Well, we are now officially in the full swing of the new year! I hope all of your resolutions have stuck around, but more importantly, I hope you have set some great goals for this new year. It seems like there are always people who decide to get all “bah-humbug” about setting goals during the new year, but the truth is, the new year can be a great reset for all of us. Sure, we can set goals in June and not only January, but the new year truly highlights an opportunity to reflect. That’s why this year, my wife and I chose to focus on the word, dreamer, to always make sure we are dreaming bigger and dreaming about what God has. Our goals are to be active dreamers, not just head in the clouds, but doing something to accomplish these dreams. I have had to shift my mindset, and say, “God, you’ve got the plan, just lead me there.” I’m normally the planner, the past four-ish years, I had in my mind exactly what I was going to do. My job was going to head into full-time, Danielle and I would start working together and have enough experience to plant a church in a few years. I had it all worked out, but then God said, not here you won’t. In that moment I struggled, I’m not perfect, I grieved my job loss and my plans, but in the end, God was teaching me how to let it go and listen to his voice over my own.
If you know me personally and we start talking about movies, or more specifically, Disney movies, I will tell you one of my favorites is “Frozen.” My number one Disney flick is “Robin Hood,” (Yes of course you needed to know that really random fact!) but “Frozen” is up there. The reason I like this movie is because of the strong story about learning to be who you are and letting go of lies spoken over you, so no eye-rolling, it’s a good message for your kids to watch on repeat! The most iconic scene from the movie is when Elsa sings “let it go” on a mountain. It’s great. It’s also the song that came to me as I realized my plans weren’t going in the direction I wanted. Now, some of you who have a keen eye and are a better person than I, caught it when I said “I wanted,” and realized what I have been learning. That small little phrase shows a bigger pride issue, I mean I was trusting God, but I was trusting God to do what I wanted. That’s not how God works, he isn’t a magic wishing well, he is a savior that has always known what is best for me. “Let it Go” was the first thing that popped into my mind, and the second was something I read about Gideon, and it caused me to learn these simple things about how to let go.
Be confident in who you are.
There is a fine line between confidence and pride. Pride puts yourself above others, confidence helps you make sure others aren’t putting you down. You see that? It’s very subtle, but vital to your life. The story of Gideon is fun, God tells Gideon, I’m going to use you to defeat your oppressors, but Gideon’s reaction is fear, saying things like, “But I’m the lowest of my people and not nearly skilled!” (This is the Joshua translation, for the accurate scripture, read Judges 6 and 7) God would not have called Gideon if he did not create him for this purpose! In my own life, my plan was based around what I though was best because I didn’t feel like I could be more then where I was. I know that sounds cryptic, but I think you might have the same struggles. We say things like, “I could never move there,” “The wouldn’t even look at my resume if I applied,” “There are people who can do it way better than me.” Stop selling yourself short! God created you with a purpose, he designed you to be exactly who you are in your mother’s womb, there is no one like you! Learn from me, don’t hold on to fear when you can let it go. God has been showing me that I am made for things way different than my plan, and in fact, my plan would have held me back in a place that wouldn’t have been life-giving in the long run. Be confident in who you are, fighting fear and pride, because God made you to be you.
Be confident in the unknown.
There is definitely some fear for my wife and I in the unknown, or should I actually say, there was some fear. Since my plans shifted, we started focusing on the new year and deciding to dream bigger and trusting God with the unknown. Since that moment, God has blessed us. Danielle got a promotion and I still have my part time job, I was able to have much more time writing freelance for one of my other loves, pop culture, on Medium! I have let go of the fear and anger that surrounded me in the grieving process so that I can live free and breathe fresh air every day. Life is too short to hold on to the garbage, I decided to trust God and let it go. It’s funny, after I had this new outlook, on another read through of Gideon’s story, I looked closer at when God is taking away his soldiers. There is a moment where God tells Gideon he has too many warriors, I’m sure Gideon was like, “You mean I have too few right? I think that’s what you meant to say.” Yet in that moment of fear, when it doesn’t make sense for him to do it, he lets go. Then it happens again, I’m sure Gideon was sweating hard at this point (and phew, can you imagine that armpit sweat? They didn’t have deodorant…rough), and again, despite his human mind, he let’s go. He chooses God’s plan over his own. The best part is, he wins! Gideon is able to defeat the oppressors, and we know this as believers, but we still choose to do our own thing.
We have to stop this cycle of fear, we need to be confident in not only our own creation, but our creator. If God made the universe and everything in it, don’t you think he has a better plan than us? When we choose to be confident in the unknown, a wonderful adventure begins. Don’t miss the adventure.
I love my life. I have never been more excited for a season than I am right now. I’m not letting fear control me. Even though I don’t have a detailed plan, I have what matters. I have a God who presses into me, I have a wonderful wife who is the most gorgeous woman in the galaxy that teaches me every day, I have passions and talents that only God has given me, and I have a bright future ahead of me. I am letting go of garbage. Fear, anger, pride, self-loathing, the past; all of it. I am choosing to be confident in who God made me to be and confident in the unknown. God moves best when we don’t get in the way. Start letting go of the things that control your life and see just how amazing God moves in it.