Monday, January 26, 2015

Riding With Fear: It's Time to Replace Fear with Faith

It’s quite amazing how life recycles itself if you let it.  It’s like a really great, or really terrible, fashion trend.  Every few decades it recycles and becomes a “new fad” or “hip fashion.”  Like life, if we allow it, our situations recycle themselves and come back into play.  This can be a great thing… Or a debilitating road-block. 

I was re-reading some of my old blog entries, attempting to find something for a class, and saw a few things that made me smile just a bit…. The first was this entry from 2008:

“Here is how I feel, right now, this moment. I feel scared, lonely, tired, drained, confused, elated, hopeful, happy, angry, frustrated, discontent, thoughtful, half-baked, wanting, lost... I feel SO many mixed emotions, I have ceased having the ability to make any clear decisions. I wish I could explain in means that were intelligible... Right now, I am describing my feelings as clear as mud. Well, the mud is getting thicker and stickier, and I'm slowly sinking...

It boils down to this. I cannot seem to gain a new future or let go of the past. I cannot seem to live for tomorrow, but am constantly in the future or the past... I am filled with worry and doubt, and that is not a very "Linze" thing to feel. Everyone turns to me for strength and understanding... Not this time. Who do I turn to?

Heavenly Father, of course... and yet, I feel as though he has given me the reins on this one and now I am lost in the desert with only a dying horse to guide me back... I have to choose the paths, and he wants me to learn from each dead end and round-about I encounter.

One day I will look back and be overwhelmingly grateful for these experiences and emotions, but for now I remain in a level of pain. Yes, that's the way to describe the state I am in: One of pain. I thought that was an exaggeration, and it may be, but I am hurting right now and can't seem to find the treatment or medication to numb the pain and heal the wound. Perhaps, tomorrow?”

Now, I have NOT felt in a lot of pain this past year – on the contrary, I have been relieving that pain in so many ways over the past year.  What’s interesting is the feelings of confusion and the middle of this entry (which, in retrospective, I have realized is highly dramatic to put on social media…).  I say, “. I cannot seem to gain a new future or let go of the past. I cannot seem to live for tomorrow, but am constantly in the future or the past... I am filled with worry and doubt, and that is not a very "Linze" thing to feel.”

Well, truth be told this HAS been a very “Linze” thing to feel.  Looking back at my life, I have allowed myself to be filled with worry and doubt over every little thing instead of trusting myself and my Heavenly Father a lot more.  I know “it’s a process” sometimes, but why make everything so complicated?  Why when I know deep down what I want, do I fight it because I’m scared it “might be the wrong choice?”  I do this a lot, and thus, bring on a lot of worry and unneeded stress – and waste a lot of valuable time.  I’m not saying I’ve got the perfect answer to not worrying ever again, but I’m starting to see the true benefit in self-trust and really trusting my Father in Heaven.  I’ve seen the benefit in letting go of what you can’t control and taking charge of what you can while having faith in yourself. 

Another interesting article I wrote in 2008 was my personal goals and mission statement:

“Next Year: I would ideally like to be working for a company I enjoy being involved with and making at least $40, 000 a year. I would like to be heading back to school to complete my Master's Degree, either in Comms or getting my MPA. I would also like to have paid off all of all of my undergraduate loans, live outside of my home again, and own my first car.

Three Years: Be graduated with my Master's Degree and be working in an established events planning/PR job that is making $60,000+ a year. Spend at least a few months living in LA or DC!

Five Years: Have moved up in the company and be in established position, in a significant leadership role. Married; This could happen around the three year mark as well, but I don't know that it will. We'll see.

Ten Years: Married with a few children. Working from home for an events business and improving in my knowledge of event and social trends. Preparing to fund my and open my own events planning business!

From there, who knows if I will be in events or education... I enjoy both, and we will see where life leads me. Of course, a few things will change my time-line... One) If I go on a mission 2) If/when I have my own family they will be numero uno on my list of priorities. So, that will fit in more and more to my list as I get married and have children... I wish I could plot that on my time-line. Haha! I would love to be secure enough with my husband's income to not have to work, but still get to work - if your know what I mean. I really LOVE working and staying busy, so I would love to still be doing a little something... Even if it is simply aiding in my child's Kindergarten class! Haha...

