A Year of Fear and Joy

As I sit down with my computer in my lap and as my fingers take the keyboard, I think of how long it has been since I’ve sat down to write. “Write,” a word that has seemed to be a burden to me these last 12 months. I have honestly had no desire to write about the struggles and joys in my life this past year. This year–2013–has challenged me and rocked my world, but nonetheless has been the best one of my life thus far.

But for me to share my heart, I am going to have to back up to the fall of 2011. It was in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers wives bible study where I read the Lysa TerKeurst’s book, “When a Woman Says Yes to God.” When I read the title for the first time, I honestly didn’t think it was a book for me. I had already said yes to God. But the turn of each page challenged me spiritually and moved me to go outside my comfort zone. I had come to the conclusion that I limited God’s power in my life, because I would often say “No” to his opportunities; because I was nervous, scared, and mostly uncomfortable with what He would present before me.

Instead of making a New Year’s resolution that I would inevitably forget in a matter of days, I decided I was going to make a prayer, which would be my theme for 2012. “Lord, I will say ‘Yes’ to you and the opportunities’ that You bring my way.” It was not even two weeks later that the Lord sought me out to see if I meant my prayer. I received an email inviting me to speak at a lady’s luncheon. When I tried to ignore the email, I felt the Lord tapping at my heart, “did you mean what you told me? Are you going to trust me and say ‘yes’ to my opportunities for you?” Refusing would mean disobedience; I said, “yes.” Two weeks after that was another speaking engagement and then another… and with those moments, the Lord met me in a Divine way, which I had never experienced before. As 2012 came to an end, I began to pray for what my word and theme would be for 2013. The Lord, clearly laid on my heart baby. Baby would be the theme for 2013. I didn’t know what that meant, but I quickly found out. After months of complications in trying to have a baby, Corey and I conceived the first week of January 2013. The Lord, literally wasted no time to show me that baby was undoubtedly my theme for this year.

Then I began months of struggle with depression, anxiety, doubt, and fear. Amongst these struggles that I was so unfamiliar with, I became a recluse to the world. I didn’t want to be around others when I wasn’t feeling like myself because I didn’t want them to see what I was dealing with; I didn’t want to write, because I couldn’t be honest; I wanted to hide from the world. On top of my personal struggles, Corey was unemployed for the first time in our marriage (that will be a post for another day).

I feared I wouldn’t know how to love this baby enough. I was scared of the change that was quickly approaching. Anxiety would often take over my body and I would break. It sounds like routine thoughts and experiences expecting moms often face, but for me, I felt like Satan was eager to ruin some magical moments for my life.

Without going in to great detail, my struggles carried on… until September 29th– the day that changed my life forever. Margaret MacRae Lynch entered the world.

Since, the day our precious girl was born, she has brought me nothing but the purest joy. God was serious when he said baby would be the theme for 2013. Through it all, He has taught me He is sovereign in my life, He is my rock, He is my fortress, He loves me unconditionally, and He loves my daughter more than I could ever imagine.

I am praying for the Lord to lay on my heart my prayer and theme for 2014.

Instead of making a New Years’ resolution that you will quickly forget or that is impossible, I challenge you to pray a prayer that will be your theme for this year and see how the Lord uses it throughout the next twelve months.

Happy New Years!