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I have this fear of mediocrity. Of wasting the one life that I’ve been given, standing before the Lord some day and realizing that I’ve done nothing at all to make a difference in this world. I’ve always been scared of leaving behind this place and no one realizing that I’m gone. Or missing me. Or thinking twice about my existence. I think that’s what led me to start a blog all of those years ago…fear of being a vapor. Just a speck on the map of life, here for now and gone in an instant.
Fear of inferiority.
Fear of unimportance.
Fear of a life of sheer pointlessness.
I found newfound meaning to life when our boys were born. Despite my ups and downs and battle with depression, I knew that being their mama was the one true purpose that God had given me; and it continues to be where my heart lies to this day.
But there is still fear. Not so much of mediocrity or insignificance..
Placing your trust in the Lord is one of the scariest things that anyone can possibly do. I learned very early on that faith requires sacrifice. It requires willingness to be broken and be bruised and be battered only to allow God to heal you and bring you back to a place more perfect than anything you’ve ever experienced.
I fear that. (Not the being brought back, but the breaking down.)
I’ve been broken before. There is no place more lonely than being in a place of God’s brokenness. That place where you are curled up in the fetal position just begging God to take away the thing that’s hurting. Begging him to heal whatever it is that he’s allowed to be crumbled into a gazillion tiny pieces.
My brokenness came the day that my daddy’s mom died.
…and the day the my house burnt when I was in 9th grade.
…and the day that my baby sister found out she had a tumor that was months from taking her life.
…and the day that I (unknown to him) watched my dad cry after being accused of arson.
…and the day that my husband admitted to looking at pornography.
…and the day that my scholarships in college were revoked.
…and the day that I saw my mother sob uncontrollably when she lost her mom.
…and the day that my oldest son told I was a “mean mommy” the first time.
Like you, I’ve been broken time and time and time again. I’ve been at the bottom of the barrel, clawing my way back to the top and screaming out to God both in desperation and in anger. I remember, in great detail, sitting on the ground behind my house in 9th grade—the ground still damp from the water hoses used by the fire department—cursing God as I threw rocks into the windows that I knew would never be able to be replaced. Our house had burned; my childhood and memories and possessions all gone. Again.
I remember cursing God when my daddy’s mother died a mere 10 days after my moms mother passed away. I remember the sights and the smells that moment that I saw my daddy—the strongest man that I had ever known—curl into a fetal position and weep as he watched his mother take her last breaths. It’s not lost on me the smell of the brown paper bag that someone (to this day I still don’t remember who) handed me when I had my first panic attack in the hospital hallway.
(Seriously, I didn’t intentionally rhyme that…)
I mentioned this on Instagram yesterday, but I use the opportunity that comes with the silence of my house at night to pray. The way I figure, if the good Lord wants to talk to me bad enough to wake me up, then there’s something that I can think of to talk to him about. I usually pray over my family…my husband, our boys, our families back in Alabama and Mississippi…but the last three or four nights I’ve been praying about fear.
There’s this really big, crazy, God-sized dream that has been on my heart for years and years now. One that I’ve had since I was in High School that just won’t go away. My family (mostly) knows what it is, as do my husband and one or two really close friends. And they’ve all told me that I could do it. Told me I should do it and to take the leap and just go for it.
I prayed and prayed and prayed some more about this fear that keeps nagging me. I don’t know where, other than the Devil himself, it came from. I heard someone say once that God must be up to something when the Devil won’t leave you alone. I like to believe that wholeheartedly and I like to believe that that’s where the fear that I have comes from.
Fear of letting people down.
Fear of not measuring up.
Fear of making mistakes.
Fear of failing.
Hannah Brencher sends out an email every Monday, and today she talked about Liars and how we need to stop sleeping with them…those who whisper nasty lies in our ears at night and make us doubt ourselves and where we are in life and the God that we serve. Then, later (after I’d crawled out of bed, made the kiddos breakfast and finally reheated my coffee for the third time), I sat down for my Quiet Time. I couldn’t decide what to read but I decided on the Seamless Study by Angie Smith.
Today’s lesson was on Joseph and how all of the terrible things that happened to him, happened for a divine purpose that only God could see. Those awful things happened because God knew that there would be a time in which he would need to save his family from the famine that would strike Egypt. And he would need to do that to continue to pave the way for Jesus Christ to come to earth.
There’s this whole great big tapestry being woven by God and we have no idea the threads that we are holding together. When I really let that thought sink in, I realized that my life has a much more significant importance than even I realize. Then the question hit me…
What am I keeping from the world by living in fear?
This dream, these things, that have been on my heart for as long as I can remember-are they so insignificant that I will ignore them because I’m afraid to take the first step?
Those are hard questions to face.
Even harder questions to answer. Especially when you acknowledge that your fear of failing could be the difference between heaven and hell for someone. Having said that, I have to ask you: what do you fear?