Now, enough of life planning for now. I still have yet to make a Mission Statement for my life... So, I shall give it a shot, but probably do a lot of revising over the course of the week to perfect it:

The mission of Linze Struiksma is to grow and progress toward perfection in pursuit for eternal life. I will live a life full of intensive learning and development as I surround myself with motivating and positive settings and individuals. My commitment to excellence will be shown through my service to others, especially my family. I will maintain a balanced life by being a well-rounded individual – educated in the arts, sports, the political arena, history, current events around the world, and of course, the gospel of Jesus Christ. I will teach my family and friends to do the same within their lives.
To succeed in this mission, I will not fear change and progression within the workplace, church or internally. I will be kind and understanding of all those I come in contact with, as I strive to continually improve my networking abilities and relationships with others. Effective communication, open honesty, and genuine trust will be the foundation for any established relationship. I will always remember to be open-minded and understanding to new ideas or cultures. I will maintain flexibility and patience as new situations are placed in front of me.
My life will be lived to experience true happiness and help others enjoy each day! I will show gratitude to those around me, and tell those close to me how much I love and appreciate them each day. My positive attitude and genuine concern for the individual are to be shared openly with others. I will use my drive, passions, and talents to bless my family and the lives of others – I will share the gift of music and communication with the world. I will teach others to fight for what they believe in, and chase their truest desires by doing so for myself.
I will strive to be a constant example of truth and light to all those I come in contact with, and share my testimony through my actions. I will raise my family to have integrity and live in correspondence with these eternal truths. My educational, occupational, and personal goals are to be centered on my desire to grow closer to my Savior, and become who I was meant to be. Personal responsibilities must always lie in serving others in each project I undertake and decision that I make; doing so will bring me closer to Christ. I will make every effort to convey happiness in my home and social situations, and bring strength to those around me.”

WOW.  Can I just say… life has changed.  Life has NOT gone to plan… and for that I am SO grateful.  I could have been “fine,” in a PR job – I would have been great at it! 

wouldn't have been as happy.  I have made certain choices in my life that led me down other paths, and I’m not sad about that at all.  Germany through a wrench into everything I had planned, and it was the best detour I could have asked for in my life.  I grew and developed there, and become a fuller version of myself.  Upon returning to the USA, I have loved teaching and my Master’s Program at Westminster was an AMAZING choice for me.  I met incredible people, had amazing experiences, learned a lot about social and political structures, formed more clear opinions, and grow in understanding myself more fully.  Teaching has been fun, and hard, and a time for personal reflection.

But, my goals were completely shattered with those choices.  My one, three, five, and ten year plans, changed and developed into a better plan.  Goals are fabulous, but sometimes, you have to reevaluate and close certain doors so you can walk through another door.  Sometimes, you have to be honest with yourself and let go of a sub-par plan because you want something more, something BEST, for yourself…

I have other dreams that have always been screaming at me from the field, as I slowly walk along the sidelines.  These dreams are begging me to finally give in and play the game – gear up and run with it!  I've been scared.  I've recycled all that fear and the previous years of my life and let it ride with me in my journey… Well, this past year, I started to slowly drop it off where it belongs – the dump.  I wish I had just opened the car door at 60 mph and pushed it out of “the journey mobile,” but it was already riding with me… and so I was scared to let go of the fear.  Promise, this sounds clear in my head.  Here’s the hoping it works on paper too.

Well, yesterday I had a little epiphany.  After a slow drive with the music turned down and talking to God, I realized, I have to close some doors.  I have to do what’s best for ME and what I want from this life (and the next)… I have to move forward and push fear out the window – and just like that, it disappeared.  I’m not saying it’ll never try and slide back into the passenger seat, but I’m actively filling that seat and all the other seats in my “journey mobile” with other things so there’s no room for it… That seat will be filled with Faith, Trust, Self-Worth, Belief, Confidence, Determination, Hard-work, and Passion. 

As for the MOST fascinating part, my goals may have been thrown for a loop, but my personal mission statement is the same.  Read it again.  In honesty, I am still the same ME.  I am just a more developed, better version, TRUER version, of myself.  I still want to be a great person and leader who will make a difference, who has a strong relationship and focus on Christ, and uses my talents in music and character to grow and develop myself and others.  I still want to have a great family and let others know they are loved by being open-minded and happy.  I simply have new passengers with me on the journey and my ride is already feeling much more optimistic and progressive. 

Moral of the ten-year-in-the-making story:  Don’t wait to close the door on fear... In fact, don’t wait. 


Song of the Day:  My most recent cover is here, so I’m going to share it!  Here is a song called "Anyway," from a new musical, Tales From the Bad Years.  I'm a huge fan of Kerrigan-Lowdermilk's work and encourage you to look up some of their other songs.  Please take a listen and enjoy! 

1 comment:

Katria said...

Just realized it will be 8 years this fall since we were roommates.

UGH! We're old. ;)

Looking back to that time, my life is totally different than my 5-10 year plan, and most of the changes have come on very suddenly and unexpectedly. I'm constantly being reminded (and having to remind myself) that when my plans are not God's plans, His are better in every way, so I should just roll with it.

Miss you so much!