Appointment with life

5 Sep

Friends used to tease me that I was born in the wrong century.  My non-tanning, ultra pale skin, my refusal to wear my hair short, and my Victorian morality are just a few of my freakish qualities.  So I accepted that I’d never be on the cover of a modern magazine, and I contented myself with just closing my eyes and dreaming of living in a world where who I was was considered normal.

Then not long ago someone pointed out that since our lives are no accident, neither is the time or place where we are born.  I’d long ago gotten used to the idea that we can’t choose our families (sorry, Mom), but I’d never really pondered the question of when we were born.  So…if God put me here, now…He must have done it on purpose.  He must know what He’s doing.  The gifts He has given me must somehow have relevance, though I can’t really see it, to the time and place I live.  I must have something to offer people of this generation (and they me), and furthermore, I shouldn’t be afraid to share it because I don’t think I fit.

By 2009 I had already started dreaming of writing for a living, but I’m not the kind of person who has faith in dreams.  They’re fun to play with, but they never really come true.  Except maybe for some special people.  Then suddenly my life circumstances started swirling around me at break-neck speed, and I found myself facing the — yet remote — possibility of a dream coming to life.  I was given new tools and a new perspective.  One circumstance after another, both good and bad, began opening doors for me to do what I dream.  Here I sit, gifts in hand, tools in hand, but nope.  Still too afraid.  Still too many obstacles to getting there.  Still can’t bring myself to do it.  Why would anyone ever want to read or watch what I have to say?  My ideas are dumb, goofy, juvenile, ridiculously un-hip in a hip generation.  Plus, if I ever actually wrote something, I’d have to face the consequences of success.  Success scares me more than failure…because failure is safe.  Failure I can do.

Then one day as I was feeling completely impotent in my own uselessness, that still small voice of His gently poked at me.  “Remember when you did/wrote that?  Remember how you knew that idea was from Me?  What makes you think that these new ideas are not?  You are My creation, and I am the source of all creativity.  When you doubt the gifts I’ve given you, and then you doubt the direction I’m sending you, and then you doubt your own place in the here and now, you are doubting Me.  Still want to go there?”

Radiant beams of hope pierced the clouds for me.  The storm still gathers, interfering with the hope pouring from the clear skies above, but now I’ve seen it, and I know it’s still up there even when all I can see are clouds.

I shared this with a friend of mine who had yet more wisdom to offer.  She compared my new career to big scary things we have to do in life…buying a car or house, changing jobs, paying the bills.  She said, “It’s always the scariest the first time you do it.  Then it gets easier the next time, and easier still the time after that.  It’s the same with our faith and your writing.  With every step of faith, the fear of the unknown makes it look so huge before we take it.  But once we do, fear’s grip lessens some, and the next one doesn’t seem quite as big to us, and the fear gets less scary as we go.  You’ve gotta get past your first project for it to get any easier.”  Did I mention she’s a genius?

So I won’t lie to you and tell you I’m not afraid any more.  I’m still petrified.  But I am confronting the concept that courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.  I’m gathering my motivational resources — looking ahead at the horribly bleak future that awaits me if I don’t kick my feet up and move forward — and I’m going to take encouragement from the fact that I now seem to be surrounded by friends who are jumping off their own deep ends to do what they dream.  I’m no longer out of place in my world.  Now I just have to get up every day and ask myself if I believe that.  And what I’m going to do about it today.

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3 Responses to “Appointment with life”

  1. Cindy September 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm #

    I think you’re incredibly brave. For you to drive to California to pursue your dream, not knowing a soul there, took guts. But the reason you had that opportunity is not because of some dumb luck, you’re an amazing writer. God is stirring that passion up for a big purpose. I can’t wait to see what it is! love u sweet friend

  2. Miss Wisabus September 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm #

    This is just what I needed to read tonight.

    I have a great life, but it’s not where I expected to be. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever experience success in anything. Things have been pretty bleak since high school. For the girl who relied on her grades to determine her worth, college was a nightmare. I had to look past all that.

    But, like you, lately I have had some very nifty opportunities fall into my lap (another one I must tell you about!) and I’m sitting here thinking — there’s a reason. God is not leading me into these different places for nothing. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to do!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. 13 things that scare me to death « In Which I Blog - October 31, 2010

    […] 12.  Success. […]

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