Something peculiar happens when you watch a loved one die, especially a parent.
You realize something HUGE. You are smacked right in the face with your own mortality.
It’s really quite mind-boggling. All of a sudden you realize, oh wow this will be me someday. And after months of taking my dad to the U of M Cancer center and seeing many young people very ill, I also realized there is no guarantee any of us will live to an old age.
I will never forget the day we got the news that dad’s cancer was back and there was nothing more they could do. It not only scared the you know what out of me, it devastated me to no end, my life was forever changed.
But honestly, it also did something life altering for me in a good way.
It awakened my soul.
Suddenly all of my fears seemed very small compared to this realization: You get one chance at this thing called life, one chance to pursue the dream God has placed inside of you. And this was the question I was asking myself:
Will you be brave and do it?
My father told me over and over again that God had put me on this earth to be a writer.
At the time I was really struggling to believe that. And if he was right, I was not really happy with the choice God made. A writer? Um, aren’t those the people who work their tails off, without much reward and are poor?
No, thank you.
I wanted God to change my calling. I wanted it to be something more structured and laid out. Like go to school to be this, get your degree and do that. So I began talking to my dad about me doing this or that, and he always went back to, “No, Holly you are a writer.”
My father saw something in me I couldn’t see in myself. He believed in me when I couldn’t believe in me. And his big belief, added with my soul being woken up, gave me a choice.
Would I continue to cower in fear and let procrastination rule me, or would I fight for the dream that was inside of me no matter if I looked stupid, was laughed at, and most scary of all–failed.
And my friend you have the same choice.
You get to choose if you are going to stare fear in the face and try new, hard, and scary things or sit paralyzed by fear and later in life have much regret.
Don’t do that. Please.
Maybe you need someone to believe in you, to see something in you that you don’t yet see in yourself. Can I be that person for you today?
SQUASHING THE LIES
So those fear monsters about looking stupid, being laughed at or failing, let’s stomp on those lies shall we?
First, the only failure we have to truly worry about in this life is never trying. What do we always tell our kids? I don’t care how great your grades are or how good you are at something, as long as you try. Don’t you think that is what our Father in heaven is saying to us?
And let’s just be real honest here about looking stupid.
Yes, we will look stupid at times. For the love of Jesus, (literally) can we swallow our pride and know that it’s okay to look a little silly when we are learning something new? And If we are that afraid of looking foolish what are we teaching our kids about pride and perfectionism?
Perfectionism is over rated, exhausting and a dream thief. So let’s kick that sucker to the curb. Let’s not take ourselves too seriously. Let’s be willing to laugh at ourselves and to look stupid sometimes.
So what about those people who laugh at you as you are trying new things? (I’ve learned those are usually the chickens not doing hard things BTW).
This one is HUGE and was a total GAME CHANGER for me. I have let myself be crippled my whole life, caring what others have thought of me. And hallelujah, let the choir angels sing, because what I now know is it’s not that people’s opinions don’t matter, it’s the right people’s opinions that matter.
The people in your life whose opinions matter are those who encourage you to fight for your dreams. And they are also the people who are trying new, hard, and scary things. They aren’t threatened by your gift or your bravery, they are inspired by it and become some of the greatest cheerleaders in your life.
BECOMING A FEAR FIGHTER
I’m reading Fear Fighting right now from my dear friend Kelly Balarie. (do yourself a favor and order this book!) I LOVE this quote from her book:
A fiery woman is valued, strong and stable–and she knows it.
Wait, some of you need to go back and read that line again. I know, some of you are saying, but that’s not me.
You see we have a God that when we become Fear Fighters and Fight for our Dreams, He comes in and comes through. He gives us a spirit that rises up and says, “I can do this! My God is with me.”
You and I are valued, strong and stable. Believe it my friend. And may we stop looking for validation from those who were never meant to validate us. God and His opinion of us is our validation.
So, what’s it going to be this year my friend?
Don’t wait until you lose a loved one for your soul to be awoken. Don’t wait thinking, “I’ll do it when I get more courage.” Courage is not the absence of fear, courage is pressing forward in spite of your fear. And the more you practice it, the better you get at it.
Your time isn’t next month, next year, or when so and so approves of it. Your time is now.
Will you be a fear fighter, stare fear in the face and fight for your dream? I hope so. Actually, I pray so. Because there is a world out there that needs you, your gift and your courage.
Be brave dear one.