For those of you who have been along for the entire conversation, you may be wondering why I have waited so long to tell this story. Part of me wonders as well. Only I really do know. For certain.
In the very beginning it was all too hazy. Difficult to describe with words that which your eyes & your heart cannot bring into focus.
And then it was too wobbly. Kinda weak and unstable like my knees & my words when I would truly think about it.
And then it was too wild. Not so easily tamed into words on a page when it was clawing deep wounds in my heart.
And then it was too soon. With festering wounds and fresh doubts, words seemed dangerous before healing and certainty arrived.
And finally it was too real. Or, at least it would be once I gave it life with my words. And with life the possibility of death. The death of another dream. And what if I were the one to kill it? With my doubt. Or my perfectionism. And making it real terrified me the most. With the terror came the silence. Because, what if we didn’t have the faith to follow through? What if we failed in front of everyone?
And I am reminded of a late night google chat with a few kindred spirits in which one of them shared her own fear of public failure. And the paralysis that it causes. And for me, the voice that it steals. Because what if I spoke it and then didn’t do it? Again. Adding yet another scene of failure (or more accurately, quitting) to the movie playing in my head. And even worse than failure or quitting, what if we were just plain wrong (and I hear Ron Weasley saying, “She needs to sort out her priorities”).
And then my friend’s voice again, reminding me that she has indeed failed in front of everyone and lived to tell about it. She was not destroyed by the experience, but instead made stronger, more resilient and ready for more risk. For the sake of the kingdom. And God was honored both in the effort & the fall. Because that is another fear of mine bringing shame to His name.
“What if I fail? Oh, but my darling, what if you fly?” (Erin Hanson).
And what if those wings are used to rescue someone from the hell that awaits them or the one they are living here now?
And so I have jumped from the safety of silence into the black pit of self-disclosure. And, on my way down, I see tiny pin points of light and I feel an uprising breeze. And I need you to know that your smiling faces and encouraging words are piercing the darkness & bolstering my frail wings (cue Bette Midler). And God is using this conversation to restore the dream, the faith and the confidence that I lost in the silence.
And it is my prayer that I might return the favor. And that you might receive focus. And a voice for your dreams that it might silence your fears.