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Fear of Giving

It is so easy to write that check to the church and feel like I have done my part.  It is easy to allow the ministry staff at the church to use that money to fund their ministries and feel satisfied.  They are the experts, they will know what to do and how to handle things.  But we are called to more than that.  We are called to give of ourselves.

I hold back.  Why?  I am afraid.  I am afraid of what others will think.  I am afraid I am not equipped.  I think, “who am I?”  I am afraid of someone thinking negatively of me because I did not perform well.  I can easily say that these statements flow from a place of low self esteem and insecurities.  But when I read them, they all start with, “I”.  The thing I need to remember is it is not about me.  I am just the vessel.  The fear of giving of ourselves becomes about our own ego.  I am guilty.  Nevertheless, I am racked with fear.

For the past week or so I have been really struggling with if I can make a difference.  Does this blog matter?  On one hand I feel like I have a calling, and on the other, I feel like I am underqualified and someone else can fill those shoes much better than me.  Many of these thoughts probably come from the fact that I am in the middle of changing some of my mood stabilizing medication and it really affects the way I view myself.  That is why I have not blogged in over a week.  Then God answers those questions for me very boldly.  I had not one, but four people ask me at church why I have not blogged recently, one of whom I do not really even know.  Okay God, I get it.

But I am still racked with fear.  So I have to ask myself:  “How would I live if I were not afraid?”

 1.  I would be more transparent.  I would allow people to see who I really am and the struggles of my imperfections.

 2.  I would be more willing to give of myself.  I would not be afraid of what other people thought if I spoke up and fumbled my way through explaining things.  

3.  I would offer myself more, and when not needed, not to take it personally.  

4.  I would minister without hesitation.  I think of a man named Alan who stopped me in Michael’s craft store a few months back.  He asked me to pray for him.  I told him I would do that, but what I should have done was pray over him right then and there.  But I was afraid.  Afraid of stares, afraid of being awkward.

I need to remember that God equips the called; not calls the equipped.  I need to remember that it is not about about me; that I am just the vessel.  Even Beth Moore has horrid criticism.  Jesus faced horrid criticism.  I will not be immune.  I need to plant my feet firmly in who defines me.  May I not be afraid to serve; may I not be afraid to give of myself. 

How would you live if you were fearless?  

When the Waters Rise

IMG_1003When the storm comes and settles upon you.  In very literal terms right now we have some flooding.  Nothing like the flood of May 2010 which I wrote about just a few posts ago, but we do have some flooding going on.  Generally speaking, flooding comes from too much rain too quickly.  The murky water just keeps rising and rising.

In less literal terms, I can relate emotionally.  I feel murky water rising within me.  I question who I am all over again.  What is my purpose?  Perhaps I don’t question who I am as much as I once did, because I know Whose I am.  I question if I have the strength and resolve to follow through with it.  Can I keep going when the world is telling me “no”?  Can I keep believing when I don’t feel worthy?

Going back to the first paragraph, “flooding comes from too much rain too quickly.”  Perhaps that is it.  I have had to much “rain” in my life too quickly.  It has rattled me; doubt rises in me like the flood waters from the river.  Usually in check within its banks, but today overflowing and spilling into all areas of my life.  Am I a good mother?  Am I a writer?  Am I an artist?  Do I minister to others?  Am I worthy of such pursuits?  Can I do such things when I feel like my personal life falls apart from time to time?  Who am I to think I should do such things?  Do I have the strength to give to these areas in my life?

leave-it-to-beaver-1980Honestly, I want to retreat to where it is safe.  I want to be a wife and mother and not worry my “pretty little head” about such things.  To live in simplicity and not rock the boat.

Some days, I want to be more like June Cleaver and less like Beth Moore.  Today is one of those days.

We all question ourselves from time to time, but currently doubt has risen and flooded into me and it has settled.

What do you do when the waters rise and you fill with doubt?