At the start of this year, dear Danielle and I chose a word that we would focus on. Similar to many ideas that come with the new year, we chose a word that we wanted to add to who we were, a character trait that would be pressed into in order to grow closer to who God is calling us to be. That word was “lover.” We wanted to move into this current year with forgiveness and make sure we showed love through every part of us. We wanted to be active in our love for people, because people matter.
Little did we know that a global pandemic would happen.
For many of us, this current season has been one of change and filled with new things. The end of that holiday season brings back the reality of life. We have to jump back in the swing of things with work, school, relationships, and everything that comes with real life; these moments can seem like a growing beast that you have to get a handle on. For my life right now, big things are happening. Good things, nothing terrible, just big. I’m working part time at my church and stepping into more responsibility as well as being part time in an after school program. I love it. I feel like I’m hitting my stride, but with any exciting and new thing, the enemy can sneak in and try to lessen it. It happens so fast, and often in seasons that are busy, the enemy will try to sneak in. Maybe you’re in a busy season, or stepping into something new, in these moments you have to remember to keep moving. We have to keep fighting for what God has claimed over your life, we need to have faith in motion.
Let’s face it, it’s hard to chase after our dreams. The Disney method of believing seems to be impossible. We all have desires and callings for greater things, and God has designed us to have this passion burning within us. We start the race, but life hits us with everything its’ got. We face pain from broken relationships, heartache from the loss of people dear to us, and the sting from words spoken against us. For me, I’ve experienced a lot of it, just like you have. Many times I don’t want to keep running into the future. I’m afraid of the pain and the unknown that will come. Fear creeps in. Fear always creeps in. For me, I want to be a writer and empower leaders of the next generation, but that road is unclear. I serve any chance I can and intern with youth, but that fear likes to creep in and tell me my dreams are unattainable. The same is true for all of us, we have different dreams and different places we wish to end up, but we are held back from our pursuit of it. I’m a visual type person, so when I picture the idea of chasing after a dream, I think of people running in a race trying to attain the medal. I think God is a visual person too, because he inspired the unknown writer of Hebrews to think of the same metaphor in chapter 12. Verse 1-2 says, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” I love this verse because it revealed something to me that I want to share today. It caused me to think about three things that hold us back from moving forward. I’m going to call these the three viruses that hold you back, I like the word virus because it makes me think of some of the worst things in this world that keep us from living well, and these are nasty traits that will hold you back.