If I tried to recount the details of week one of 2010, you would all be staring at your computers will your mouths open. So I'll just give you the short version. You know my take on it all.
Last year I was determined to say yes. Yes to God anytime, anything He asked. Saying yes opens a door. Saying yes births a new beginning. Saying yes yields to opportunity. Saying yes is actually quite fun because I love the aftermath.
Saying no to fear has been a little different. In the last week I've been bedridden with serious illness and basically everything I hold dearly including my dreams, future, friendships and security feel threatened right now. Weird. New Year's Day I am singing singing the praises of 2009 and I literally could not sleep last night because of panic, anxiety and illness. I read Isaiah 41 over and over again. The parts I have memorized, I recited until I feel asleep.
Last night Isaiah 41 was like taking out a shining sheath from a hidden place. (Percy Jackson's ballpoint pen, anyone?) I literally saw it slice through the darkness, illuminate the scary, shadowy places and defeat fear. Who knew I was a chronic worrier? Who knew my most common thoughts were contrary to the Word of God? Serious, who knew? I can't remember the last time I was afraid to sleep at night or the last time my mind went so far into what if land I was panicking. Seriously.
I am memorizing it in The Message as soon as possible. For a few reasons...It seems when you ask fear to go it manifests in every area of your life. Every.single.one. And did you see that last verse? Confident, exuberant, expansive. Now that's worth sticking it out for! More later. For now I've got get memorizing. It's only January 6!
"But you, Israel, are my servant.
You're Jacob, my first choice,
descendants of my good friend Abraham.
I pulled you in from all over the world,
called you in from every dark corner of the earth,
Don't panic. I'm with you.
There's no need to fear for I'm your God.
I'll give you strength. I'll help you.
I'll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.
"Count on it: Everyone who had it in for you
will end up out in the cold—
Those who worked against you
will end up empty-handed—
nothing to show for their lives.
When you go out looking for your old adversaries
you won't find them—
Not a trace of your old enemies,
not even a memory.
That's right. Because I, your God,
have a firm grip on you and I'm not letting go.
I'm telling you, 'Don't panic.
I'm right here to help you.'
"Do you feel like a lowly worm, Jacob?
Don't be afraid.
Feel like a fragile insect, Israel?
I'll help you.
I, God, want to reassure you.
The God who buys you back, The Holy of Israel.
I'm transforming you from worm to harrow,
from insect to iron.
As a sharp-toothed harrow you'll smooth out the mountains,
turn those tough old hills into loamy soil.
You'll open the rough ground to the weather,
to the blasts of sun and wind and rain.
But you'll be confident and exuberant,
expansive in The Holy of Israel!
from Isaiah 41, The Message