11 min. to read.
In the quicksand of fear.
This summer was supposed to be a time of renewal for me. That was my plan, anyway.
This spring we put a house on the market. Selling it would free us from some emotional and financial commitments that have been weighing on us, an overfull backpack when the trail calls for lightness. Four months later the house hasn’t sold, and I’m afraid.
I’ve had a book in development with an agent for what feels like forever. For months, my agent’s counsel was to build my platform. Keep writing online. Build engagement. Help people. I’ve been doing that, and the book sat waiting.
Now, my agent says we’re ready to shop the book to publishers. I should be excited, right? Instead, my brain keeps inventing new ways I might be rejected. I’m afraid.
Almost eight months ago I took a significant pay cut. Along with that came a cut in hours. I took it as an opportunity. Space for me to focus on writing so that I could take steps toward my dream. My dream? To support my family through my writing and speaking so that I can serve my little church without drawing a salary from them. In all that time, I’ve made essentially no headway. In fact, I’ve had to take a second job. Months ago I was invigorated and ready to dive in; today I’m just afraid.
Then there are are the blaring fears echoing around us. ISIS! Politicians on “the other side” who want to sell us out or destroy our freedoms! An Activist Supreme Court! Fear of what will happen to the church now that same-sex marriage is legal. Fear of what will happen to the church if we can’t get over ourselves and be loving. Fear that “the other side” of every theological debate is taking over, undermining the church, leading people astray. The noise of fear is clanging, loud and chaotic. With so much noise, it’s hard to even think. I find myself feeling soul paralysis, walking numbly through my day, stuck in my spirit.
Stop. Deep breath.
Maybe you too have felt the dull ache of fear, leaving you feeling alone and uncertain.
Today, I use the prerogative of pastors and writers: preaching to myself. Maybe as you overhear, you’ll find some encouragement.