A New Song Called Fearless

There are those years when the clocks strikes midnight, the fireworks explode, and the sense that you’ve lived well, loved well, and grown much settles on your soul, like the tide slowly easing its way toward the shore. 

That’s not how my New Year’s Eve went at all.  We were in a rental car, driving on the opposite side of the road, on the opposite side of the car, in a foreign country. Our plans involved us arriving at our destination in time to see the fireworks flower over the Bristol Channel between England and Wales.

Instead, our Sixt rental agent went home early, leaving us stranded car-less at the airport. (They said he was in the bathroom but we’ve decided otherwise). In any case, it’s 11pm at night (midnight for our Germany-bodies), the buses have shut down, I’m on crutches, and we have no car. Fortunately, Europcar was open next door and rented us a ridiculously over-priced car for the night. 

So, as it was, we were driving down dark country roads on the other side of the street when the clock struck twelve. We saw random splotches of fireworks around homes and tress. It wasn’t all bad, and in fact, nearly mimicked the spirit of the WHOLE year… unexpected, unplanned, out of our control, and adventurous. 

Lest you think I find those descriptors pleasant, I’ll make it clear that except for adventure, I do not love unexpected, unplanned, or out of control anything. 

I had hoped and anticipated a New Song. 

And while I look at the circumstances of the year and try to hear the new song, I realize it wasn’t in the circumstances at all. 

The new song was really more of a spark, an invitation to step into disappointment, fear, insecurity, sadness, loneliness, and the unknown with bravery. With courage.

With fearlessness.

The song wasn’t beautiful. It didn’t quiet my soul or stir up joy. No, it stirred up fear. It stirred up my brokenness. It stirred up anxiety.

It was the song to call out all of the ugly insecurities that lurk in the shadows of my soul.

When I heard “new song” last year, I had a really different idea of how it would sound. 

Nonetheless, the song has woven a note through every moment. Pulling out disappointment and carrying me to the cross. Calling out insecurity and carrying me to His heart. Drawing out fear and carrying me to the shadow of His wings. 

Where I’d imagined a song sung over me, to quiet me with love, I found a crescendo so terrifying that I wanted to hide under my covers, as I did as a child listening to my Mighty Mouse record at its tense climax.

And while bed time songs are still preferred, I’m beginning to see why the new song of 2017 was less about being free of tension or drama or pain, and more about stepping into each of those with courage. Taking it one measure at a time. Trusting Him with the tempo and learning a new dance. 

A dance of courage. 

2018 shows no indicators of lightening up circumstantially. I tripped into it with a torn ACL and crutches, my RADish living untreated, numbered days in our home and SO. MUCH. CHANGE. on the horizon. New roles, new endeavors, new. So much new. New identities. So much unknown. So much opportunity to run in fear and hide. To disconnect, disengage, or, my preference, try to control all of the uncontrollable and burn myself out.

But I hear a whisper of hope. A whisper that began in a new song last year. A call to live brave. Live courageously. 

To live fearlessly. 

To look fear and anxiety and overwhelm in the face and say, “Step aside–I’m with Him.” And then, with love, power, and a sound mind, choose to walk in. 

This year, I’m living fearless. 

Not because I’ll never experience fear, but because I won’t give fear power to determine my steps. My future. My family. My relationships. When I feel fear, I’ll choose forward. When I feel insecure, I’ll choose courage. When I feel disappointment, I’ll choose bravery.

All are choices. Responses. Opportunities. No longer will I hide in my turtle shell until the storm passes, but I’ll face it and wrestle it and make the storm bless me. 

Whew! That’s a tall order. I believe those words. I aim for those words. And I know I’ll need you to remind me of these words. Because when the fear hits, it’s hard. It’s hard to step into dark places and choose courage. 

For example, I distinctly heard God give me 3 steps to take to bring reconciliation to my marriage recently. It took me about 8 hours to complete the steps. Seven of those hours were spent in fear, in pride, and in a secret hope that He’d settle for the first two. 

I know this is the work He’s begun in me this year. A call to facing fear one breath at a time. And because of the times I’ve said “yes” to stepping in, only equipped with His promises of something beautiful on the other side, I’ve witnessed some deeply touching moments this year. 

  • A new picture book, According to Corban, which won a The Gittle List award in December. 
  • A chance to read my books to children at my elementary school in San Marcos in October. 
  • Being a guest author at Cologne International School for World Book Day last May where they decided I was “very famous.”
  • An accepted invitation to be one of ten guests invited to a publishing intensive with the CEO and staff of Self Publishing School last October. 
  • Starting a coaching business for children’s writers and getting students! 
  • My reunion with Israel after 16 years, sharing that immense joy with my husband for his first time.
  • An incredible trip back to Israel and Palestine, sharing our love for this land and these peoples with our children.
  • Provision for our every need… a car to borrow through July when ours broke down, finances to continue our work here, a role at BFA that Jeremy loves, insurance to pay for my medical needs, on and on.
  • Reconnection with friends and family this summer in CA. 

