If someone asks me to gamble or to take a risk, I will say no. I would be a boring contestant on Jeopardy. I would never risk more than I needed to on a Daily Double. Poker stresses me out.
I have a growing list in my head that I add to subconsciously. It’s all the things I think are too scary, too risky, or too hard. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Making a cheesecake.
- Writing a novel.
- Being a leader. In just about every situation. (My first thought always, Someone else should definitely do this, not me.)
Some of these things are small. They won’t matter in a few years maybe. To you, they don’t seem like soul-shifting issues. To me, they do. They’re more than what you think.
I’ve never made a cheesecake with a springform pan. Silly, right? What does it matter, really? It’s just a cheesecake. But I’ve always wanted to make a perfect one. One without cracks, one that tastes perfect, one that I can share with people I love. But I don’t have a springform pan. I can’t justify buying one, because it’s just not in my budget. So I don’t make cheesecake. From the outside, it only seems like I’m scared to make cheesecake. Really, it’s me resenting that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that I can’t make the cheesecake I really want to make.
I went to college to study journalism. I lasted for days, and I didn’t like college. But I remember the day like it was yesterday, when I read a note from my third grade teacher who told me she couldn’t wait to read my book one day. I knew I was a writer, but I never went to school for it. I never got a degree, and I never considered myself a professional writer until I decided I was one. The idea of writing a novel feels like a mountain that will never move. I’m scared to even think of writing a novel. Maybe I never will. Sometimes, I convince myself that my lack of education is a reason to never dream bigger.
I like to be a follower. I can be a great follower. Rules are my jam, and I will always do things the way that has already been established. This one, the fear of being a leader, is actually one that I have overcome in the past year. Often, I would ignore that twinge in my stomach that was all God, saying, You can be the leader. You can step up. I never wanted to. I wanted someone else to do the job that I was called up to do. I didn’t want to follow a way that no one else had travelled. But, I’m quickly realizing that God has a specific way for me, and that might mean doing and living in a way that is different from others.
My son asked me to draw a bat for him last week, and I kid you not, my initial response was, “Absolutely not.” My brother is an artist. I am not an artist. I feel like my hands do not do what they are supposed to do. But, for the sake of love, I drew my son the ugliest bat I’ve ever seen. Drawing makes me feel self-conscious because it feels unnatural to me. I never liked it much in school. But in the middle of drawing the bat for my son, I actually started to like it. It wasn’t good, by any means, but even in my discomfort, I found myself trying. Trying something new makes me squirmy. I would rather do something that feels like something I should be doing, not something that makes me squirm in discomfort.
I used to be a runner. Never a fast runner, but I ran to stay in shape. Now, I feel the need to pee immediately after I start running, I feel like I need to wrap myself in a compression bandage to keep any jiggle to a minimum, and I feel winded immediately. A friend and I tried to be running buddies a year ago, and we gave up quickly. The fellowship was more important. The thing is, I want to be the runner I used to be. I resent my body for birthing three kids instead of being the body it used to be, and I don’t like that. I shouldn’t resent that I did something so incredible. Trying to be a runner, to me, feels like trying to be the woman I was, not the woman I am now.
So, hey guys. This is me. I used to be a play-it-safe kind of girl. But the Lord…you know what He’s doing in me? He’s loudly and deeply reminding me that He is not a play-it-safe kind of God. He wants to me follow a path He has, not a line that I’ve drawn on my own.
I look at my list of risks and fears, and they feel like mountains. Or they feel like walls. I want to believe I was created for purpose, yet I also want to believe that God can do anything. This should do a shifting in me: If God can do anything, then nothing that seems too risky is actually risky. Nothing that seems too mountainous is actually too big. Nothing that feels too difficult, confining, or restricting should be.
You know what God said of me when I was created? Good. You know what He said of me when I woke up this morning? Good. You know what He says of me when I am scared? My girl, you are good.
Really, it’s me resenting that money doesn’t grow on trees, and that I can’t make the cheesecake I really want to make. Sometimes, I convince myself that my lack of education is a reason to never dream bigger. But, I’m quickly realizing that God has a specific way for me, and that might mean doing and living in a way that is different from others. I would rather do something that feels like something I should be doing, not something that makes me squirm in discomfort. Trying to be a runner, to me, feels like trying to be the woman I was, not the woman I am now.
Money is not my Savior.
Education is not my Creator.
God knows a way that will lead me straight to Him.
I will do the impossible because I have a God who makes all things possible.
The woman I am now is the best version of me yet. Why? Because I took a breath this morning. And the woman I am now is changed every moment the Gospel rains down on my soul.