When fear comes knocking
When you fail at something, your first instinct isn’t to try again. It doesn’t come to your mind (at least not at first)
What comes to your mind is hurt, defeat, pain and if you’re like me, maybe tears (a lot of it) and then after you’ve gone through the motions, if you’re strong enough, you decide to try again.
This is the moment of truth – The part where you try again.
You put in your best and hope for the best while keeping your hope in check at the same time in case it turns out like the last time.
That place where you restrain your expectations because your heart knows that you have failed at this before.
Your mind is reminded that your best probably wasn’t good enough.
What makes this time different? You wonder.
You doubt and try not to doubt but your doubts only sink beneath the positive affirmations and attempts to keep believing but deep down, it lingers, hovering just beneath the surface.
Your confidence is smaller this time and you know it.
This is the part I want to talk about today.
That small space between faith and fear. How do you handle it? What do you do? What is the hack?
This was me today and if I’m being honest, it’s a really scary place to be.
I think about Abraham and how even though he had been given a promise, he waited 25 years for that promise to manifest. I think about what it must have been like for Sarah. The one who wasn’t given the promise. The one who figured it was probably her fault because her husband had no problem getting another woman pregnant. I wonder what it must have been like for her each night as they came together in bodily worship, the thoughts that must have run through her mind as she wondered if maybe this time it would yield fruit. The disappointment that her heart faced when she realized it didn’t. Night after night. Month after month. It must have been grueling.
But yet they persevered. Hoped against hope.
So what’s the hack really? How do we know what to do?
Truth is there’s no hack. Trusting is hard, especially when there’s no future guarantee.
So here’s what we can do. We try still.
We don’t dwell on the failure but we hope for the best this time.
This is hard if I’m being honest but it’s doable.
We make peace with the fact that maybe our best wasn’t good enough the last time but hope that it’ll definitely be this time because circumstances have changed. Time has passed.
Your mind will tell you to doubt. It would feed your fear and whisper to your heart not to get your hopes up but we will hope anyway because hope that is seen is not hope at all.
So we forge ahead.
I know you were expecting an almighty hack. Something I’ll tell you that’ll make the pain easier but I don’t honestly have that.
I don’t know how to make it not hard.
But I know what we can do.
We can trust and nothing about trust is easy.
It is putting one leg forward knowing you have fallen before and hoping not to crash this time.
It is falling headfirst wishing to be caught and being at peace with the fact that you might not be caught.
It is relinquishing control and putting your heart on the line yet again. You’re not all powerful, so you do what you can and leave the rest.
When this happened to me today, as the doubts assailed my mind and threatened to swallow me whole, I closed my eyes and released this fear and doubt to the father in prayer, trusting that if anybody can do anything about it, it’s him.
I have done all that I can.
I have put out my heart out again in hopes to not get crushed again.
I have surrendered.
The hack is to do it afraid.
The doubt might totally never go away but let your faith be louder than your fear.
Believe with all your might, even if it takes your very last will.
Do it afraid
“Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.”
Romans 5:5 NKJV