Over the summer, while reading Jon Acuff’s Start: Punch Fear in the Face, I started a fear journal. This is not about my fear of bugs or missing commas. No, it’s specifically cataloging my fears about my writing life. I’ve found it helpful to write down the crazy to get it tamed by truth.
And here on Day 3 of the 21-Day Momentum Challenge, my fear journal came in handy. We are to answer this doozie of a question: What’s the one thing you’re most afraid of when it comes to giving your gifts to the world?
As I reviewed my fear journal entries and followed the steps in the Resistance Destroyer, all my fears boiled down to one thing: Rejection.
- What if I finish my book and offer it to the world and they hate it?
- What if people read it and ridicule my work, my thoughts, my words—my very heart?
- What if I mess it up?
In my fear-bound brain, rejection equals being alone. I don’t mean being alone physically—as an introvert, alone time is essential for my well-being. Rather, I fear a crumbling of relationships and support that give me a sense of belonging. The fear of rejection is working hard to protect me from my worst-case-scenario. In the process, it is limiting me from the potential of my best-case-scenario—or even my better-than-expected-case-scenario.
Working through this challenge was tough. Sort of like writer’s therapy. There were tears. Anxiety flooded my heart as I considered potential rejection. I had to name my worst fear and face it down, give it a punch.
After the fight, a slight glimmer of hope emerged that I want to stoke into flame. Cognitively, I know that even if the world hates my offering and discounts me:
- God will never leave me or forsake me (Deut. 31:6); God will not forget me (Isa. 49:15); and God is for me (Rom. 8:31)
- the love of my husband, family, and dear friends will not fade
I just need to know that I know, if you know what I mean. And I think that’s something only Jesus, the true Resistance Destroyer, could accomplish. He lovingly conquers my fears and sets my feet upon the solid ground of His unshakable love.
I wish I could say that my gift-limiting thoughts have been put to death. But fear is pesky. I will have to punch it in the face every time it rears its ugly head. Seventy times seven times, if need be.