Fearful Forward

2011-5-22 Great WallIt’s such an innocent word, forward. When I picked it as my word for the year, I was thinking that I wanted the opposite of backwards, something that would not push me too much out of my comfort zone. It wasn’t like courage or boldness, right?

And yet it is, because it encompasses those words and even more.

You see, when you pick a work like forward, you don’t know where it is going. It may take courage or boldness or waiting or patience. I think I was hoping more for the waiting and patience.

But this week, in order to move forward, I’m going to need the courage and boldness. You see, I’ve been working on a book. Shhh…I’m scared to even write it, to hope for it. It started last year in the midst of cancer treatment. So many ask how I live in the middle of life and death. So I started writing things down, moving forward.

Then, at chapter 5, I got scared.

What if I die before it’s completed? What if no one wants to publish it? What if they do? What if it’s not “good? What if it is good and sells a ton and they want me to do interviews? The “what if’s” were overwhelming me. In fact, the more affirmation I got on the project, the more fearful I became.

I took a break from the project, but it didn’t gone away. I need to move forward.

New week is the Florida Christian Writers Conference. I signed up for it months ago. I’ve been assigned 2 publishers and a seminar leader to pick up at the airport. I can’t back out. Look what this “moving forward” has gotten me into!

Now I have to move forward — I can’t leave people at the airport! But my little introverted self is terrified. Just as I am working myself into a full blown panic attack, a blogger I follow wrote

I think being gentle with my soul looks like grace. It looks like taking a deep breath and enjoying the moment. It looks like letting go of the should’s and ought’s and could have’s. It looks like smiling at the mistakes and moving on. It looks like compassion for ourselves.(Gina Butz)

I should have picked the word “grace” or “compassion” for this year. But since I picked forward, pray I will “enjoy the moment” and keep moving ahead.

What scares you? How would giving yourself grace make a difference?


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