Posted by on January 31, 2021

Fearless 2020 - CoronavirusMost people would pick fearless over fearful, but not me.

Every January I come up with a word for my year. It’s a theme for the year. Some past words have been community, gift, and warrior.

2020’s word was FEARLESS.

I chose it because I often let fear guide my decisions rather than wisdom, and I figured that needed to stop. Plus, my sweet friend Tammy gave me this great picture with the word Fearless on it that I keep in my office.

So, you know how 2020 went.

Beaten, Broken, and Bawling

What you may not know is that before the pandemic ever hit, I had already racked up some bad stuff. From January 15 to February 15, a car hit our beloved Dantes (cat); my job ended; I was sick for a week; and our sump pump broke, flooding the basement.

I was everything but fearless.

I wanted to crawl in a hole and hide. Through all of it, God was faithful. He didn’t let me go, even when I yelled at him. He held on, and he pushed me forward.

I stood up for myself. He helped me stand up.

And I went on interview after interview. He gave me lots of practice.

I shoved fear aside and took the plunge as a freelance writer, and I did well. I wrote scripts, essays, devotionals, and four books. That’s something I would have said I could never do, and now it’s in my tool belt. Plus, I made a little cash. He gave me on-the-job training, and I’ve grown as a writer.

I finally sent my manuscript off to a publishing house, and I got a contract. God opened that door. He orchestrated the timing. He brought me here.

I got offered a contract job with the government that had me freaking out, so I called the Henry Cloud online show for some advice. He said to play the story forward. I did, and I ended up not taking that job and working for a smaller company with an incredible group of smart, kind people.

At this new job, I’ve had the opportunity to learn a new software and give multiple presentations, tackling public speaking like a bear.

The Real Hero

I don’t tell you all of this to brag. Every single one of those things had me crying and feeling like a complete failure. I’m not kidding. I was a mess.

In the process, though, an incredible truth became clear. It’s not me.

More than once, I thought I couldn’t do it. It was impossible, and because of all those crying-on-the-floor, fearful, what-am-I-going-to-do experiences, I discovered my word for 2021.


In Psalm 139:14, David says that he is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” Why fearful? It seems like a negative. And then I took a look at my year, and I realized fearful is realizing the power of God. Surrendering to it. Trusting Him and not myself. It’s reverence and awe and hope.

It’s believing that even if I lose the fight, don’t get the job, never write again, and fall on my face as I walk on stage, He has me, and I am His.

I am fearfully and wonderfully made.

That’s my word. What is your word for the year?         






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David Brannock
David Brannock
3 years ago

Mary Beth, I love your word for 2021! As a word of the year, I’d never considered “fearful” in its positive context from Psalm 139. Thanks for the insight.
My word for 2021 is HOPE. After all the pain of ugliness of 2020, and with graduation on the horizon 6 months from now, I am looking for signs of hope this year.

3 years ago

Thanks for the positive lesson on the word “fearful”. You always inspire me, my warrior friend!

Mary Ann Hall
Mary Ann Hall
3 years ago

Great outlook on the word fearful !!
My word is unstoppable….
No matter what 2021 has in store .I am going to be unstoppable in my quest for my families health and safety, and our goal to get back to normalcy in our lives.


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