“We can feel afraid, but we don’t have to live afraid.” ~ Lysa TerKeurst
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always said that I never wanted to come to the end of my life wondering what life would have been like had I taken a chance and not allowed fear to hold me back. Instead, I want to be able to look back on my life and know that I lived a life that followed the call of God in every season, regardless of the unknowns and fear.
Today, I find myself venturing into a new journey and if I’m honest, I’m a little scared.
It all began earlier this year. I felt a stirring. A stirring that was leading me to really see and acknowledge the gifts, skills, and talents that God has given me. And what I soon realized is that I’m called to teach. Honestly, this calling was staring me in the face, it was right in front of me. I’ve been a teacher for over 20 years.
- In my 20’s I was a youth minister, teaching teenagers on a weekly basis.
- In my early 30’s I was a middle school and high school teacher.
- In my late 30’s I was an online social media/marketing teacher.
- In my 40’s, I found myself teaching at the university level.
What I soon realized is that I wanted to teach full-time at the university level, specifically at a Christian university. So, I started pursuing that route. To make a long story short, I had a variety of interviews with a variety of universities, but in the end, I decided to commit to Indiana Wesleyan University as the new Assistant Professor of Strategic Communication within the Department of Communication and Theatre.
Making this decision has had its ups and downs. Truthfully, I’ve had to push through some fear.
- I have never imagined myself living in the Midwest.
- I’m a Florida girl, living in North Carolina with minimal snow experience.
- I LOVE North Carolina. The beauty is all around me.
- I work at a great university with a great team and an amazing supervisor.
- I’m a bit fearful of tornados (even though I’ve never experienced one).
- I’m moving to a new place that is quite different than any other place I’ve lived.
As you can imagine, I’ve had SO many thoughts swirling around in my head. Lots of “what if” questions, worst-case scenarios, fear of the unknown, etc. And truthfully, I believe the enemy has been going after me in full force ever since this opportunity presented itself. Why? Because I believe he’s doing anything and everything he can to keep me from living out God’s purpose for my life. He would like to see me cave into my fears and stay where I’m comfortable.
And today, I wonder if he’s doing the same to you?
- What fears are holding you back?
- What fears are keeping you stuck?
- What fears are keeping you “comfortable?”
- What fears are keeping you from living out God’s calling on your life?
You see, I don’t want to be like Jonah in the Bible. I don’t want to run in the opposite direction of what God has called me to. I don’t want fear to keep me from experiencing God’s best for my life. I don’t want to fall prey to the world’s definition of “success” when God has called me to something different.
I sometimes wonder how often we pursue our definition of what our “best life” should look like and in turn, are left stressed, depressed, and overwhelmed, when truthfully, God’s vision for our life, God’s best for our life, is so different, but yet better. But because we have such a stronghold on our vision, our wants, we miss out on what truly is the best for us and our families, God’s best. And because fear has such a hold on us, we stay stuck, comfortable, and miserable.
- What if God’s best for you and your family, is different than what you think? Would you be ok surrendering your vision for His?
- What if fear of the unknown, the different, is keeping you from truly living your best life?
- What if God’s best is not being known, making lots of money, living in a safe, nice neighborhood with a big house?
- What if God’s best is serving your family, your neighbors, slowing down, cutting back, living small?
- What if God’s best is leaving your comforts for the unknown?
- What if having all the answers and having full control, is holding you captive and keeping you stressed?
- What if following the American Dream rather than God’s dream for your life, is making you miserable?
Maybe today is the day that He longs to have you surrender your dream for your life, the way it should look, the way it should be, and instead, follow His dream for your life.
I will say this, in those moments of life where I followed God’s leading, God’s dream for my life, it was in those moments that I saw God do some of His greatest work in and through me. And in this new season of life, as my family makes our way to Indiana, into the “unknown,” I’m expectant to see what God will do.
Maybe this quarantine, this time, isn’t an accident in your life. Maybe, it’s the start of a new life for you. What fears are you ready to surrender to Jesus?
“The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.'” ~ Psalm 32:8