Sunday, October 9, 2011

Starting Something New

While I have followed Angie Smith's blog for over year and read her updates about her book club, I have only observed this community from a distance. I've often toyed with joining, but it's never quite worked out timing-wise. Since I had already purchased this fall's book before the book club started, I no longer had an excuse to not try it out. I go! 

I'm not exactly sure what it will look like, but I do know I'd love to have fellow companions. Would any of you like to join me? We can figure out this online book club together, and I'm guessing we'll learn more about each other and more about our God as we go. Both are positives in my opinion! :-) Since this week is only covering the introduction, you have plenty of time to catch up. Please leave a comment if you're interested and I'll be in contact. We're all in this together! (Yes, this is technically two High School Musical references in one post. Don't judge me. I work with kids. ;-)


Fear is not something to which I easily admit. I 'm able to go with the flow without too much effort and I don't usually have anxiety issues. Over time, however, I have seen a pattern of struggle that I have only recently labeled as fear. 

For much of my life, I've heard the phrase "strive to reach your potential" more times than I can count. In fact, I think I said it to myself as much as I heard it from others. There is nothing inherently wrong with this phrase; it spurred much motivation and action on my part. Yet wanting to reach that elusive potential caused  me to completely freeze up while I analyzed all of my options and the subsequent possible outcomes. My mom calls it being "paralyzed by indecision." My golf coach calls it "paralysis through analysis." But it's proper name is fear.

I fear choosing the incorrect path, harming others with my decision, missing God's blessing, disappointing others, yes, but most of all disappointing God. And though I count it as blessing to be able to play out the variety of possibilities, when in my control, these possibilities turn into lingering doubts. Doubts morph into worry which transform into paralyzing fear that permeates the mind, prohibits action.

Yet this fear must dissolve when, and only when, I acknowledge I am not in control, do not have authorized control, will never have any semblance of control. Feigning control is simply my feeble, stubborn, ignorant, flailing attempt at being God when I stop trusting. But inexplicably, thankfully there is grace.
"All fear is but the notion that God's love ends...Fear thinks God is finite and fear believes that there is not going to be enough...In Me, blessings never end because My love for you never ends. If My goodnesses toward you end, I will cease to exist, child. As long as there is a God in heaven, there is grace on earth and I am the spilling God of the uncontainable, forever-overflowing-love-grace."
Ann Voskamp, One Thousand Gifts, p. 161