful me. He is not satisfied with the fearful us.
I’ve taken what seems to be tiny baby steps to grow closer to Jesus, but He multiplied those steps into something huge. I brought Jesus the little that I had & He made it into something so beautiful & amazing. (Think fish & loaves. Matthew 14:13-21.)
God has flung open the doors of my heart & I can barely make it through a day without feeling exhilirated, refreshed & so filled with joy. I do things that I have never done before solely because I am so in love with Jesus & crazy happy. I dance at work in front of people. (The old Michaela never would have done that.) I run around like a little kid with my brothers & our dogs. I’m going to the gym. I am cutting back on my caffeine & sugar intake. I read my Bible on the bus. (Again, never would have done that before.) I’m going to freakin’ France & then going to school shortly after!
Those may seem like small potatoes to you (& some of them are), but Jesus isn’t just interested in being radical with the big stuff. Jesus wants to revolutionize our entire lives so that we are so free & filled with joy that we can hardly contain ourselves. Sure, life gets rough & there have been times where I’ve bawled my face off in the last couple of months. But Jesus is the Redeemer of the big stuff in our lives & the small stuff. Don’t think anything is too little for Him. (Think mustard seeds. He seems to be fond of them. Mark 4:30-32 & Matthew 17:20.)
I don’t know how to wrap up this post except by saying don’t let your fears have you in a choke-hold. Don’t be KO’d by fear! It’s not anything remotely close to easy, but it can be done. I am not finished my journey with eradicating fear from my life, but I know that I have to fight for it. Sometimes I don’t like putting in the effort, but, when I do, it’s so worth it!
“Now if you know what you’re worth, go out & get what you’re worth, but ya gotta be willing to take the hits.” – Rocky Balboa
Go out & get what you’re worth & don’t let fear hold you back!
And because I am a photographer, I posted some of my favourite “artsy” photos from a recent trip to Seattle. To see more of my Seattle highlights, check out my facebook page!
(I’m not sure why these photos are teeny tiny, but you can always click to enlarge.)