In my previous "Confessions" post I confessed that fear had got a hold of my life especially where my children are concerned. God has shown me that my fear comes from wanting control.
About the time when I was finally finding some breakthrough in the area of my children a new fear came along. No rest for the weary and all that.
So this new fear is a fear that surrounds my writing.
Even weirder is that I have a fear of succeeding, not failing.
There are two areas where my fear is focused. The first, I believe, is a healthy, God-given fear and it has to do with Pride.
My only goal when I write is to bring glory to God. Period. Anything I write I want it to be anointed by the Holy Spirit and always pointing people to recognizing a facet of who God is and, most importantly, that He loves them. But there are times (a lot of them) when someone compliments something of mine that they have read and I feel pride sneak in. Actually, it doesn't really sneak but rather marches in and sits on a large, gilded throne and sits all smug-like. When this happens, I get scared. I get scared that I'll stop giving God the glory and start taking it for myself because I already know that my flesh wants it.
Part of the reason I write my 'Confessions' blogs is to make sure you get the bad and the ugly of my life; you get the self-doubts and the struggles and my admission that I am nothing without Christ. It's a reminder to me. And you have permission, as my readers, to call me out if you find that I'm starting to slip into 'prideland'.
The second area is this: God has called me to write. I feel this call so strongly that I know there is a purpose for it. God wants to use it and He wants me to be faithful with the gifts He has given me. And this is where the fear of succeeding has smothered me. As I stepped out in obedience I heard a voice in my head telling me that if I did this, if I kept writing, then bad things would happen to me. Have you ever heard that voice? I hope you have. It means you are doing what God has called you to do. And I hope you ignored it and kept going. When we step out into the life God has for us, the enemy is not happy. The enemy doesn't want us to succeed and will try and stop us from doing so.
So, I would lay in bed and hear this voice and see pictures in my head of horrible things happening to my family (brings it right back to what I fear the most). Fear keeps trying to hold me back. Fear keeps trying to paralyze me or worse, tries to convince me to take the easy way, the safe way, the comfortable way, the logical way. It's lies...all of it.
It might be easier but it's not safer. The safest place to be is in the centre of God's will. God drove that point home last summer during my personal devotions then made a pastor speak it in a sermon...just for me and, for some mysterious reason, my daughter wanted to read the story of Jonah (who tried to run away from God's will and it turned out badly) EVERY NIGHT FOR A YEAR. There is a picture of Jonah crying and every time she would point to it and say, "Jonah is sad because he didn't do what God wanted him to do." Okay, God. I get it.
It might be more comfortable but it's not logical. What's logical about denying who you are supposed to be? Even the world keeps trying to convince people to be true to themselves so wouldn't you think it's even more important to be true to who Christ wants us to be? I do.
God showed me what to do in those wee hours of the morning when fear attacks me. He whispers in my ear to get up...and write. So I do.
Click here for the conclusion to "Fear really got a hold on me"!