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Fix Your Gaze

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; in all your ways know Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5-6 CSB)

The freshness of the new year presents a new kind of excitement and magic to most individuals. It presents a fresh start with unending possibilities and precious opportunities. It’s a marker that identifies a clean opportunity to say goodbye to some of the things we want to let go of and hello to some of things we want to now cling to.

Last year, in many ways, I became a friend to fear. It was a companion that I didn’t want, but was so familiar with. In order to shake it, I knew that I must face many of the things that seemed most daunting. The mountains that got in my way and will forever stand in the way of anyone who desires to run after Jesus, were ones I would have to start climbing.

To name one: the fear of speaking in front of others. I have always known I had a voice and things to say, but oh how much easier it felt to type behind a laptop than to be exposed in front of a crowd. I would be asked to speak at various things at church to respond with a hesitant, “yes.”

My voice may have sounded confident, but internally, my stomach was in my feet and the anxiety set in to the point that all my mind could think about was this one thing. The issue went a little deeper than fear, though. It was an issue not believing my true identity as a daughter. I felt that what I had to offer wasn’t as good as what others had to offer.

One week where I was awaiting the opportunity to speak on a Sunday, I could not think of anything else. The anxiety was consuming. I sat on my bed one night and I cried out to the Lord, “NOTHING is worth taking my eyes off of you! NOTHING!” And something broke in me. I refused in that moment to be distracted by fear.

As I come into 2022, this truth rings true all the same. When I declared that statement in my bed, that I would trust in the Lord more than I would trust in fear, I knew that if God wasn’t the one to flow through me, I would have nothing else. I could no longer rely on my own understanding.

I am two months away from becoming a mom. As excited as I am, fear has come knocking at my door a time or two. It has presented the invitation for rekindled friendship. But then I remember.

I broke ties with fear when I made the decision to continue to face the mountains that stand in my way.

I made the decision to trust and rely; and that is what I will do. Even if fear keeps knocking, may you always remember nothing is worth taking your eyes off of Him. NOTHING. Nothing ever has; and nothing ever will.

Thank you Lord for your perfect love that cast out all fear. Thank you Lord for your faithfulness to us and for keeping us in your perfect peace. Help us to trust in you more and more each day. I pray we will not lean onto our own understanding of the things in this life, but that we can believe in your truth. In Jesus name. Amen.

Lera I. Ricciuti

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