You make me brave
"I can say this with all honesty and authority,
because I know for a fact that my fear is the most
boring thing about me. This is especially true
when it comes to living a life of creativity.
Fear is boring, because fear only ever has one thing
to say to us, and that thing is: STOP!" -Elizabeth Glibert
I've spent 24 years of my life worrying about what other people think of me. I've learned to hide it, to mask it, and to make it look like I am a perfectly natural "people-pleaser."
But that only leads me to perfectionism.
It's a vicious cycle really. On the outside I want you to think I am this respectable, responsible, and perfectly likable person, yet on the inside, I am so different than that. On the inside I am just like each and everyone else: a sinner. Ugly.
But praise God that the story doesn't stop there!
This morning I was reading a blog post Watch The Walls Fall and I was reminded of the story in Joshua 6:1-5: "Now Jericho was shut up inside and outside because of the people of Israel. None when out, none came in. And the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with it's king and mighty men of valor. You shall march around the city, all the men of war going around the city once. Thus you shall do for six days. Seven priests shall bear trumpets of rams' horns before the ark. On the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. And when they make a long blast with the rams' horn, when you hear the sound of the trumpet, then all the people shall shout with a great shout, and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people shall go up everyone straight before him."
Joshua 6:2, "See, I have given Jericho to you..." Just like they said over at couture31, it has already been given to you. Whatever it is, whatever you Jericho is, it has already been given to you. Even when your situation and dreams seem almost impossible, it has already been given to you.
Another thing I noticed from this passage is that when the Lord spoke to Joshua, he did it. He listened to what the Lord was saying to him. I'm sure there were people who thought he was absolutely crazy telling them to march around the city, but he didn't care. He knew that this is what the Lord had told him to do, so he did it. Joshua wasn't fueled by the acceptance of others, instead he looked to the Lord for acceptance and was more worried about obeying the Lord, rather than what his peers thought. He looked to Christ for fulfillment.
I love creating. I love looking at something and see something no one else can see. I love eating carbs. And I love dreaming the wild and outlandish dreams that everyone says are too far out of reach.
And I know that I serve a God who wants us to take on those crazy dreams - because He "does not make false promises." He promises that He is for us. He will go with us. And He will bring it to completion, because it has already been given to us through Him.
"what if you wake up one day and you are 65, or 75, and you never got a memoir written; or you didn't go swimming in warm pools or oceans all those years because your thighs were jiggly and you had a nice big comfortable tummy; or you were just too strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life of imagination of radical silliness and staring off into space like when you were a kid? it's going to break your heart. Don't let this happen. Repent just means to change direction - and NOT to be said by someone who is ragging their forefinger at you. Repentance is a blessing. Pick a new direction, one you wouldn't mind ending up at, and aim for that. Shoot the moon." -Anne Lamott
Friends, I am convinced that this is the life that God has for us. No one ever said it wouldn't be hard, but it's in the midst of struggle, challenge and difficulty the adventures begin. Because of Him who is at work within us we can be brave. We can be brave enough to dream those outlandish dreams, break free from the mundane, and realize that perfectionism is something that was never asked of us. We no longer have to live in fear because "Our God does not make false promises and He does not call His children if they are not ready for the journey."
So whatever it is you are afraid of whether it be stepping out in faith, fear of being rejected or that someone is going to be better than you or worrying what others would think if you really chased hard after your dreams, no fear can hinder the promises He's made. He makes us brave.