"Fear keeps life small."

As I fall asleep and awaken to the mixed emotion that is social media this morning, as I sit and ponder, as I read of those who fear for their future, I cannot help but wonder, how is it that I am able to feel peace in this very delicate moment?

I cannot say that I had this peace in the days leading up to the election. I felt as though no matter the outcome, I felt an overwhelming fear of uncertainty. But as I went to the polls, I thought about doing what He, God, told me, and despite the outcome, whether the candidate I cast my vote for claimed the victory or not, I was going to feel a lot more peace. Yes, the uncertainty of the future is still very real, but it is no longer in fear, but rather in trust. In trust that there are bigger things at work here than we can imagine, and we need to take responsibility to love one another, to stand united, despite who leads our country, despite who the other person voted for. It is in this time that our friends, our family, this country, need us more than ever. Many are suffering fear of the future, many are hurt by the words that have been spoken, we need to be sensitive to that.

But I would also encourage you not to live in fear.

I cannot tell you how many times I have let fear hold me back from doing things that deep down I really wanted to do. And I still do. But I don't want to allow that fear to run my life anymore.

As I continue to re-read through "One Thousand Gifts" I am finding so much to relate to in chapter 8, especially during this time. If I could I would copy and paste the entire chapter... but instead I will try to share some of what resonates with me.

Bare with me as I share some passages so that you might better understand.

"Without trust in the good news of Jesus, without trust in the good news of God's saving work even in this moment, without an active, moment-by-moment trust in the good news of an all sovereign, all-good God, how can we claim to fully believe? This is the trust I lack: to know that if disaster strikes, He carries me even there. Trust in the wholeness of the gospel-including this moment, good news too-and be saved. Choose stress, worry, anxiety, reject what God has given now, which is good news too-refuse to trust- and be condemned." (emphasis added)

"If authentic, saving belief is the act of trusting, then to choose stress is an act of disbelief... atheism. Anything less than gratitude and trust is practical atheism."

"Perhaps the opposite of faith is not doubt. Perhaps the opposite of faith is fear."

For me, this is a whole new way to look at my faith, but is it not true? How can I claim to believe in God if I have fear? How can I claim that God is a good God but then fear stepping out in faith? This is not to say that I should not have a healthy fear or respect for God, but the fear that keeps my life small, the fear that holds me back from pursuing my wildest dreams, I know this fear is rooted in my lack of faith in God. And I hate to admit this, it feels wrong to, but I must in order to move forward. In order to to be the joy.

"I know my supreme need is joy in God and I know I can't experience deep joy in God until I deep trust in God...trusting God is my most urgent need. If I deep trusted God in all the facets of my life, wouldn't that deep heal my anxiety, my self-condemnation, my soul holes?

The fear is suffocating, terrorizing, and I want the remedy, and it is trust. Trust is everything.

If fear keeps our lives small, does a life that receives all of God in this moment grow large too?"

I don't know about you, but I want my life to grow. I am no longer satisfied with staying "comfortable." So despite the direction of our country over the next four years, I am going to step out in faith and pursue my passions. I am going to love, even when it hurts.

I want to encourage you to do the same. Whether or not you share the same beliefs, I think no matter what, fear does in fact keep life small. I think we need to stand united, in the beautiful country that we call home. We need to find our purpose and not let fear, or hatred, or anger, or anxiety hold us back. If we unite in love, the opportunities are endless.

Those of you still fearing our new leadership and what it might mean for our country, put your faith in something bigger. Find common ground with each other. Listen to each other. Take a moment for yourself. It is okay to experience what you're feeling. It's okay to take time to come to terms. We need to be there for each other. It is so important that we don't allow this to create further division among us. We must do what it takes to love one another, protect one another, and pursue the lives we were made to live.

And most importantly, feel thanks.

"Eucharisteo precedes the miracle."

Today I am thankful for:

The right to vote.

Peace of mind.

Letting go of fear.

The beautiful humans that surround me.

My delicious coffee.