July marks not only the beginning of summer but also the midpoint of the year. It’s the month for reflecting on what has been and what is yet to come, and perhaps even being a little grateful for all that never was nor ever will be. I’ve found throughout my journey that the greatest acknowledgement of freedom is the testimony of one who truly lives.
The famous author and poet Henry David Thoreau once wrote, “How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”
As we turn to celebrate those who have paid the cost of freedom, let us not forget to honor them. Where they chose to lay their lives down, let us chose to stand and thank them with a life well-lived.
I wrote the following blog nearly three years ago in 2014 when I realized the price of my own journey. I pray it blesses you and breaks away every chain that holds you back. May you know what it is to truly be free in the Land of the Living, and to be standing free, a slave no more, in the Home of the Brave.
Day 183 of the Year of No a Fear (the Midpoint)
by Kim Engel, July 3, 2014
The minute my declaration against fear hit the atmosphere I knew I’d need to start running before the devil knew my plan. And run I have, indeed! But it’s not so much been a journey about running from something as it has been about running toward something, a Someone actually.
For those of you who’ve been following my journey, you’ve seen what letting go of attachments to unhealthy routines, like diet soda and emotional eating, and starting new ones like 4 mile walks 3-5 times a week can do for the body. I’ve lost 65lbs to date and feel more energy than ever! But I want to encourage you to take steps against fear that cannot be seen by others.
The kind that keeps our dreams locked away under fears of failure and our hopes smothered by fears of intimacy and rejection.
These kinds of fears can only truly ever be overcome by finding the source and snuffing out the enemy of your soul for good. And that kind of power only comes from one source, the One who knit you together in your mother’s womb and knows all of the secret places in your heart that the enemy can hide.
I call Him my Redeemer because only He can save me from the darkness I cannot see, even the darkness in my soul that I’ve covered up over the years where Fear had its way.
It occurred to me as I started this Year of No Fear that there are many people who desire this. They want to live the life they imagined as children but feel like they had to grow up and except what was given rather than continue to strive after what they wanted to attain. Somewhere along the way they gave in to what was seemingly happening to everyone around them and fell in suit.
I can tell you from experience I was one of them for many years and I happily chased after what I was told would make me happy rather than listen to those dreams I had in my youth that never left but instead spoke softer each year until I could not hear it over the shouts of my newly given wants. Some call it irony, I call it redemption, but no matter how hard I tried to ignore the still small voice inside it began to call to me in such a way that I could feel myself leap when it told me of what I could do if I would try. Then fear would come and laugh at me and tell me I was foolish and it brought with it a deadening feeling that began to gnaw at my insides until I felt motionless, tired and apathetic to the world around me.
If you recognize this feeling in your life, my friend, then I am here to encourage you to leap forward from that out of the fear and embrace the life you were made for!
Cry out to your Redeemer and ask Him to take hold of your hand and set the path before you to become all that you imagined. For me it was specific tasks that would prepare me for the next and then the next. I was taught obedience by being told to unpack my house and hang a bathroom cabinet, only then could he begin the hard work of unpacking my soul.
I am always growing, leaping and covering new territories I’ve never imagined. I am learning and living and loving with an invigorating vitality coursing through my veins that is better than any drug. I am not perfect, far from it, but I am alive and I feel every breath of life and I am unafraid.
This revelation may come to you slowly, but I can assure you also it can come just as swiftly. It all depends on your desire to live the life you imagined and your willingness to hear from that still small voice within, and let fade into silence the shouts of the world.
Some of you won’t embrace it because you fear the comforts you’ve grown to love and want will not be in this life you imagined. As someone who has seen the other side, I can only offer you this, the comforts you have now are nothing compared to the joys you have yet to experience by truly being free to live.
It’s up to you of course, it always is up to you. No one will force you to live. No one will bind you and drag you to joy. The only chains you are bound by are the ones you freely shackle to yourself.
My hope for you is that you will choose joy. That you will choose to leap with unbridled passion and love. That you will dream and dream and never settle again for dreams deferred. That you will see love and know Love and that you will never ever feel again the pains of apathy, regret, and longings set aside.
It’s not too late to live! Be fearless. Be courageous. Be the You that you know is within.
Trust and believe and hold fast to the One who will lead you through valleys and up to the tallest heights that you may see and know all of which you are truly capable.
Declare it out loud, “I will fear no evil for my Redeemer is with me! My Redeemer Lives! I will live too!”
“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.” Galatians 5:1