One week before I launched this blog, I scribbled down a laundry list of fears. They clutched at my heart, clawed at my spirit, and shot ice through my veins.
I spent my days in a heady mix of emotions that could tumble from exhilaration down to panic in about 2 seconds flat.
It was as if, after living so much of my adult life numb to possibility that, now, once I’d opened the floodgates and decided to pursue my dreams, I was drenched in emotion. And, not just emotion related to my mewling, tender new blog and writing ambitions –no, not just that. But everything.
I welled up at the drop of a hat:
I cried at the beauty of swelling hymns in church.
I cried at news of a tragic accident at our zoo.
I cried for joy at the way God was working in my life.
I cried in frustration at blog launching details.
And, sometimes, I wept out of fear.
Feeling emotions keenly was one thing, and I was getting used to it. But, fear was paralyzing. And, I wanted no parts of it. So I wrote the list. Quickly. Messily.
I fear I’m not good enough.
I fear no-one will like me.
I fear I’m not doing it right.
I fear I should be doing it differently.
I fear I’m going to miss something.
I fear I’m working too hard.
I fear I’m not working hard enough.
I fear being judged by strangers and would rather stick with those who already know and value me.
I fear I’m wasting my time.
I fear I’m wasting my money.
I fear I’ll look stupid.
I’d like to say my fears vanished after I gave them over to God in my journal. Yet, in a way, something far better happened.
Those particular fears, at that time, were taken and transformed.
And, I wear them still. But, instead of dark stinging nettles round my neck, they drape me softly, now, those fears, their delicate links, soft shining.
I wear them, most precious. They’re part of who I am, and they’ve become beautiful.
This third I will put into the fire;
I will refine them like silver
and test them like gold.
They will call on my name
and I will answer them;
I will say, ‘They are my people,’
and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’”