Ever stopped long enough to wonder what it is you’re afraid of? I need to, have to, want to, should, but I’m afraid to __________. That’s the story of several things in my life. Some I need to do, others I have to, but I’m afraid to for one reason or another; I honestly looked at myself the other day and wondered, what is it I’m really afraid of? What’s the problem, really?
Short version: I was convinced God wanted me to be a teacher in addition to youth minister. I went back to school and received my Bachelor’s (Summa Cum Laude) in education, was told by all who watched me that I would be great, was tolerated by some students, loved by many . . . but that last semester got me. I suddenly thought things like, “this is NOT what I had in mind” and “this is apparently NOT where I belong.” I abandoned that plan and decided to do something else. Hasn’t worked out for me. I had my doubts at first, and thought for a while that I was indeed doing what God planned all along by pursuing something else. Apparently not; over time I have seen every other door slam in my face. I have now accepted that unless I completely misunderstand the situation, I will end up teaching, and I’m not excited. Why?
Now there are honestly many reasons, but I was honest with God and myself a few days ago. The biggest reason I could come up with: I’m afraid, afraid I’ll be miserable. I’m afraid He has chosen something for me that I won’t enjoy, to put it nicely. The thing about teaching is that you sign a contract, so you can’t just back out. (Sidenote: I don’t take commitments lightly.) I think that any other reason I could list would fall under that category. I know, it’s not about me; God will empower me to do what He calls me to; etc. I know all that, and I believe it. But, it doesn’t change the way I feel. So now what? I’m not sure. I’ll obey, if I KNOW what I’m supposed to do, even if it doesn’t mean happiness. My hope is that if that really is my path my fear will seem foolish after a day or two and I will love it. Even if that’s not the case though, I will go if I must.
To be fair here, I usually really enjoy actually teaching; it’s all the other, which is a huge category, that ruins it for me.
There’s much more to that whole story, but I won’t bore you. I will say that realization spurred me onto pondering what other things I’m afraid of though.
I LOVE playing guitar. I LOVE singing. I LOVE worship and praise music, or just music in general that expresses what my heart feels. I love leading others in singing. I enjoy singing in front of whoever will listen, though I have a hard time doing it. I’ve now had around 6 or 7 people hear me and encourage me to share my voice with everyone. I want to. So why don’t I? What am I afraid of? I think I’m afraid I will sound the way I hear myself. I have heard my voice and can’t stand it. Apparently it doesn’t sound that way to others. Maybe I’m afraid my dreams will come true. I just had a poignant thought: what if I’m afraid of standing on the platform God designed me for? Maybe I’m afraid of being embarrassed or talked about. I’ll be quick to admit that I am afraid of being disliked, not a quality I care for.
I’m afraid of failing.
I’m afraid of spiders (like any other sane person).
I’m afraid of not being in control.
I’m afraid I won’t do my part.
My brain hurts now. Maybe I will add to the list later.
What are you afraid of? I’m dying to find out I’m not the only one afraid of things I know I shouldn’t be.