The Outcomes of Fear
I’m on my face in a closet in the basement of the arena, 30 minutes before walking onto a stage to speak to 11,000 women for the first time. Forehead on the ground, notes crumbled seeming very helpless beside me, I banged the floor and begged.
“God- come fall on me and this and move. If you do. I will never ever take credit for this.” I wish I could say He blew into my closet.... it was just a cold floor and me and my wrinkled notes.
I dried my tears and walked to my place. I was still waiting for some sign God wasn’t about to leave me alone on a stage with 11,000 people waiting for me to say something. It was time for Sheila Walsh to say my name and I would walk. I am not one to memorize and deliver a speech. So while there were months and hundreds of hours of preparation and prayer I was truly unsure how the next 30 minutes were going to play out.
So I stood as helpless as a woman facing the delivery of her first child, there was no one that could take my place, no getting out of this. She would say my name and I'd either faint or start talking. I waited for the panic and trembling to set in.
And my heart was still. Never. Never in all of my years of teaching has my heart or my hands been still before I teach. And then as I tried to muster up my trembling familiar hands, I heard God whisper to my still soul, I did this. I put you here. I have you. I have this.
And I don’t remember the next 30 minutes. I know I had fun. I know I felt God, unlike the quiet closet.
And now I get to do my best to forget myself and my paralyzing fears and just give hungry people God. I jumped for the second time Saturday and it was still scary but more fun. I am using this new anything to give people Jesus... and dare I finish this in a few weeks and regret that in any way fear held me back.
I keep doing things that scare me. So fear is becoming my good friend. Let me tell you, I have tried praying fear away and pep-talking it to death and yet it seems awfully resilient- I can’t shake it. I’m learning how to move with it still attached to my leg.
Fear has three potential outcomes:
Outcome #1: Fear wins. You crumble. You quit. Or you assume a fetal position and they fire you before you can quit. (Been there- done that. Fetal position... check.)
Outcome #2: Fear puffs you up. To beat fear you start to chant and believe things like: I rock. I am unstoppable. I am epic. I deserve a fancy parade with my name on the side of a convertible or a float- I’ll wave. (Love it here- seriously love it here).
But..... let’s be honest:
I am afraid because on my own: I am unworthy… I am inadequate… I am pretty average... not really epic at all... and neither are you.
What if fear became our friend because ....
Outcome #3: Fear makes us cling for dear life to God.
This is where I want to live as painful and out of control as it is. I want to do things that scare me. I want to be out deep where I have to hold on.
My mentor wrote me after processing this awesome text:
"Deep Night of the Soul (speaker edition) past." Poor friend has been through several editions this year with me!
Where are you clinging to God and jumping?