Fear is a Liar!
Updated: Jun 19, 2019
Sadly fear has played a role in my life for too long. It has barged into my life, taken up residence, kicked joy and peace to the curb, and proceeded to make a mess. Fear as lied to me too many times for me to count, because every time fear speaks it is a lie. Fear has kept me from doing something God has encouraged me to do for years.
I have always made up stories in my mind. An event I witnessed, a person I met, or a place I visited would trigger the stories in my mind. It wasn't until I was an adult did I realize that everyone did not do this! I've always had stories floating around in my mind. Who needed a bedtime story as a kid? Not me! I would just make up my own!
When my middle child was born 16 years ago, I finally sat down at a computer late one night and tried to take one of these stories that had been floating around in my head and put it down on paper. I tried to write what I thought everyone would approve of or enjoy. I didn't get far and put it aside. It felt like I was trying to push a boulder uphill all by myself. Fear reared its ugly head and told me that writing was a stupid idea. That everyone would have talked about me, laughed at me, made jokes at my expense and I listened to fear. I continued to dabble in stories, writing occasionally, always making up stories in my mind BUT never sharing with anyone.
Fast forward a few years and I began to write a story that wasn't particularly what I thought everyone would like, but what I felt like God was laying on my heart. I finished the entire book, sent it off and heard absolutely nothing. I checked my email multiple times a day, waiting to hear from a publisher and everyday I was disappointed. Fear told me that I was stupid for trying. Fear told me that every person I knew would be laughing at me behind my back if they knew what I had done. And fear told me that I should care what people thought about me and my writing. So I put that manuscript away and did not write anything else for years.
About three years ago I began writing my first self published novel, "A Mountain Worth Moving". Fear would frequently tell me that it was a horrible story that no one would ever want to read or even if they did they would not enjoy it. But something inside of me just could not stop writing the story. When words wouldn't come, I would pray that God would give me the words that He wanted me to write. You know what? The words always came after those prayers.
II was feeling particularly brave one day and I asked my husband, Jeff, to read the partially completed story. In my mind I just knew he was going to gently take my hand, look sympathetically into my eyes and tell me to stop this nonsense before I embarrassed myself. At least that is the vision that fear and I concocted. But he did not! He encouraged me to follow my heart and pursue my dreams. I knew then that I had to stop allowing fear a foothold in my dreams. Something Jeff said to me during that time really struck a nerve. He told me that my book might never be published, might never be successful, but I would never know if I didn't at least try. With that encouragement, I continued to write.
I finished the book, but still had a hard time sharing it with anyone else. It was my heart and soul, a labor of love and if were rejected then I would feel rejected too. Its funny how God words, isn't it? About this time, he brought an individual into my life that had also written and self published a book. She was the encouragement and example that I needed. I sent the manuscript off and had it edited, and self published with Kindle Direct Publishing. I was still hesitant to share the book with my friends and family. Again fear had bullied its way into my thoughts and convinced me that trying to be a writer was the most ridiculous thing I could do. Even after it had been published, I kept the book a secret for months.
I had taken my oldest daughter to college orientation. We had a long conversation concerning her future and every time I told her that she could do anything, pursue any dream, I felt like such a hypocrite. I was a hypocrite because, while I could say that to her, I sure wasn't practicing it. How was I going to encourage my children to pursue their dreams, to pursue the path that God laid upon their hearts, if I wasn't willing to do that myself? I came home that day and shared a link to my book on Facebook for all the world to see.
The response has been nothing short of amazing and I know without a doubt God has been working in and through this new adventure in writing for me. Fear kept me from going after my heart's desires for years. Don't be like me. Don't let fear rule your life. Let God rule your life because fear... well fear is nothing but a liar.