“I will get back up again!” Poppy’s anthem from the Trolls movie has been playing on repeat in our car, in our house, and in my dreams since our kids saw the movie in early November. It never ends. But maybe that’s a good thing?
I’ve needed that reminder. For months I’ve been wanting to do so many things. But… well, let’s be honest, sometimes life doesn’t work out the way you imagined, hoped for, and prayed for. And sometimes the results can be crushing, and at best discouraging. I’d walked the road many times before, always getting up and walking down it again.
You’d think I’d learn to just stay put.
Yet, since June, a deep longing called to me to get up and step outside of where I felt safe, take what life has given me, and try. But why? For a few years it felt like every step I took in faith with my dream and career ended up in a full on body slam. Now, I’m not saying my books failed. Oh no. I oh so love all three of my novels and know that they have reached the right people at the right time. In fact, I have another book coming out May 2017 with a great publisher and I’m really excited about it!
Yet, something was holding me back, and it was fear.
Oh fear. It’s such a powerful force, one that can sneak it’s way into your lungs until you can barely breathe, let alone move. Fear haunted me, whispering this constant chant of You’re a failure mixed in with a nice chorus of lies and manipulation about who am I and what I’m made to do. And it almost won.
For months I’ve wanted to get serious about blogging. All summer I threatened Greg that I was going to start a podcast. And, oh! The book ideas keep rolling in like the endless waves from the ocean. But I felt so stuck. So unequipped. Lonely.
I started looking for other career avenues, my mind always spinning webs, looking for solutions. The search felt like I was swimming an endless race and exhaustion overwhelmed my mental state. I took free online career tests and was informed that I should be a writer, PR agent, or go into business marketing.
I’m sure you can imagine the smoke coming out of my ears on that one. Isn’t that what I’ve been trying to do since 2013?
God felt so distant (and I’ll be honest, there are days when he still does and then there are glorious days when I connect, and oh it feels good). Those online tests must be wrong! I’ve been like a hamster in a ball, running my heart out but going no where. My soul begged to know what I was met to do, how to make the math work, and feel like I’m contributing in a way that I can’t even explain. I mean, obviously, I’m contributing. I’m raising three children, I work often as a nurse, and I’m an author.
But even a month ago, I felt like I couldn’t see the truth of who I was and the validity in what I was already doing. All Fall I dove into podcasts of women I admire, basically listening to every podcast either Jen Hatmaker or Rachel Hollis ever participated in. I read an amazing book called Audacious that tore down so many fake walls within my faith and my perception of Christ. And I journaled and prayed.
And this is what I learned.
Even though I had kept writing and poured my soul into my work, striving to make it my absolute best, I lost one fundamental belief that would give me the tools to fight fear. So I could smile at it, blow those maddening thoughts away, and push on.
I lost my belief in myself. Like fog, it slipped through my fingers and I didn’t even know it had gone.
I sat shocked when I figured this out. Wasn’t I born an encourager? Always telling others to believe in themselves and go for their dreams? No wonder I folded to fear regarding my own dreams. Sure, I believed in my books, but the woman behind them? Oh, I knew her failures too well. There was no way she could keep this up.
Little by little, I let fear steal one of the most precious values a woman should have–belief in their own ability to strive, shine, and be successful.
The moment I identified what was going on, I wiped away a tear and got straight to work.
The career tests said I should be a writer? Ha. This was literally one of those moments where a solid LOL can apply. I’ve got that one covered! New release coming to you May 2017, I’m swamped in edits, and loving every minute of it.
PR and Marketing? Granted, there’s lots to learn there but I’m seriously enamored with the content. It’s fascinating and igniting new and sparkly ideas every moment.
And that fear? I wouldn’t be human if I said it was gone. No. Fear is still something I feel daily if I let my mind wander. The thing is, I’m changing my relationship with it, trying to seek out things that scare me so I can grow, develop and change. When those unsettling thoughts linger, I take a deep breath and think of all the amazing possibilities in front of me if I don’t listen to those thoughts.
And those opportunities are endless. My friends, that alone is exciting enough to get me back up again. Can’t wait for what’s to come!