Sometimes trying to put into words how you feel seems an impossible task. A million different thoughts are running through your mind, all vying for your attention at once. It’s easier just to try and ignore it rather than let yourself get overwhelmed. Yet for me, putting it down on paper is almost like a release, a way to deal with my emotions in black and white. It somehow helps me to work through it as I go. But it’s also a deeply personal experience, something that I have to be ready to share. That’s always the hardest part.
I struggle often with this “gift” I have for writing. Whether it’s something I should devote my life to, or pursue just as a hobby. I also constantly worry about how what I write will be received in the big, bad world. They say you should write what you know, so I share my own personal experiences. But it’s scary to wonder what others will think when they read it. The fear of being criticised and mocked is almost enough to stop me in my tracks. If that’s not bad enough, I question whether I actually have anything worthwhile to say.
Such is life. Deep down we are all craving the same thing; acceptance from others. We live in a world that teaches us that being liked is vital, but acceptance is conditional. People accept us based on all kinds of things, like where we live, what sort of car we drive and what we do for a living. The fear of rejection is often enough reason to keep our hearts locked up, because our need to be liked means more to us than being our authentic selves. How do I know this? Because I’m guilty of it myself.
Time and again I’m torn between wanting to share what’s on my heart, and wanting to keep it secret. And the reason is always the same. Fear. Whether it’s because I want to turn away from dealing with whatever’s happening in my life, or I’m worried about what people will think if they know how I really feel, the result is still the same. Fear has held me back. It is so much easier to do nothing than it is to face our fears. But what if there’s a better way?
The thing is, I know there’s a better way, but it still doesn’t make me less afraid of putting myself out there. You see I know the secret, the answer, the good news if you like. I know what it means to step out in faith, to believe in a higher power, to know that my path is being directed and there is a plan and a purpose for my life. I know Jesus. I know unconditional love and acceptance, and the freedom that comes with that. I know forgiveness and compassion. Yet still I revert to the ways of the world and let fear win the day.
I know when I’m getting a nudge from God, a whisper from the Holy Spirit that tells me I need to start writing again. But I’ve gotten pretty good at making excuses to avoid it too. It’s hard, because I don’t always feel like sharing. Putting your heart out there for the world to see if one the scariest things you can do. Though strangely enough, it’s also one of the most rewarding. Finding that balance between faith and fear is one of life’s great challenges, and there’s only one way to get it right. Listen to God. Sound simple? Maybe it is, but don’t be deceived. Simple does not mean easy………….
Faith does not make things easy, it makes them possible. Luke 1:37