I don’t know about you, but for me, trying something new is never a welcome venture. From the momentous to the mundane, it’s scary every time.
Though I will admit, my anxiety makes everything seem momentous, sometimes to absurd, apocalyptic levels. “Mom, can I have a snack?” becomes “Mom, your answer to this will decide the fate of my entire adult life and I’ll have to get thousands of hours of therapy because of YOU if you make the wrong decision, but you’d better make it snappy. Every second of delay means another hundred hours of psychoanalysis while lying on a lumpy couch that smells like old cologne and sadness.” At which point I cave and just say, “I don’t know, I don’t know! Ask your dad!”
Anxiety makes me a caricature of myself. It’s funny now, but don’t go back in time and tell me not to worry because I’ll laugh about it later. I can’t guarantee I won’t make a poor decision we definitely won’t laugh about later. Just ask Campbell.
Not that’s he’s time travelled or anything, but you get the idea.
But even when I’m not suffering from anxiety, anytime I find myself stepping out into the new, it’s pretty terrifying, whether it’s attempting to find a new tattoo artist because yours moved to Colorado when the state legalized marijuana (true story), or something so silly as the fact that your significant other suddenly decides to take a new route to the grocery store for absolutely no reason (I’m looking at you, Campbell).
As this is only my second blog post, and these digital pages still have that new invisible ink smell, I’m assuming you’re seeing where I’m going with this…
That We Might is a brand new house, an unspoiled abode for my mental pen and paper. The spotless windows are gleaming, the painted sidings are flawless, the stepping stones are placed to perfection, the lawn is thick and trimmed, the garden is overflowing with fresh blossoms, and the birds are chirping in the trees. Everything feels hopeful. Anything is possible.
Wait. Anything is possible.
And that’s right about the time when I come face to face with one of the oldest Killjoys in the book–or at least, in my book–that old nagging fear I know so well.
The fear of failure.
What if I fail at this like I’ve failed so many times before? People are reading this. You’re reading this, friend. What will happen if I don’t write anything for weeks?
Thankfully, it didn’t take me long to admit that all of those thoughts and fears issued from pride, and praise God, the moment I did, the Lord answered my doubts and fears immediately, as He often does following a confession. It was a gentle perspective shift concerning what this blog actually is. It’s not a venture. It’s not a quest. It’s not an experiment. It’s not a random left turn when I was expecting to go right. I believe it’s a calling from God.
And when it comes to callings, the only failure would be to not answer.
I had to remember who I was writing this for. Not me, not even you, dear reader, but for the Lord. I have an audience of One. Perfect love does cast out fear, but only when I’m loving the right Person, because Jesus is the only One who can love me in return with perfect love. As Romans 8:38-39 says,
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Notice it doesn’t say, “except for failure.”
The Lord’s not worried if I slip into The Void of depression and don’t write for weeks. He’s not even worried if I stop writing on here for good. He knows every day I’ll post and every word I’ll write, and loves me anyway. Putting my focus on Him brings everything else into focus. I can’t see things clearly without looking through the lens of Jesus.
When I love Him first, and seek Him first, my yoke becomes easy and my burden is light because I’m doing this for Someone who loves me unconditionally, and delights putting my scribbles up on His proverbial fridge.