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Monday, March 20, 2017

february fears

february. one month in to this commitment of being fearless and i'm already so far out of my comfort zone i just want to throw up.
what i didn't know when I committed to being fearless was that it would include committing to having conversations so hard and so painful and so difficult that i would literally get sick, that i wouldn't sleep or eat, and that i would have panic attacks and feel like i couldn't breathe. it meant that i would feel depression and anxiety so deep within me again that i couldn't hardly function and get anything done. it meant sleeping less than 4 hours a night and having to trust that god (and coffee) would sustain me each day because i had nothing else left in me to put up a fight. every day this month i had this thought process... why did you challenge me to be fearless this year? you knew what this year was going to hold when you asked me to be fearless. you knew how hard it was going to be. honestly, i'm a little angry that you asked me to be fearless. i know you did it so i would have to rely on you to get me through it, but CRAP i didn't know being fearless would be so hard.
february was so hard. so freaking hard. when i say february was hard, that is not an exaggeration. it was so incredibly freaking hardmaybe one of the hardest months I've ever had, and that says a lot because i've had a lot of hard months in my 29 years of life. i lost my grandpa and couldn't really even focus on that because i was so focused on having to go to the funeral and see someone who ripped a hole so deep in my heart that i don't know how it will ever be repaired. i was so focused on having to have the most difficult conversations with my cousins that I've ever had to have that i couldn't even cry about grandpa being gone. death is a hard thing to process anyway, so adding facing a fear that left me feeling paralyzed made it 100 times more difficult. 
but you know what else february taught me? that being fearless can be so freaking hard, but can also be so incredibly freeing. broken and beautiful, beauty from ashes, this is the hard eucharisteo that i've been learning about.
when i made the choice to go to my grandpas funeral and face someone who crushed our family, i had no idea that it would lead to having conversations with my family that i could have never imagined having. i had no idea it would lead my heart to open to and start processing through things that i stuffed down and locked away because they were too painful. it opened the door to keep having the hard conversations with my family. it allowed me time to start to grieve what happened and how it has affected us all. so in a weird way, I'm thankful for losing grandpa. because without that loss, we would still be moving along with things unsaid and feelings untouched. breaking down the wall is the hardest step, but once the wall is down and the floodgate is open, it allows for so much freedom and that is so beautiful in the most broken mess of a way. but even though it opened the door, there is still so far to go. there are wounds so deep i don't know how they are going to be healed. i don't know how to keep processing through the hard things so i don't shut the door to my heart again. i don't know how to grieve a death, knowing that it means the end of so many things besides just life itself. i don't know how to process through that. 
february was so hard. 
please don't let this be a glimpse into how the hard the rest of the year is going to be.


2017. a brand new year. another chance to have a fresh start. there's something so satisfying and encouraging about a new year. it brings so many opportunities to try again, to dust off the old habits and give them a new go, or try something that I've never done before. Back in November and December the idea to choose a "word" for the year kept creeping up. I know people who do it every year. I've read blogs from people I don't even know who rave about the dedication it takes to choose a word and stick to it. I work with women who openly discuss their word and how it challenges them throughout the year. Honestly, I've always thought it was kind of a dumb idea. Why would you choose just one word for the whole year? How could you possibly focus on it the entire year? That's a big commitment, and I have never been interested in it. But this year is different. Week after week I couldn't stop thinking about choosing a word it didn't make any sense to me why. Remember, I think it's a stupid idea, so why can I not stop thinking about it? I confided in a friend who chooses a word every year and sticks to it. That dear friend finally challenged me.. she said something along the lines of "if you keep thinking about it, why don't you pray about it? Ask God to show you what word to choose."
So, I did. In a sarcastic, not believing type of way, like how in the world am I going to know what one single word God wants me to focus on, I said "okay god, what should it be?" The first word that came to mind was confidence. I thought on that word for several weeks. What would it look like to focus on confidence for a whole year? What would that do for me personally, spiritually, as a whole being? I couldn't figure out how it would benefit anything, I couldn't seem to commit, it just didn't feel right, so I kept thinking. A few weeks later, it hit me. In the middle of the day, it could have been a flashing light it hit me so clearly, He didn't want me to focus on confidence, he wanted me to focus on being fearless.
FEARLESS? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I have crippling social anxiety, I avoid situations on a weekly basis because I am so afraid, I don't have hard conversations with the people I love most because I don't want to rock the boat, I don't step out of my comfort zone because it is too hard. HOW IN THE ACUTAL HECKAM I SUPPOSED TO BE FEARLESS FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR? Okay God, good one. What a sense of humor you have. I tried to not commit to that word too. I kept thinking and kept taking Facebook quizzes that were supposed to tell me what to choose.. and over and over, i kept coming back to fearless. fearless encompasses confidence and bravery and trust, it challenges me in a way that makes me uncomfortable and pushes me to the edge of my seat. and i knew in that moment that this is exactly why god wants me to focus on this word, he wants me to have confidence, be brave, get uncomfortable and push myself so i absolutely have to trust in him alone.
So here I go, rolling into 2017 committing to being fearless. committing to trust that the lord is going to stick with me when I want to freak out and will likely fail and say no to things because i'm too afraid. committing to do the hard thing, no matter how hard it is.
it should be a wild year.