Sometimes I hesitate to make difficult decisions because I am afraid of potential consequences.
Looking stupid? Huge fear.
Wondering if I am smart enough? You bet.
Afraid of missing out? Uh-huh.
Afraid of failure? All of the above.
There may be a lot of reasons to say no, but I never want fear of the consequence to be one of them.
Several months ago, God began to lead my ministry into a very different arena. As I began to prayerfully seek His plan, a door opened for a full time position in a Christian school close to home. All of the scary feelings came crashing in for months. The biggest question that pestered me was, "Am I being led by love or being pushed by fear?" Is it my love for ambition and work that is at the root of this decision, or is it the fear that I won't have value if I am not contributing to my family? I'll admit, both of those scenarios can be true on any given day. But I'll tell you something that is even more important than what I love or fear: it is WHO I love AND Fear. My relationship with Jesus is before, above, beneath, and behind every big decision. There was no way I would be willing to make the sacrifices I have made if it weren't for the sweet urgency of my Father.
It's one thing to live through something painfully hard, it's another thing altogether to let a fear-based scenario dictate how I respond. I decided that there was no way I would know the answers to all of the questions unless I actually walked through the intimidating door of fear. I slowly put one foot in front of the other and before I knew it, my whole life looked a bit different.
For the first few months I thought that I had obviously misinterpreted God's plan, and that I had most certainly signed up for something I was clearly unequipped for. But then something happened as I let my fears fall away one at a time. I began to feel carried....lifted up..., even loved on in supernatural ways. All of those doubts turned into palpable moments of intense humility, yet grand new challenges continued to emerge.
I've transitioned into my new role quietly, not knowing how it would effect the ministry opportunities that have been my source of joy for years. I'm still not sure how it will all unfold, but I do know that some things are just going to need to look very different for now. For one thing, I am not regularly writing like I used to. I've penned my feelings and prayers since I can remember, so that will definitely not go away. But, I just don't have the time I used to have to be able to sit in front of my computer and plink out my feelings one finger tap at a time.
Another thing is, my days are not mine anymore. I used to be able to not schedule myself when I needed to catch up on life and love on my family a little bit. I am now in a season where I wonder if I will ever feel caught up again. I have a shorter fuse because I have less control. And as I type those thoughts, I see the need to relinquish that same thing yet again.
Yet-- I have gained! Oh dear ones, I would boast all day on the gains of following Jesus if time allowed. But since it doesn't, lets just keep it simple: The joy of laying myself down to walk in the steps of my Savior will always be found in the hardest, most fear-filled choice. But, it will always be the place that even with intense busyness, my soul will find rest. I spent years of organizing and plotting every move, only to arrive in a place where I physically feel out of control. But when it comes right down to it, the Spiritual life was meant to be that way. If I can control it, then it belongs to me. When I give that control away and walk through the intimidating door of fear, the consequences no longer have power because I have given them to God.
Every fear I listed at the start of this post has come true. Yet, here I am. Fearful and brave. Scared of making the wrong choice, yet soldiering on in search of whole-hearted obedience. Exhausted, yet deeply resting in the love of the Father.
What hard decision is He calling you to make today? Will you make it out of fear or love? I'd love to walk it out with you as we learn together what true obedience really means.