Day 28

Day 28 – A picture of something you’re afraid of.

Another doozy of a prompt. Okay, so what am I afraid of? What’s the real challenge in the topic? Am I afraid of death? My own? My loved ones? Um. Yes. And no. Not something I want to think about most days, but something very real.

Somehow, though, that’s not it. Even if you were to add up all the years of awakening in the middle of the night in cold sweats fearing for my childrens’ safety. (am I the only one to ever get up to check on little ones’ breathing? I bet not. Do I dare publicly admit I haven’t necessarily stopped? I take the fifth.).

So what scares me?

Financial ruin? Nah. Been there. Done that. Money is just…money.

Public speaking? Spiders? The Boogeyman?

No. No; ha! Nope.

Could I possibly be afraid of failure? I think that’s a little closer. As in, I won’t do something in case I fail. In case I look like a fool. In case everybody laughs. In case I suck and now the whole world knows what only I thought.

Maybe.

Frankly, the real fear is probably a fear of success. What if I do something and succeed, and it was a fluke?! What if I can’t replicate the success. What if after being good then I suck. That would be pretty bad.

Well, if you know me even a little bit you know I’m talking about writing. On the one hand, something that has consumed me in one way or another since I was a kid. On the other hand, something I have actively avoided committing to for just about as long as I’ve known I had to write.

What a head case, right? I mean, I have a blog, for crying out loud. I write all the time…some good stuff creeps in every once in a while, mostly silliness and a good time for my entertainment, more than a few clunkers, and a mish-mash of non-committal nonsense. So what am I afraid of?

I am afraid of my own voice.

There. I said it and nothing terrible happened. Of course, I haven’t hit the publish button either, so for the moment this is just between me…and me.

And God. Oh, and evidently I did hit the publish button, so you, too.

Most days I feel I am an adequate writer. Some days I totally miss the mark. And sometimes I write something and I say, “Wow, I don’t know where that came from; it was clearly the Holy Spirit.” Those are the days that I find the fear most challenging, when it seems they should be the most freeing.

Lately I’ve been working extra hard on this fear of writing. I’ve been working on accepting that it’s a precious gift from God. And that realization has me playing a little with semantics. You see, while I admit this fear, it isn’t paralyzing. It isn’t something I avoid.

I think what I need to do is substitute the word “awe” for “fear.” It makes better sense to me.

Awe is about reverence and respect. I feel better about it already. I respect the written word. I have nothing but respect for people who do it day in and day out, and manage to do it consistently and effectively. To write and move people, now that is an awesome gift. To do it for the glory of God, isn’t that what we’re supposed to do?

And that’s what I’m afraid of…not fear of embarrassing myself, but fear of failing to use this gift to glorify God, to brings others closer to God through my own experiences and sharing, to somehow squander a gift that has the potential to be awesome.

Because God is awesome.

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