What is a trial or challenge that has strengthened you?
I'm going to school to learn and teach Spanish. While I began to love Spanish in high school, I never really pictured myself doing anything with it in the future, so I quit taking the classes for it. I quit learning the language. I stopped trying to figure out Spanish conversations that I heard around me, or that I heard on tv.
So learning Spanish now is kind of like starting all over again. Learning a second language is challenging me, definitely!
The more I learn about the culture and the language and continue to add words to my vocabulary, the better I can express myself. The more I'm learning, the more easily I can pick up conversations I'm hearing around me.
Learning a different language sometimes makes me feel like a child: I cannot communicate what I want to all the time, and it's difficult to get my point across every now and again. Other times, I can easily say what I'm wanting to.
Learning a language is an ebb and flow. I've learned to be flexible and patient with myself.
Through my second language education, I've been amazed to learn how much your identity and self-confidence affects language learning. It is proven that if students are stressed and filled with anxiety, they do not learn as well. Students with low self-esteem have a much more difficult time using language in a creative way--meaning, they only say and write and utilize what they are certain is correct.
Students who are okay with making mistakes are far more successful in acquiring a second language, because their identity is not wrapped up in their performance.Students that take chances with grammatical structures and vocabulary that may not be 100% correct become fluent faster because they take the jump. They take the chance. Their identity is not wrapped up in their performance.
I'm so mindful that it's often the same way with the Father!
We are learning His language. We are learning His heart. We are becoming fluent in His ways and His desires as we take the time to commune with Him each day.
Fear of the unknown, of the future, of what's ahead, is one of the most common fears that I've experienced and have come into contact with through other people. When we allow ourselves to be paralyzed by fear, we are choosing to place fear above His goodness.
We are choosing to allow fear and anxiety to dictate our destiny and identity.
When our identity is wrapped up in our performance,we are more concerned what we can do for God rather than with God. We are placing acts above abiding. Above rest. Above holding His hand and allowing Him to walk through the day with us. We are trusting in our actions above His faithfulness.
Walking with the Father is an ebb and flow.
The Father is not afraid of you. He is not angry with you. He is not disappointed in you. He loves you. He delights in you.
The Father doesn't desire us to live in fear and anxiety.
2 Timothy 1:7, in fact, says just the opposite. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."
So lift your head. Walk tall. Be comforted by the fact that the God of all grace, mercy, and comfort has already walked through your tomorrow. He isn't surprised by what surprises you; He has already prepared precious abundance in the difficult days. In the days that it's difficult to get out of bed. He already knows.
The heart of the Father is for us to walk in the strength and confidence of who we are in Him. Your identity doesn't have to be wrapped up in your performance.
Your identity is secure in Him--you are a son or daughter of the most high God!