Today’s post is actually inspired by what I posted on my Facebook page today:
“For most of my life I lived in the bondage of FEAR! I was afraid that I was not good enough, that someone was better, or that I would fail. WELL, I have been freed from the chains of fear! It doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or if I fall flat on my face. I am finally free to do the things that I want and am called to do!!!”
Technically, that was self-explanatory, but it’s not “Chris-like” to be short, sweet, and to the point! 😉
For as long as I can remember, I have second guessed myself. I can remember back to the 2nd grade when I was picked on during recess because I had to wear my church coat to school, in the 4th grade when I was laughed at after singing in the Veteran’s Day assembly because my voice had vibrato, or all through elementary school when I was joked because I was chubby. That began the cycle of thinking twice before I did or said anything. I even second guessed myself when it came to things that I knew I was good at doing! Throughout my teen years and even into my adulthood, my fear grew larger and got stronger. I graduated from simply being afraid to do, to being afraid to do and having an excuse for myself and others why I wouldn’t do. I had become an enabler for my fear. That’s what happens with fear; if you don’t dismiss it, it will grow and take over. Eventually, my fear handicapped and paralyzed me. For every good idea that I had, I could immediately think of several reasons why I shouldn’t execute the idea. I began to settle for doing what I had to do instead of pursuing what I wanted to do.
“I’m not good enough.”
“There are lots of people trying to do this same thing.”
“What if I fail?”
“Someone else is better at this than me.”
Do any of these things sound familiar? I repeated that to myself too often…often enough to talk myself out of what I wanted to do. For example: I love to sing and have been gifted to do so. It was laid on my heart to begin recording music. It was prophesied to me that God’s healing flows when I sing and I am to share that. It was again prophesied that my music ministry would help increase the ministry of my church. Despite all of the positives, all I could think of was the dozens of talented singers in my area, especially those that could sing better than me. I had decided that I would dedicate myself to helping others produce their CDs, and I would sing background for others, and IF the door opened for me then I would walk through it. That’s nice, but that’s not good enough!!! While in a women’s conference at my church last weekend, something CLICKED! I realized that NOTHING that anyone could say could really stop me from succeeding. The only person that could stand in my way was ME! And besides, why should I not try? Even if I failed, I would still be better off than I would be if I had not tried at all.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE AFRAID!!!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.”
2 Timothy 1:7 [New Living Translation]
YOU CAN DO ANYTHING!!!
“For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 [New Living Translation]
I have made the decision that I WILL accomplish the goals that I have set for myself, and I will complete the assignments that God has given me to do. You can do it too! FEAR IS NOT STRONGER THAN YOUR FAITH! Just believe that you can do “it” ________________ [fill in the blank], and YOU CAN DO IT…. No… WE CAN DO IT!!! 🙂
Yesterday, while at work, I slammed my finger in a cabinet. In the midst of hustling and bustling around the office and trying to fix something that I had totally screwed up, I made things worse. Not only was I then frustrated from my first mistake, I was also in severe pain and BLEEDING! In an attempt to make all things better, I covered up my bleeding finger. (I know this sounds gross. Just stick with me.) I kept the band-aid on for several hours, almost eight hours to be exact. Within that time period, I was extra careful to protect my band aid as it covered my cut. At all costs, I had to keep my cut from being exposed. Just before bed, I decided to remove the bandage to see how the cut looked. “Surely, it will be much better,” I assumed, but I was wrong. My attempt to keep the cut covered, unexposed, and hidden had delayed the healing process. With that discovery, I decided to leave the bandage off and allow the cut to “breathe” overnight. The plan was to bandage it again this morning so that none of my patients would see my “boo boo” and look at me awkwardly. When I woke this morning, I noticed that the cut had begun to heal on its own. With less effort than protecting my covering and hiding my imperfection, and with about the same amount of time or less, I was on the road to recovery….
I was not just rambling by sharing this story. It actually acted as a parable of sorts. I’m sure some who know me might wonder why, all of a sudden, have I decided to blog. Furthermore, why am I vowing to be so open, honest, and candid? Well, I am allowing a little bit of air to hit my life. Throughout my blogs you will read of some of my life struggles, mistakes, and failures, most of which I tried my hardest to hide. I felt as if people would treat me differently or like me less if they knew my REAL autobiography. Well, one day I decided to put shame to the side and share with someone else. I was astonished to know that my experience mirrored that of the lady whom I chose to open up to, and that I could help her by sharing how I got through it. The more I shared, the more she healed. The more I shared, the more I healed. What an amazing equation! The less I worried about hiding and the more exposed I allowed myself to be, the more my situation could “breathe” and the pressure could be lifted.
THE MORAL OF THE STORY:
Never allow anything or anyone, including yourself, make you feel ashamed. It doesn’t matter how big of a mistake you have made or how great of a failure you’ve experienced, nothing is too bad to be fixed!
The Bible says:
“For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard.”
Romans 3:23 [New Living Translation]
Never let anyone, including yourself, convince you that no one else is messing up, according the scripture, all of us are messing up! But here’s the good news, our mistakes, no matter how bad can be turned around. The first step is to ask God to forgive, which He will.
The Bible says:
“But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
1 John 1:9 [New Living Translation]
Next you must wholeheartedly FORGIVE YOURSELF!!!!!! (This can be the hardest part and the longest step in the process). Lastly, peel the bandage off of your pains, mistakes, and failures, and allow them to BREATHE. Just the act of peeling off your mask and dropping the extra work that comes with hiding will jump-start your healing process. Share your story and help others who are going through the same thing. You both can heal together!