“I’m petrified”, I said, “But I’ll give it a go”. As the words escaped by mouth, I could feel a sense of uncertainty – you know the feeling when you want to trust and let go, but still feel that slight bit of hesitancy?
What was I afraid of? Was I afraid of failure? No, I’ve been there done that a few (ok many) times and it’s really not that bad. I’ve found the learnings gained through failure are greater gains than those learned through times of success.
So what on earth was I so afraid of? I finally came to the conclusion that I was afraid of what would happen if it actually worked! It brings to light an interesting paradox. While we are afraid of failure, perhaps even deeper is the question that puts a lump in our throat: “What if I succeed? What if through all the blood, sweat, tears and fire I find that inside of me lies a strength beyond imagination and control?”
“There are so many women, young and old, who feel there is something larger inside them. They wan to move forward and invade the space that now surrounds them. They stand on the threshold, looking toward the wild God is calling them into, yet they hesitate.” (Lisa Bevere)
You don’t have to motivate me to move forward. You don’t have to “talk me into” venturing into the unknown. Yet, truth be told, I’m actually scared spitless of what will happen when I get there. Before all the good can unfold, I’m already worrying about how I will brilliantly screw it up: Who will I accidentally offend? Who will misjudge my intentions? How will I know what to do?? What if I get self-absorbed and success-driven?
Perhaps you’ve heard this quote by Maryanne Williamson;
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?’ Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won’t feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I’m peeing my pants over the idea of actually having something of worth to offer the earth that may just possibly work!
I absolutely, one hundred percent concur that our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure and that God created us for the very purpose of making that glory inside known. When lived out, it will inspire others to live the same. So us cowering in the back corner with all this “God-potential” doesn’t serve the world at all. “Playing small”, as she says, downplays the greatness of God. That doesn’t mean all we do is huge and massive. We serve in big AND small ways, but with no small mindedness.
So when we love on our kids, bake cookies for the neighbor, volunteer, give to the food bank, take in a foster child, serve in a different country, feed the hungry, speak in front of thousands, speak to one, lead a small group, lead a movement….. it’s all done with the same intention: to be fierce for the kingdom.
“Will we ever be women who are at ease with our strength? Will we wear beauty comfortably? God is not withholding strength from you, He’s bestowing it”. (Lisa Bevere)
How can I enter into the strength I’ve been given so generously by God? What do I have to do in order to see it manifest in my life? “Your strength will come from settling down in complete dependence on Me” Isaiah 30:15
There we have it; complete dependance. My greatest fear is overcome by my greatest surrender. Dare to believe what He says. Dare to venture into the wide open space God planned for you. Move past all that holds you back and live wild in surrender, grace and mission.
What you’ve been given may just work