DEAR DIARY, Ed. 2
This is not my first go around starting something new. While this is wildly different from anything else I’ve started, there are a few things about the process of “starting” that remain the same in my experience—if not heightened this time around. Today I’m going to outline just a few of those things.
Each time I’ve started something new, I’ve had a very real sense of vulnerability. Vulnerability is really the parent of pride. A number of years ago I came to the conclusion that pride is actually self-preservation. Any time the need to protect ourselves surfaces, it’s actually pride. And pride kicks in when we feel vulnerable. In order to start something, to put ourselves and our work out there, we feel vulnerable, like we need protection. Starting something takes humility—the willingness to be made low—and trust. Trusting ourselves will inevitably cause insecurity, because, frankly, we’re intrinsically flawed and we know it. This might be our go-to, and we certainly can find a measure of success trusting ourselves—that we can do more than we think we can. However, entrusting ourselves and our work to God gives us not only the protection we need, but power to do things that we humanly cannot do. This morning when I was working out at the Y, I was listening to 2 Corinthians on my phone and these verses caught my attention:
“For we do not wish you to be ignorant, brethren, as to our tribulation which happened to us in Asia, that we were excessively pressed beyond our power, so as to despair of even living. But we ourselves had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not have our trust in ourselves, but in God who raises the dead” (2 Cor. 1:8-9).
Indeed, as Christians we can live and work from a higher plane than Planet Earth. God uses the troubles of earth to draw us to trust Him instead of ourselves. Because that’s the sweet spot of life—having confidence in the infinite, loving God! The best and brightest of Earth do not compare to the brightness and power of God—who raises the dead! Yet only when we know who we are in Christ and all that’s available to us in Him, walk by faith in these things, and entrust ourselves to God will we ever live in complete security, rest, and from the power of God within us.
Fear has been common to starting something new for me. I’m guessing there’s a certain level of fear in all who undertake something new. I’d say that In Black and Light is the most terrifying thing I’ve done though. There’s fear of failure, fear of rejection, fear of persecution, fear of all the hard work presently and yet to come, fear I’ll misrepresent God and His Word, and
One of my first real senses of fear regarding In Black and Light was when I first asked several people to join a “theological team” to review my written curriculum before it goes out to the public. I had already experienced some real levels of fear. However, when I first emailed the folks I hoped would review my writing, my fear reached a new height. Right after I hit “send” my head started spinning and I literally began to dry heave. Sending my work to men and women I not only respect, but who are far more schooled and credentialed than me scared me to death. All the “what ifs” of what they would think of me and all my many hours of work momentarily shifted from hypothetical to inevitable in my thinking.
As I said, this journey of In Black and Light has been unique. I don’t think I’ve ever been bombarded by more reasons to fear in all my life! We’ve probably all heard the saying, “Courage is being afraid but doing it anyways.” But what if “taking the leap” and “hoping for the best” can be replaced with “taking the leap” and knowing we’re safe no matter what? Fear is simply feeling unsafe. But the truth is, I’m safe in God! More than I even realize! He who has called me here and is the source and mind behind what I’m doing, what I’m learning and, consequently, what I’m teaching, is my Safety. In our endeavors, if we trust God, we might be hard-pressed on every side, but we will not be crushed, perplexed, but we will not be in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken, struck down, but not destroyed. (2 Cor. 4:8).
Change, and often rapid change, is common to starting something new. What we thought we’d be doing today no longer seems best for reaching the goal. So we change our ideas, plans, and course. As we journey down this road toward truly hitting our stride in the work we’re doing, change—frequently and often suddenly—is normal and expected. We try many things on the road that won’t work, distract us too much, or need refining or postponing. As long as we trod planet earth, we dwell in fallen sin-cursed bodies (Genesis 3, Romans 5:12-26). In Christ we have full capacity to live outside of these fallen, cursed vessels, but until Heaven, we won’t walk perfectly. On this journey to living in the full call of God on our lives, detours happen and quick changes to get us back on track abound.
Today, I’m going to tell you about a sudden change to my plans that I’m making this week. If you’ve been following my story for the past couple weeks, you know I’ve been planning to start teaching a local class this coming Monday. I haven’t had much concern for throwing this class into my schedule at all. I honestly have figured that God will provide if I’m supposed to be doing this! I’ve truly found Him to be that powerful and that faithful! However, after an interesting conversation with my husband on Sunday night—one which I didn’t expect nor plan on—we began to question the importance of the class taking place this winter. After a full day of prayer, and more discussion with him, I’ve decided to postpone my first class until the fall. The bottom line of our discussion was on what I should be focusing on, and how each element that I’m undertaking to do furthers the goals of this ministry. I ultimately determined that since I am now going to be regularly teaching on this blog, gaining experience in writing outlines and teaching—two of the reasons for teaching the local class—the local class taking place now would ultimately do more to hinder forward progress (because my time would be split further) than moving me closer to the end goals I’ve determined.
There are still several more reasons to teach the class locally, but I plan to hold off until the fall! At that point, I’ll be further along in some essentials that need to be taken care of now. So stay tuned, and I’ll keep you up to date! If attending a fall 2017 class sounds like something you might be interested in, fill out the form on the “class” page and I’ll email those interested with more info as fall draws near.
While this is the most exposed and terrified I’ve ever felt in a new adventure, this is also my most favorite thing I’ve ever started. I believe in what the Lord wants to communicate through me so deeply and thoroughly that it quickens my heart to think about. I can hardly wait to make it available, in full, to you! Further, while I didn’t anticipate making the change to my schedule regarding the local class, I’m excited by how this change will help stream-line progress on what is most essential right now. Please pray for me on this journey. In every way you can think of! It’s no cake walk. But it is thrilling, fulfilling work, full of opportunities to rest in my Savior and see Him at work.
P.S. Be sure to sign up for email updates so you never miss a post! Scroll to the bottom of the page, and sign up!