Monday, July 19, 2010

What If?

Well ok. I’m starting a blog. Why, you may ask, or what will you be saying? Well, I haven’t quite figured all that out yet. But here’s what I have figured out.

I am thirty-six years old. I’ve had many passions in life; singing, writing, ministry….yet I’ve never thrown myself into any of them. I’ve spent the better part of my life thinking, What if? What if I tried out for that play? What if I tried to publish that book? What if I went to seminary? What if I threw out all those thoughts that are spinning in my head? To be followed by; What if they laugh? What if it’s awful? What if I fail?

Never have I asked, What if I succeed? Instead I’ve been ruled by the fear of failure.

It’s funny. When I was young, I was scared of the dark. I was scared to be home alone, or frightened to walk across that dark campus. Those were, in my mind, legitimate fears that I could battle. I armed myself with God’s word. “God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and sound mind (2 Tim. 1:7)” and from Psalms, “I will not be afraid of the terror by night, nor the arrow that strikes by day” (Psalms 91:5). These verses, and a lot of prayer, allowed me to be free of those fears. Soon, I felt confident of God’s protection in my life. Never did I recognize that spirit of fear was still lurking, and it was keeping me from discovering God’s purpose in my life.

Well, I’ve recently recognized that I’m still allowing that fear to play into my decisions and my thoughts. Along with that realization came the decision that I don’t want to allow fear to stop whatever God may want to do with my life. I’ve given enough years to my What-ifs?

So, will I fail sometimes? Yes! But isn’t that where God teaches us some of our biggest lessons? And has He ever failed to reach down, brush us off and set us on our feet again? No one likes failure, but maybe, just maybe, we can handle it a bit better when we start to recognize that our failures are what draw us closer to God. Without them we would never be aware of our inborn need for His hand in our lives. If we succeeded at everything in our lives, would we ever call out to Him? Not to mention, it sure keeps us humble when we fail.

So, I’m going to start this blog. Will many people read it? Maybe not. I can count on at least three people. My mom, my best friend, and one alternating curious reader (fill in your name, whoever you are). But, I felt the nudge to do this, and just once I want to say, What if I succeed? instead of What if I fail?. I figure just by taking the leap to put this out there, and listening to what God’s calling me to do, I’ve already succeeded. Take that, Fear!

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