There are many more gifts behind each fear that threatens to keep me limited and unconfident. Instead, I choose to step behind the curtain and trust that only because of God’s gift of freedom, can I live fearless. 

Won’t you join me this year? Join me in believing more about your value, your worth, your security, your protection, your offering than you’ve ever dared believe. 

Step into those places that threaten you with fickle lies and believe that you can live fearlessly, courageously, and daringly because He equips you and has so much more for you and for me than the enemy would have us believe. 

2012

CHRISTMAS Merry Christmas and Happy NEW YEAR!

Today is the last day of 2012. We’ve taken the kids to play in a newly discovered park. We’ve eaten lunch. I’ve worked on a photo album for my three-year old… I’m still finishing her first year *sigh*

Tonight we head to one of the student dorms… now rather silent and empty as the students have gone home to over 52 countries to spend the holidays with their families. We will shoot off some fireworks with new friends, eat lots of yummy food, and enjoy some time of worshipful music and the company of “brothers” and “sisters.”

Other than that, this last day of 2012 hasn’t been so utterly different from the days preceding it.

In fact, it’s sort of a quiet day compared to the others.

One year ago today, I was sitting in the home of my husband’s Aunt, Uncle, and cousins in Oregon… soaking in the sounds and smells of a family gathering… something I didn’t have growing up.

We brought in 2012 together… having no real idea all that this year would hold. We stood on the threshold of much unknown, mountains to climb (or move), drastic change… staring off into the universe of blackness with stars to light the way.

Now here I am, a year later, smiling back on all that stood before the Marcy of December 31, 2011… a year older, wiser, and very far from “home.”

The Marcy of December 31, 2011 gazed into her foggy future… knowing there was an impossible amount of money to raise, a household to sell, jobs to leave, friends to cherish and treasure, and less than a year to do it.

  • God has once again made the impossible, possible and funded our ministry in Germany. We didn’t do it. He did. And His people.
  • We’ve moved across the world to Germany in order to partner with Black Forest Academy, TeachBeyond, to meet and love on Germans and local missionaries, and give our children the experience of their lives.
  • I ended a job with The Academies… a job I loved with ladies I loved even more.
  • I began and ended a job that I never expected to have! Serving alongside a woman who became a friend… helping her change the life of a six-year old girl forever.
  • We moved twice and spent a month on the road.
  • My husband and I took and completed the course Perspectives on World Christian Movement.
  • I completed my re-certification for my Rehab Counselor Certification.
  • My husband graduated with his Masters in Education.
  • We visited and shared about our move to BFA in over sixty places… homes, sunday school classrooms, life groups, in our own home over meals shared.
  • I left my church worship band after seven years of singing with them… this was so hard to do! It still is.
  • I had a book published with SNAP Learning!
  • I attended writer conferences/seminars in Fresno, CA, Rocklin, CA, and Stuttgart, Germany.
  • I began a second “freecycle” group on Facebook… this time for my community in Kandern, Germany. Together, there are around 700 people utilizing the two groups I set up.
  • Did I mention moving across the world? Selling just about everything we own, living in furnished places, traveling to any place that would have us share about the vision of BFA… helping kids transition to a new life, new language, new culture… while trying to do the same myself?
  • We were interviewed twice with KGED 1680 on the topic of Foster Care and Adoption… both of which continue to get replayed on the radio.
  • We’ve shared meals with over twenty of the families we’ve come to know (in the four months we’ve been here).
  • I accepted the position of “Counselor” with TeachBeyond for local missionaries wanting mental health services.
  • I have joined a worship band at our new local church, Black Forest Christian Fellowship.
  • I completed three major writing challenges in the months of October and November… 31 Days in 2012- a daily blogging challenge in which I wrote 31 Confessions (& Lessons) from {Dad}.
  • I completed Picture Book Idea Month (PiBoIdMo), coming up with a different picture book idea for every day of November.
  • AND, in November, in one month, I completed the very first draft of a novel for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Somehow, I manage to look over that list and think Is that it? In a whole year, is that all I did? Does my life matter?

Crazy, right?

It all matters.

And so does your 2012… whether it will be used to remind you of how good God’s grace is, how desperately you need His mercy, or simply ending in praise that it’s OVER… it matters.

And now, here I am, the Marcy of 2012. I stand on a threshold, once again, of much unknown. I’m filled with wishes, hopes, and dreams… and a very foggy picture of what this year might hold. The Marcy of 2013 is already on the other side, looking back with that same smile, grateful that THIS Marcy doesn’t know what THAT Marcy knows… the things yet to come, the hurdles yet to leap, the mountains yet to move… the songs of joy and praise yet to sing, the gratitude yet to be lifted…

On this, my last day of 2012, staring into a universe of unknown, I grasp the hand of One who knows all… and it’s okay.

It’s okay that I don’t know.

And it will all matter.

Happy New Year to each of you as you reflect on your past year and the year yet to come. May you find God’s grace and mercy in abundance, and your joy over flowing.