One word for 2014.

Last year I started picking a word for the year. This is different than a resolution because it's not made to be "kept" but rather to encompass all I want the year to be about. For 2013 my word was confidence. It was kinda crazy how 2013 really did end up being the year of confidence for me. I never thought choosing that word in January would be followed by so many opportunities to grow in who I am as a person. Just thinking over the year of all that's happened, how I started grad school, transitioned in my job and bought a house (just to name a few), and how I handled those all is a testament to why God placed that word on my heart. I could write pages and pages of how I've grown in my confidence in Christ and in myself this year. I've been thinking about my word for 2014 and a word keeps coming to mind that I can't shake no matter how badly I want to. I'm a little nervous committing to it because if 2013 was any indication of what could happen, I'm not sure what's in store. It may seem silly or dramatic, but prayerfully considering a word to make 2014 about has become a big deal for me. Words mean a lot to me so picking one that I can continually go back to and choose so I intentionally approach my year in a way that is beneficial to myself and my growth is important.

So...I've decided my word for 2014 is Unafraid. I wrote this a few months ago about being unafraid, not fully realizing what I was saying but knowing I had to move forward in a way that I am free from fear and anxiety. I have gained confidence in Christ, in myself and in others this past year and I think I now need to live into that confidence and keep on this journey unafraid...

Unafraid to fully live.

Unafraid to speak up when I know I should say something and stay silent when it's wiser to say nothing.

Unafraid to ask the hard questions.

Unafraid to embrace the doubts I have and explore them.

Unafraid to fully receive and give love.

Unafraid to pursue freedom from the things that weigh me down.

Unafraid to work hard.

Unafraid to make changes when they need to be made and accept the things that need to stay the same.

Unafraid to embrace my life for what it is and not what I think it should be.

Unafraid to be who I am rather than who I or anyone else thinks I should be.

Unafraid to challenge the status quo.

Unafraid to fail.

Unafraid to admit I don't have it all figured out and life isn't always black and white.

Unafraid to fully love God, myself and others.

So...my voice may shake, some days may be better than others, my over thinking mind may be asking my heart what the heck are you doing, people may disagree, mistakes will be made, but I will move forward in love and grace and I will be unafraid.



I've realized lately how much of my life has been dictated by fear. My fear of failing, my fear of not being liked, my fear of conflict, my fear of getting too comfortable, my fear of settling...the list could go on. I have also learned that when you don't acknowledge your fear it can lead to anxiety. My life has been dictated by fear and anxiety for so long. So I'm learning to be unafraid. I'm learning to ask for help and communicate my fears so those closest to me can help draw me out of my anxious thoughts. I'm learning that when you face those fears and work through them wisdom comes from it. I'm learning fear is okay and it's healthy, but it's what we do with that fear that matters. Every day I have to choose if I let my fear lead to anxiety or to wisdom.

I am trying to live my life unafraid. Unafraid to take a risk. Unafraid to live out a dream even if it means I could fail. Unafraid to speak and write out of my convictions and refuse to apologize for my beliefs. Unafraid to love deeply.

I am thankful that I have people around me who show me what it looks like to turn fear into wisdom. Sarah Bessey, a writer I absolutely love, wrote this and I agree:

But I will speak the truth, even if my voice shakes. I will sing in the woods. I will stand here in the wilderness, head up, unashamed, following in the footsteps of Jesus as best as I know to do it, loving him into every corner of my existence, because, at last, at least, I am not afraid of you.

So...my voice may shake, my over thinking mind may be asking my heart what the heck are you doing, people may disagree, mistakes will be made, but I will be unafraid.