It’s crazy to think that a year ago I stepped into the best decision I’ve ever made. A year ago, on September 22nd, the hottest day of the year, I got to be married to my best friend. It’s now been an entire year, and what a wild ride it has been! The best part of this year has been the moments I’ve been able to share with my dear Danielle. Shortly after we got married, life didn’t ease up. There was a lot of fear, not with each other and our relationship, but the storms of life that seemed to pop in. I talked last week about the importance of storms in our life as the produce growth. This is sort of a part two, last week looking at the principals, and this week opening up about how Danielle and I have been able to see God’s faithfulness in the midst of the crazy. Life is funny that way, it’s not like a movie where there is a beginning, middle, and end, but a continual journey we are all on.
Last year taught me a lot, and not a lot of it felt good. It kind of sucked, actually. I was working two jobs, one I loved, I got to work with upper elementary students at the Greensboro Montessori School. Each day I had a chance to have fun and encourage students after a long day. My second job was as a youth director at a church, I loved being able to speak into the life of very talented students, the hard part was, I wasn’t accepted. I thought I would step into a pastor role, but it was clear that would never be the case. I was pushed back by my team and would feel discouraged many late Sunday nights, then I was let go. It was tough, the hardest part was that I was so passionate about ministry that I believed I would be okay, that I could get another job somewhere else, but like most millennials like myself, even when you have a college degree you still need a mountain of experience.
It was scary.
At the same time of this fear, my dear Danielle was fearful too. See, I’m not the only one in our tribe with a desire for ministry; my wife has the uncanny ability to love people and is mission minded. So, here we were, two young married people, just wanting to serve God in our giftings and love people. We grew exponentially together, that tends to happen when you feel discouraged, we were able to see each other and know that there was more for us. But you know what? We didn’t let it control us.
The opposite of fear isn’t courage, it’s love.
I think about the odds we were facing, and instead of it controlling us, we chose to have joy in our lives. Movie nights, blanket forts, baking adventures, and playing with cameras; these were things in our life that we made a priority. Joy is a side effect of love. When you choose to love each other, love the people that hurt you, and love the storm you are in, fear can’t touch you. It can try. It’s for sure not easy, I still battle with the anger I have towards people that mistreated and lied to me, but I have to let them go. They have no idea they hurt me, so why would I give any mental space to them? I pray for people when they pop into my head. I choose to know that whatever season I’m in, God has a plan for me. I need to choose love, that needs to be my first reaction. To be clear, I don’t have this perfect yet, I’m growing and letting God heal my heart and change my perspective.
You get this love by spending time with the one who loved you first. I need to make sure I am filling my mind with scripture and making that a priority to speak to me. Without the guide map, how can I navigate the path?
Don’t give fear power.
We’re about to enter the best season, spooky season (and my b-day on Oct. 7th). I write about lessons from b-movies and will focus on fears, but the big thing I’ve learned is that you can’t let fear control you. Sometimes you have to step out and believe God is going to move that dang mountain. Danielle had the idea to apply to the Disney College Program, and once she got in, we knew we had to make the move. In that time, so much fruit has come. We both now work at the company, and the doors that have opened already have been incredible. It’s crazy when you are in an environment that encourages you to step into more how your whole mindset changes. If we chose to let fear keep us back, we would be stuck in the unknowns, unable to grow. Danielle had me go on the Tower of Terror recently, she convinced me because she knows I love classic Twilight Zone, so of course I had to see. As with many scary rides, the buildup is always terrible, but Danielle is the best encourager, so I always make it on. It was freaky, of course, but did I have fun? I had an absolute blast. Had I let fear keep me from going, I would have missed out on what was a great adventure. Don’t let fear control you.
This year was wild. We got married, then life tried to scare us, but we stayed close to each other and took lots of faith steps. Facing fear isn’t so bad when you have the creator of the universe next to you. Any battle or struggle, we know that all we have to do is trust in him and love well, we don’t have to even fight. I am madly in love with my dearest Danielle, and I am so thankful for the seasons God has placed in our lives. Whatever may come, nothing will be bigger than my God.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__