At the end of September 2014, I was burned out. I was working three jobs while finishing my first month at a new school where I was also leading a small group with Chi Alpha campus ministry. At the same time, I broke up (peacefully) with a really sweet guy because it just wasn’t right for either of us. Physically, emotionally, and mentally – I was worn thin.
In the midst of this chaos, one morning I felt God calling me to just come away with Him. So to a little wildflower grove on a warm, foggy day – I sought out some direction and refreshment. In that place of quiet, two words were laid on my heart: “fearless” and “dauntless.”
“Dauntless” was the word that stuck with me the most as I took the time to research the word and what it meant and the meaning is one that I want to share with you.
Dauntless: df. showing fearlessness and determination, to not be intimidated, to be intrepid and bold.
Daunt: df. to overcome with fear, to lessen the courage, dishearten, alarm, frighten, deter, discourage, thwart, intimidate, shake, subdue, dismay, dispirit.
To know that God had called me to be dauntless and that is how Jesus sees my identity, allowed me to walk into the following weekend ready to pour out on others at our annual campus ministry fall retreat. I got to pray for emotional healing with several girls who had undergone some dark abuse, a subject my heart really breaks for. It was such a powerful experience and reminded me of how much my heart just beats to work with young women who are victims of abuse.
What I had no idea of in the moment, what I could not have imagined in the moment, is how my world would come crashing down around me just a few mere weeks later.
The wound is still too fresh to write about in depth for all the world to see, but my reality was shattered in the matter of one phone call. Someone I loved dearly had disappointed me and hurt me in ways I never could have imagined. There were layers of shame, betrayal, humiliation, pain, and bitterness that instantly clung my heart in way I’ve never known before and hope to never know again. It was a life altering event that has changed me and stretched me way past the point I thought I was capable of.
Now I come into 2015 feeling really beat up. There are bruises and cuts and I’m just really tired – still feeling a bit like I got hit by a truck. My faith, my relationship with the Living God, has been something that requires a whole lot of fighting for these days, yet I feel daunted by the thought of fighting anymore, so most days I have laid in a heap and accepted my beating from the enemy. I have been daunted. Discouraged. Dismayed. Deterred. Frightened. Shaken.
And I’m tired of it. Finally.
I’m tired of not wanting more of God. Of being scared of Him and what He might expose within me.
I’m tired of skipping church. Of making up excuses and feeling anxiety and for letting my bad church memories and associations dictate my Sunday mornings.
I’m tired of feeling like a fake. Of being too concerned with what people think of me or of what a leader is supposed to look like.
I’m tired of wandering. Of feeling lost and broken and useless and tired.
I’m tired of resisting grace. Of pushing it away because it’s messy and required humility and also me pouring it back out on other people, which is hard sometimes.
It’s time for me to stop accepting defeat. I started this painful journey of healing with a fight – a fight that has faded into just trying to suppress and deal with the humdrum of daily life. In that process, I’ve resisted things like being alone with God because it requires me to feel things that I don’t like or want to make time for. Life is messy. Dealing with life can hurt. However, if we really want to strive towards being mature, healthy, and spiritually solid people: we need to learn how to press on.
We need to learn how to fight, but also how to let God fight for us. We need to learn how to be still – to be silent. We need to put the iphones and netflix away and just be alone – with ourselves and with God. We need to be able to rebuke the fear, the weights that hold us back from God’s best, and to be dauntless.
The words that God gave in the light – the identity which I believed He has for me – to be undaunted by the world, those are truths meant for the darkness. Truth is meant to guide us through the valleys, deep rivers, and long nights with no moon. The truth that guides me today is that: God calls me dauntless and asks me to live up to that identity through heaps of grace. So today, I will.