Why the heck didn't I read this book when it was first released?! I think some heartache, some fear, and some major anxiety could have been spared on my part if I had.
But I know that I'm reading it now because I was meant to read it now. Simple as that.
The truth in this book applies now more than ever because the past 6 months have been all about living the try hard life...
Trying to figure things out.
Trying to navigate what is “right.”
Trying to make people proud of me while still being true to me.
Trying to serve others before serving myself.
Trying to get over past hurts.
Trying to heal.
And in all this trying I've tricked myself into thinking that I must not be good enough or else things would be running more smoothly and God would be providing me with answers, with direction.
I must not be a good enough daughter.
I must not be a good enough doula/student midwife.
I must not be a good enough leader.
I must not be a good enough Christian.
It hurts my heart to read these “not good enough” statements. It hurts my heart to know that these false beliefs create such fear & shame inside of me that some days I don't even want to walk out of the door.
And while reading Chapter 1 of this amazing book, it clicked... for the past 6 months (and maybe longer) I have been motivated by crippling fear. My action or rather inaction is based entirely in fear, insecurity, and anxiety.
Fear of failure.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of judgment.
Fear of the unknown.
Fear of what others will think.
Fear. Fear. Fear.
This is not from God, for God did not give me a spirit of fear, but of power (2 Timothy 1:7).
Of Love. Of Courage. Of Strength. Of Joy.
As I examined my heart further I realized that while a few of these fears were rooted in deep insecurities that I've held on for far too long, the majority of them were rooted in outside sources, specifically people.
In a nut shell, I'm afraid of you.
Afraid that you'll criticize me based on my weight or appearance.
Afraid that you won't think highly of me and my life choices.
Afraid that you won't like me.
Afraid that for whatever reason you'll reject me or hurt me.
Afraid that I won't matter to you.
Afraid that you'll judge me because I call myself a Christian.
Afraid that I might let you down in the slightest possible way.
You probably have done nothing to deserve this (or maybe you have, who knows!). I know that this fear is mainly a product of the image-crazed, and judgment-happy society we live in. It's ingrained in us at an early age to want more, to be more, to do more.
Well I'm not buying into it. Not anymore. Not one bit.
So here it is folks... I'm not perfect. I never will be. I'll most likely disappoint you and myself at times... perhaps more than I'd prefer. I'll never be someone I'm not & I'll definitely resent you if you try to mold me into some impossible expectation.
I don't want to be at war with myself anymore. I don't want to try hard for you or even for me. I want to live in the full characteristics of Christ, to relish in them, and to walk with Him in peace and in joy. That won't come until I let go of the fear of letting you down. Yes, you.
All of you.
It'll be raw. It'll probably be unpleasant at times. But it will be real.
There will be moments of triumph, moments of failure, moments of foolishness, and moments of pain.
But it will be me... all of who God created me to be – nothing more, nothing less.
And if you can't handle it... tough cookies.