Beginning 2013 With God Fearlessly (Blog) / by Shanelle Gabriel

A few days ago, a new-found friend of mine mentioned that his New Years Resolution was to get closer to God. I said "Yea, me too," although the year had started and I knew I hadn't picked up my Bible since selecting a Scripture reading for my mom's Celebration of Life back in November. I admitted to him (and myself) that I wanted to get back to where I used to be with God: faithful and fearless. I once had a relationship with God that kept me calm even when my health, my career as an artist, and my crazy love life seemed to be overwhelming and unstable. But those storms seem to have come back with a vengence with some NEW elements to the mix. 

The last few months have been the most difficult period of my life to date. Some of you know that in November I suddenly lost my brother-in-law and a week later, my mother. Right after this, I found myself in a severe Lupus flare, and learned I was having issues (nothing life-threatening, but life-altering) with other systems of my body. Financially, my resources were shot. For the first time ever, I was faced with grown up decisions about what to do with my life, how to handle all this insanity that is coming at me all at the same time, and how, in the midst of my tribulation, to help others around me get through theirs. It's enough to lay a person out, and make them give up. Picking up a Bible seemed like a bandaid after a face-off with Beatrix from Kill Bill. Where do I start that doesn't feel forced? I told myself I'll just pick up my Bible and read till something clicks. Yea, that's REALLY motivating...sigh.

My friend then mentioned he's using this app on his iPhone (no, this isn't a plug for Apple; I get no commission off of their sales). It's the Holy Bible by YouVersion that allows you to start Bible lesson plans that center around different topics and last a variety of days, weeks, and months. Eh, it was worth a shot. A lesson plan called "Fearless: A Six Week Journey" catches my eye. From day one, I felt like the devotional was speaking to my fears, my storm. It asked me some introspective questions, and I suddenly remember a beautiful wood-covered journal that my Soror, Lisa, gave me. I decide to make this my spiritual journal where I keep track of what I'm studying, questions I need answered, scriptures that speak to me, and my overall feelings towards my relationship with God. In two days, my heart feels just a little lighter. I feel like the Word is speaking to my soul, telling me to be stronger, and that I can have that fearlessness that I once had before, even through the insanity that is my life. 

I don't know if you reading this helps in anyway, but feel free to join me on this journey. The lesson plan is here: I'll be blogging any major moments and thoughts, praying that my epiphanies help someone else. 


Much love,