“Stand steady, and don’t be afraid of suffering for the Lord. Bring others to Christ. Leave nothing undone that you ought to do” (2 Timothy 4:5)
Or “Fear Overwhelms, Part II” might be a better title because, for too long now, I have allowed fear to rule my life. There has been a silent protest in my heart that is driven by my own feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, and too much concern with what others think, or believe, I should do or be or think. The inner dialogue is “I can’t do this!” with gentle reminders of what and where I lack. That fear overwhelms to the point that I’ve become impotent when I most need to be productive and strong. Of course, we can also hear the dialogue that says “I” need to be…fill in the blanks. Why am I not asking The One for that strength, that clarity, the energy or confidence? Why am I not asking Him what His will is in the first place? Why am I simply not trusting that He will lead me to who and whatever I need at the perfect moment…without the road map? That removes quite a lot of that “overwhelm,” that lie the adversary is using to keep me impotent.
Paradoxically, in addition to these lies that are overwhelming me, I’m also silently protesting the wasted time, the impotence, the lack of focus that has been the result of those feelings of inadequacy, insecurity, etc. That dialogue looks like this: “Why am I being so lazy?” “Stop wasting time!” “You’re being selfish” I’m waging an internal attack on myself that compounds those feelings of inadequacy, etc. I’m validating those feelings, which only creates a vicious cycle that, if I continue to take back my puny control, will keep me “stuck” and in a “rut”.
Letting go is the easiest thing to do…and the hardest. We like security and confirmation for everything. I’m looking for perfect conditions.
Perfect conditions DO NOT EXIST…period!
At least not from a human perspective.
Yesterday, after blogging about Miss Pearl’s calamity and all of the emotional stuff that went along with it, I sat down and really took stock of my situation in life. Yes, I am struggling greatly with finances right now. But this storm will end like every other. My shoulder will heal; it already is. Eventually, I will be able to return to work and start earning again. It may be a rocky road ahead but God has this. Somehow or another, my needs are always provided for–even when all seems lost.
Then I did something I haven’t really allowed myself to do: I allowed myself to dream of a potential future. I looked at where I am and where I would like to be. And, instead of overwhelming myself further with what I don’t have, can’t do, etc. and worrying if I’m worthy or loved enough to have or do, I not only brainstormed on paper that potential future, I mapped out some manageable steps to achieving that future (Yeah, I suppose I feel the need for some sort of road map anyway…lol!). Granted, I have done this many times before but this time was a little different because, this time, I approached it with the attitude that it is all possible. In times’ past, by the time I was halfway through with my brainstorm, that inner dialogue had taken over and I believed it’s lie of impossibility. As Henry David Thoreau said: “If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life that he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.” “Confidently” is the key word here. I am confident that the Lord will see me through each calamity, give me the strength to endure, and the courage to take each step. Though things are still rocky, there’s a lot I can do even in my current financial climate. And more that I can do if I’m really creative. Others, well, they may take time but none of these steps look like mountains anymore because I’ve accepted His part and have invited Him in to direct me. And, if mountains crop up along the way, either He’ll move them out of the way, or He’ll give me the strength and skill to climb up and over them. For once, I released the fear–really and truly–to Him. And it is making all of the difference in my heart, creating a peace that I never imagined possible. Again, I’ve let go of the outcome.
Of course, the first step is always the hardest. The first step requires me to make contact with other people (I tend to be a bit shy and more than a bit prideful: “I can do it myself” is another lie). On the top of the list is a trademark attorney and a financial adviser. No, I don’t have the funds to hire either yet but I can attend a free consultation with each and get a better sense of where to go next once I am finally working again and working to pay down the debt. In short, I’m thinking ahead, looking beyond the present “rut” and into that potential future. It might only be a baby step, but it’s a step nonetheless. And I trust that He will lead me to the right people, and provide the right information needed to take the next baby step.
For too long now I have come close to settling and accepting failure…without ever taking a step forward to see if success is possible. Faith is telling me that it is possible. And hope is beckoning forward. Maybe it’s not really a chasm underneath that first step after all.
May God bless you & keep you!