My first real post.
I’m nervous. I don’t know why; I love to write, so that part doesn’t scare me, but the idea that you, reader, are going to explore my thoughts is intimidating.
New adventures always scare me at first. Walking into an unknown abyss that could promise excitement and fulfillment or danger and failure–and while danger has not always scared me, failure most certainly has. Making new friends, trying new restaurants, learning a new skill, taking on a new hobby, writing a new blog… none of this comes easy to me because, ultimately, of my fear of failure.
A simple example, that I am sure many a reader can relate to, is getting in shape. It is such hard work and the capacity for failure is great. What makes my situation worse is having been a very athletic youth–my brain knows I a can do something but my body says, “Hell no!” I have started and quit and started and quit more times than I care to admit in my fitness journey and all I seem to accomplish is creating in myself a spirit of shame and disgrace that I cannot shake.
My sister is going to be in a wedding in October so in February she decided she needed to join a gym and I was going to be her workout buddy. Umm… Excuse me? Who made you queen of my life? So I joined the gym with her. I figured, with a little accountability this journey should be easier right? Wrong.
Love my sister to death, but she does NOT have the most flexible schedule in the world and this brilliant plan of being each other’s workout buddy has tarnished a bit. I couldn’t use her as the reason to drive me–that was a bad reason to begin with–no, it had to come from within me. It helped that I swore to Patrick that since I was now officially investing money into this, for the gym membership, I would not give up but I digress…
I began going to the gym on my own when my sister couldn’t come; kicking my own butt, pushing myself to be better. Then, I’m not sure when it happened, it wasn’t torture to workout anymore. Did/does it still hurt? Heck yeah! Do I still want to cry the next day when my muscles are sore? Sure I do! What is different is the perspective on the pain. Feeling sore means I worked hard and I begin to crave that feeling.
I am overcoming, slowly, the fear of failure in this area of my life but it still paralyzes me in other areas. What I am learning from this though is that perseverance is the key:
2 Dear brothers and sisters,[a] when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
James 1:2-4 NLT (BibleGateway.com)
James, of course, is not talking about my fitness goals, but he what he says is nonetheless true of where I stand in my fear of failure. New tests, new trials, new hoops, hurdles, mountains, oceans, valleys are all opportunities in disguise. Opportunities for what? To persevere and grow stronger and more confident. Faith and reliance in the Lord gives this to us.
7 For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.
2 Timothy 1:7 NLT (BibleGateway.com)
In a really low time in my life, a little over 5 years ago, driving home late one night from a crappy job that I was settling for because I feared the failure of reaching for a job that would challenge my potential, I exited the freeway and waited at a red light behind a black truck with this bumper sticker in window:
For some reason God had been priming me that night to hear from him that night and his words ripped through me and left me in tears, “My Love is greater than your fear. Let go.”
Since that moment I have worked tirelessly at trying to keep those words at the forefront of my mind.
[God is love.]18 Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:18 NLT (BibleGateway.com)
I am by no means perfect. I have feared starting this blog for a little over 5 years and I am only now pushing through and striving to be the only thing I can be; which is me, the way God intended me to be. So I will write the heck out of this blog, and I will put myself out there and make new friends and I will freakin’ learn to sew a dress if it kills me. The point is, I cannot let my fear keep me from living a full life. I want to leave you with this quote that I discovered not long ago that I have since written out on a post it note and stuck to my desk at work so I can read it everyday:
When you come to the edge of all you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: There will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught to fly.
What are some fears you are facing? I hope that this inspires you, with the help of the Lord, to step off the ledge of your fear and soar.