It's a new year. A new season. A new...beginning. With each new year brings new hope of finally accomplishing the things we've wanted to tackle for years, and possible, decades.
For the past several years my wife and I have given each year a theme. We take some time separately to pray and think about what we feel like God is preparing for us in the next twelve months. Then we come together to talk about it. We almost always seem to be headed in the same mental direction. As we talk (usually over coffee at one of our favorite coffee shops in town), we narrow down the big ideas we’ve been sensing to a single word. One. Single. Word.
In past years, these word-themes seemed to have been right on. For instance, the word we designated for 2013 was “Uncomfortable,” and many uncomfortable things happened indeed. That year, in order to cut our expenses and save up money for a down payment on a house, we embarked on a community living experience (experiment might be a better word) with another married couple who had a baby/toddler, and another single guy. Six of us total. It was…interesting, to say the least. Don’t get me wrong, we had loads of fun. Lots of late nights…some of those involuntary. Nevertheless, it was definitely uncomfortable.
Then that summer, our Worship Pastor was let go and I was asked to take his place. Yikes. As a young leader, I was not prepared for what followed. It was a tough learning curve and I’m better for it. It pushed my relational boundaries and stretched me in more ways than I would’ve ever asked for. It was uncomfortable.
And later that year, my wife and I experienced a miscarriage. Never have I experienced such pain and sorrow. Uncomfortable. I could go on, but you get the picture.
In 2014, the word was “Growth.” We sensed that we were going to grow in more ways than one: as a family, spiritually, relationally, etc.
And grow we did.
Our faith was stretched as we sensed God leading us to sell the house we just bought, leave all our family and friends, good paying jobs, and my wife’s photography business...and pack up and move from Texas to Colorado to attend Bible College. Didn’t make a lick of sense. Lots of growth there. Later in the year, we celebrated the birth of our first child, Journey. She’s our pride and joy. Our family grew. Lots more examples, but I’ll spare you.
With the birth of Journey in late 2014, we kind of forgot to give 2015 a word-theme. (Ya know, new parents and all.) We were a tad distracted. But 2015 was kind of split into two parts. The first half was overtaken by adapting to parenthood. And we’ll be doing that the rest of our lives (so I’m told). So we didn’t focus on much else. The latter half of 2015 was spent dreaming. Dreaming about our goals, business ideas, etc. And for the first time, I came alive to the idea of being an entrepreneur. Of having my own business. Of pursuing my dreams.
I’ve always enjoyed the comfort of a paycheck. Having that security blanket twice a month makes a man sleep easy. Sometimes that man can sleep too much because, “Hey! I don’t need to do anything else…I’ve got the paycheck!” Oh, but that paycheck can be the death of a man.
You see, I realized that I had more to my dreams than even I was aware of. There was more on the inside of me that was dying to come out, but I stifled it. Over the past six to eight years, I’ve been submitting to the will of my own insecurities and letting them make the call. As I’d think about the possibility of pursuing something other than what I was doing, my insecurities would remind me (usually, very loudly):
“Who do you think you are? Do you REALLY think you could accomplish that? Just stick to the paycheck, my friend. I’m looking out for you, ya know. If you were to pursue that thing, where would the paycheck come from? How would you provide for your family? Do yourself a favor…and STOP DREAMING."
And I’d listen.
But I’m sick of listening to them. Those insecurities have never served me well. They’ve stolen from me. Storming my mind, invading my thoughts and imprisoning my dreams.
But not this year.
I’ll be posting the 2nd part of this blog post later this week. If you’d like to be updated when that post goes live, just sign up for my email newsletter at the top (or bottom) right of the page by inputting your name and email address. Thanks for reading!