“So, are you going to start your blog?” my husband hollered from the bedroom.
“What?” I responded half-heartedly, trying to act as if I hadn’t heard him clearly over the kids playing in the living room and the dishwasher running.
“Are you going to get started on your blog?” He repeated, clearly, as he walked into the kitchen.
I sighed. “It’s not the right time. We have way too much going on right now. I will—some day when things aren’t so crazy.”
Even as I said it, I knew it was a lie. Yes, we had a lot going on. In fact, we’d never been busier. One child now in kindergarten, a two-year-old, and a one-year-old. My husband frequently traveling out of state for business conferences, while also having to worry about whether he’d be safe from this year’s round of layoffs that would be coming any day now.
I had just taken a new position, going back to bedside nursing in a Cardiac Intensive Care unit after a year of office work. My father-in-law was also staying with us while my mother-in-law recovered from surgery. His visit was truly a blessing, but still out of our norm. And because all of that wasn’t keeping us quite busy enough, we decided to add a 10-week-old Great Dane puppy to the mix.
It was a circus, and I was in the middle of the ring trying to juggle it all.
But none of that was actually keeping me from starting the blog I’d told my husband I wanted to start six months earlier. That was all just an excuse. The truth? I was scared. Terrified, actually.
Since life was keeping us pretty distracted, my husband let me off the hook for the time being. He would periodically throw out little comments that would let me know he hadn’t forgotten completely, but he didn’t push me too much on the issue. I know he had the best of intentions. He knew how excited I had been when I came to him with the idea of starting to write. He also knew that I have quite the habit of getting excited because I can visualize the end product but then give up on my vision partway during the process.
Case-in-point: my master bath remains a disaster a month after I had a crazy “Fixer Upper” I-can-do-this moment and removed cabinets, hooks, and other bathroom storage essentials. The vision is there, and I can tell it is going to be great when it’s completed—which will probably be sometime next year.
So the months passed. The holidays came and went. My father-in-law went back home. My schedule at work became more regular. And my husband took a new job that requires less out-of-state travel. Things were starting to slow down a bit—which meant I was running out of excuses.
That’s when an acquaintance I knew through my husband posted on Facebook that she was interested in starting a blog. I felt a nudge from the Holy Spirit urging me to take the first step. I figured, if nothing else, I would at least buy a little more time with my husband’s pushing if I could say I’d tried.
So I sent her a quick message and invited her over so our kids could play while we chatted over coffee about collaborating. I knew from the few times I had spoken with her that I could use some of her fearlessness.
We discussed different ideas for what we envisioned and made plans to invite more ladies to join us and to just keep in touch. It sounded great, but with one big problem—Fear.
Every time I’d think of reaching out to someone, Fear would be right there, with one terrifying question: “Who are you?” And because I would let Fear do the answering for me, the reply was consistently, “No one.” Fear held me in place, stagnant, and unable to move forward. It was as if I could see the path God had cleared for me to run, but I had to trudge through wet cement to reach it. Fear was my cement.
But, every once in a while, I’d get a little nudge from the Holy Spirit, helping push me through the fear. I’d get a little brave, send a message to a friend, and then anxiously await her response. Even though the steps were small, I was still getting closer and closer to my path. And with each step I’d take, I became a little stronger to face my fear.
One of my biggest sources of strength was the amazing women I was meeting on the journey. Nearly every woman we reached out to had been thinking of writing in some capacity but had been fearful to start on her own. It is a lot easier to face our fears when you have a band of sisters standing next to you. And although I’ve never actually been stuck in cement, I’d imagine help would be necessary to free yourself from it.
Fear is an evil attempt of the enemy to get us to give up in the cement before we ever reach our paths. What I realized during the process of working through my fear was that none of this was even about me. When God puts a vision or dream on your heart, it isn’t about you or even for you, and, most likely, it’s not going to come easily. You may be blessed through the process and for your obedience, but it isn’t about you. It’s about the people you reach on your journey. It’s about the broken-down person you pick up along the path and carry alongside you. It’s about the paths that merge with yours and those who run along beside you.
This may not be about someone reading this today, or next week, or even next year. But I know who it is for. It is for You. The person reading this who has a dream or vision on their heart so big that only God could have put it there. You—the person who can see the path that God has set before you but you’ve been stuck in the cement of Fear for far too long. It is time. Take the first step.
The process may be slow. It may be difficult. But each step you take gets you closer to the path set before you and makes you stronger than you were before. The same power that rose Jesus from the grave is inside of you and me. The same power that banished the devil to Hell lives inside of you. You are stronger than you believe.
It is time, so when the devil sends Fear to ask, “Who are you?” WE answer back, instead of allowing Fear to answer for us, and confidently proclaim, “I am a child of God!” Send him back where he came from, with his fear, anxiety, stress, and chaos. The only power the devil has over you is the power you allow him to steal.
So, this is it. This is me, stepping up onto my path and ready to run. Ready to discover what beauty lies along the journey. Sure, there are going to be obstacles, but I know now to watch out for the wet cement. It is my prayer that if you are in a place where fear has its grip on you, that you will break free. It is time. Step up. God set your path; it is up to you to run it, not for yourself, but for who you serve along the way. Lace up, child of God. It is time.
Only by Grace,