Today is a milestone. I’m starting my fourth decade today in October 2017. As I begin this new blog series about The Abundant Life, I’m reflecting on both my scarcity mindset in the past four decades, and the way God has abundantly blessed me despite my fears. Welcome to this new series, and I hope you’ll journey along with me in October so your fears can be allayed and your faith can be strengthened.
Decade 1: I was a fearful child.
As a child of divorce, my love tank was never full to satisfaction. Loneliness often haunted me, and fears constantly assaulted me. I dreaded getting myself ready in the mornings, or staying home only with my younger sister on long summer days. I never felt truly safe or secure. I knew God as my Father, but I couldn’t quite grasp this abundant truth:
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 NIV
Decade 2: I was a fearful student.
This photo was taken when I was 20 years old. At that time I was a student at a Christian college almost seven hours from home. I loved my freedom, my friends, and my studies. Yet fears still ate away at me in quiet moments. I didn’t feel thin enough, cute enough, or fun enough to garner a boyfriend, whom I desperately craved. Worries about finances and job prospects kept me stirred up. I feared having to move to a big city to get a job in the arts. The future felt unsafe and scary.
The phrase “never good enough” still resounded in my ears. I didn’t hear it coming from God, but I heard it from my internal judge, whose voice still had too much power over me. I struggled to accept the truth in the passage I chose as my graduation verse:
For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.
Psalm 107:9 NIV
Decade 3: I was a fearful wife and mother.
My husband took this photo on my 30th birthday. I am holding a vase of birthday flowers, given to me by a dear Bible study friend. The friends in that small group helped me realize I didn’t need to cling to a scarcity mindset any longer.
As we studied God’s Word together, we shared our fears and struggles as moms of littles. We also shared some of our marriage struggles. In community with other believers who loved the Bible, I began to open my eyes to God’s abundant love for me.
Yet I still struggled with anxiety. These thoughts kept pestering me: Will we ever have enough money, or will it always feel like we’re living paycheck-to-paycheck? Will the world be a safe place for my children when they are grown? Is there hope for my broken relationships, or should I give up? Has time run out on my dreams?
Gently and persistently, God kept revealing abundant truths to me. He used the truth of his Word to replace the fears in my heart, especially with this healing verse:
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
Hebrews 13:5 NIV
Decade 4: I am overcoming 40 years of scarcity thinking.
This year I took a big leap. Middle age grants you the moxie to break free from the past. Earlier this year I knew 40 was knocking at the door, and I was sick and tired of being unhappy and stuck. I prayed for months and months, and then I knew God was giving me the green light on timing. So I quit my job and took up the freelance life.
If you knew me well, you’d know this leap is out of character for Sarah-the-rule-follower or Sarah-the-control-freak. Sarah who is always afraid.
I changed when I decided to take Jesus at his Word:
I have come that [you] may have life, and have it to the full.
John 10:10 NIV
He came for me to have abundant life, not a fearful life. A sad, lonely life of thinking there’s never enough left for me.
I don’t have it all figured out. Are you kidding me? I’m mom to one teenager and two tweens, and I believe the rough rapids are just ahead. Life is not getting easier, and in some ways, it’s getting harder.
But as I look over the past four decades, I marvel at how God has strengthened my faith through each and every trial. He planted seeds and nurtured them to harvest. He has whole fields waiting to be planted in my heart, and the harvest won’t be finished until I’m in heaven, when a perfect harvest can begin.
Today, I am thankful for God’s abundant goodness to me. For his faithfulness and comfort. His strength and security. He shows me everlasting kindness and compassion (Isaiah 54:8 NIV). Moving forward into my fourth decade, I’m shedding my scarcity thinking and putting on a new abundant mindset.
Join me in the coming weeks as we discuss powerful, practical ways to replace a scarcity mindset with God’s abundant truth.
Questions for you:
- How has God shown you his abundance in each decade of your life?
- When did you first open your eyes to God’s abundant love for you?
- Which verse helps you meditate on God’s abundant gifts?
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