My biggest fear in life is failure. I know this seems odd especially when there are more obvious fears like spiders, snakes, heights, etc. But, no, not me. I fear failure. It consumes me really. It takes me to places I don't want to go - mentally speaking of course. Well, I guess I have gone actual places too, but I will get to that later. I need to admit something. Not that I need for you to know, but because it is a form of healing. It is a way to get the pain off my chest. It is a way for me to move on, mentally. I have failed. I have failed at keeping on keeping on and it is tearing me up. I know, this is vague.
Last October, when the floor fell out from underneath me, the first thing I clung to was my Bible. I ran to it. I spent hours a day scouring its pages looking for the answers to my pain, my hurt. And I found them. I found that the answer was sin; it takes us places it shouldn't. I found that fears and failures are all part of that same trap. I found that my fear of failure is nothing more than my fear of falling into it. But I also found the way out. I found the hope, the joy, and the comfort that comes from those same pages. I found the one and only thing that can deliver me from that fear. I held onto it and had it for many, many months. I had the closest walk ever. I had a relationship. With Jesus. We were close. Then, I failed.
It doesn't look like failure from the outside, but it feels like it on the inside. He went from being a close friend to an acquaintance. How exactly? Well, it was slow. I simply replaced my time with other things. I clung to things that helped me forget. That helped me "move on." That helped me not have to actually think about things. Oh, it felt like healing. I let myself believe it was too. But it wasn't. It was running, and hiding, and ducking. It wasn't facing it. It was doing everything but. I knew this then. I even, in moments of remorse or clarity or both, prayed for what to do. I got the exact answer I knew I would get. It is quite literally like the story of the rich, young ruler. You know, when he went up to Jesus and asked what he had to do to in order follow Jesus and he was told to sell all he had and give away his riches. It wasn't because he couldn't have them, but because that one thing was what was preventing him from having his close relationship with God. I have my one thing. I know what it is. I can tell you straight up. I won't of course. That's too personal. But we both know that I know. Ironically, this message, this one I just spoke of, was a part of the SS lesson last week. Coincidence? Not so much.
What do I do? How do I know that God is trying to re-direct my steps? Simply - its several reminders a day, in completely random ways, to do what I know to do. The random calls from good friends telling me to pray about it, to take it to the cross, to talk it out with Jesus, to read His word for truth. It's the constant unease. It's the constant second-guessing, doubting when I should be believing, the wanting but not getting. And the fix? The answer to all of it? Taking my friends' advice. But, I'm not doing that. Why? Because I am afraid. I'm scared. I'm petrified to come face to face with my fear. I'm remiss to accept that I will have to make a choice. Take a stance. Come to terms with my fear. And then let go of the one thing that has severed my closeness to the one person who will love me no matter what, regardless of my choices.
Please know that this post has been hard to write. That sharing this has been brutal. It hasn't been easy to put out there the thing that I keep hidden from everyone. Everyone, except my Savior Himself. Funny really, how the one person I moved from has always stayed there, waiting, gently waiting, for me to find my way back to him. But I think, in it all, He's still making a Bible story out of me.
"Failure is an opportunity. If you blame someone else, there is no end to the blame." - Pete Magill