Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Ugly Twins: Fear & Failure

Christmas is almost here and I am so excited. Gift giving/recieving is my numero uno love language. I love shopping and selecting gifts for those I love. You are not the exception! I have a Christmas gift for you too. Today's post was written by my lovely friend Stephanie for you. She's no stranger to Living As A Lily, here is the link to her Thanksgiving post from 2012 that'll give you a little history: click HERE. Go make yourself a cup of hot chocolate, with lots of marshmallows, and unwrap what Stephanie and Jesus have prepared for you!

The Ugly Twins: Fear & Failure, by Stephanie Landa

I am so honored Raquel invited me to write on her blog! When she first asked, I quickly responded, “YES!” Not having any idea what to write about, I took a leap of faith and trusted God would reveal exactly what He wanted me to share on this blog. After a couple of days, I knew exactly what to write about, and so here it goes…

“You can make many plans, but the LORD's purpose will prevail.” –Proverbs 19:21

Summer of 2013 was when I first found out I was going to start my career as a 1st grade teacher. I was filled with excitement but so much more with FEAR. Fear of the unknown! And so, I began my career where I almost immediately fell in love with those 1st graders. Not only were they amazing, but so was the administration and my coworkers. After a very short time (1 month and a half), I quit! Yup, I quit! (If you know me, you know I’m not a quitter)

I could only imagine what you are thinking. “This girl is crazy! What in the world happened?”

Well, within that short amount of time of teaching, I struggled so much with fear and anxiety. Endless nights of not sleeping because my mind would not shut up. I felt like I needed everything to be perfect and so rather than allowing myself to plan, do the best that I can, and “let it go” (yes, I totally quoted Frozen), I drove myself insane. (I seemed to have forecasted the rest of my life based off of one moment) I lost a great amount of weight, I disconnected myself from almost everyone, my faith in God was lost, etc. which led me all to a deep depression. My family, fiancĂ©, and friends were all extremely concerned about me.

I remember the day that I quit. I felt like a complete failure. I felt like I lost my identity. Even now as I write this, my eyes fill up with tears because the way I felt that day and even months after, was THE hardest time of my life. Now please don’t judge me. I understand God has blessed me with SO MUCH, but at that time, I did NOT have the right perspective and was completely lost. I felt like my identity was in my career (I now know my identity is found in Christ and Christ alone; He defines me) and once I lost that, I felt a great amount of anguish.

Almost my entire life, I thought I was created to be a teacher. I had all these plans set for my life. You would think that I had already learned my lesson about FULLY trusting God and letting Him do as He pleases (you can read more about thise HERE).

Almost 6 months later, I figured it all out. I had all these plans, but God had His ultimate plan and I could not be happier. His purpose did prevail (as it always does) and I found my niche in life and that is to be a Middle School teacher. (I know, I’m crazy, but there is something so special about the middle school students) I won’t bore you with the details as to how I got to this point in my life, but its crazy how all along God had been molding me.

God is able to do “exceedingly, abundantly above and beyond all that we could ask or think.” I believe this and because I do I will trust Him, take Him at His word, keep on moving forward. I will fight fear by declaring the promises found in God's word over my life. I have learned a lot and I've shared all of this to strengthen you. I encourage you to make plans in your heart, and get moving, but give God room to direct your steps. Make plans, but keep them fluid. Don’t make them concrete! Allow God to flexibility with those plans, to move them around if needed, to line up those desires to His Word and will. A lot of us sit around waiting for direction from God, but He is waiting for you to draw near to Him. Do step out in faith! Filled with the Holy Spirit you can take gutsy risks on the desires of your heart. Get those feet moving as He leads you.

God is the keeper of your heart and will protect it. He will inspire, encourage, nurture, and breathe new life when needed. Dream big! Make plans! Get moving! He's got you!

    * Stephanie has also contributed: Let's Talk About Sex, Baby!

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