I hate to lose. Hate it. That probably sounds really silly because everyone does. We hate to lose, hate to be wrong, hate to fail. Hate it. Fear is the root, for me for sure.
Too often my fear of failure keeps me from doing anything at all.
When I was 19 I found myself facedown on the floor of the Student Center at Texas A&M. I was a freshmen and pledging a Christian sorority and showed up for what I assumed would be another meeting. The meetings were always amazing, fun, encouraging, hope filled, friend filled and laughter filled. But this particular night ended up being a night I will never forget-- my course changed.
I'd been a Christian all of 2 years, and one thing that came up again and again were opportunities to write, lead girls/women and speak. Which was insane for many reasons. I'm happy to list a few:
- I had never done either of those or been around anyone that had.
- I am the worst at spelling and grammer (just kidding, I know it's grammar). Truly, I still to this day have no clue what the difference is between a comma and semi colon. Well I do but I don't. I understand it about as well as I understand the rules of football. So writing sounded like a joke of a career option.
- I literally lost my breath in front of people. I'm a total extravert and love people and parties. But speaking in front of others was terrifying and literally I would forget to breath.
- Did I mention I had been a Christian all of 2 years? I knew nothing other than I loved Jesus and really believed in Him. Not exactly resume highlights.
- I didn't really like girls/women. I'm not even kidding. The jealousy, the gossip, the catty behavior, the fake living,.. all of it. I had some girlfriends I loved, but didn't really like girls. I actually joined this sorority to help deal with that (it totally did).
I have no clue what the context was at that night's meeting. I know the room was dark. I know I was in a room with 300 other women all seeking God. And know I was on my face against that wood floor. And I was so scared. I had felt for so long God/Jesus/the Spirit leading me towards ministry of some sort. And that was the most terrifying career path I could have ever imagined. For all the reasons I listed above and about a billion more.
I knew it. God knew it. Yet I would come up with every reason to say no to every opportunity.
So that night I told the Lord, “I will never say no because of fear.” It made saying yes easier (though no less terrifying). I started saying yes a lot more. It was crazy, and at times humorous, to watch God unfold His plan for my days.
But somewhere along the way I lost my yes. I could talk myself out of things much easier—over-spiritualizing and rationalizing every no.
And here I am 32 ½ (my daughter is all about the ½ these days) and there’s so much I haven’t done. So much I have done that I’m so grateful for. So very grateful for. My life has in no way been empty or boring or void.
But I know. I know the times I’ve said no. I know the times I’ve allowed my fear and insecurity to keep me from saying yes. And I wonder, what if. What if I had said yes then? and then? and then? and then?
I have no vision or expectation for what I want ministry to look like. I don’t even try to dream that up. This venture has got to be God. I come to the table with some strengths, but people need more than my self help tactics. They need a living and real and come-through God to do something.
So that’s what I’m committing to. It’s time. It’s been time.
And today I said my first real and scary yes in a long time:
I am writing. I wrote a VERY rough draft for a devotional that has been in my head for years. And then I put the pic on social media before I could chicken out because I needed the whole world wide web to hold me to this.
Rhetorical questions (or not): What about you? What do you need to start? Is it time? What can you do today.