The cursor blinks. Incessantly. Like a young child intent on knowing “why?”
It’s a taunt that punctuates my fear and insecurity.
Metaphors scurry through my mind like rodents playing a game of chicken. Topics alternately rush into the forefront and fight for attention or hide behind accusations that taunt “stupid, boring, no one wants to read that.” I close my laptop on my blank Word document.
I wrestle with doubts. What new thing can I bring to the over-crowded blogosphere? Who wants to read what I am writing? How do I find readers?
I am really good at erecting walls. Not so good at letting people in. I learned early on that chaos at home was shameful and needed to be kept a secret. Chaos and secrets were rampant throughout my marriage. I still want to hide, pretend everything is just fine. I certainly don’t want to expose myself. What was I thinking when I started blogging?
Success. Failure. Indifference. I’m overwhelmed. Silenced. My laptop stays closed.
I slink into a blog hiatus. A day turns into a week. Two weeks. Three weeks.
The familiar dread of a looming deadline weighs on me. As a procrastinator I know that feeling all too well. The idea that it won’t matter much if I don’t write takes root. Ironically, that is kind of scarier than writing.
Voices in my head sneer, “See. He was right. You never follow through.” Echoes so familiar it doesn’t occur to me to question them.
Weeks turn into months. The need to write beats with my heart. But fear suffocates and controls me. I am afraid of rejection, indifference, mediocrity. I hide.
It’s a learned response. A habit born out of the need to survive in a toxic relationship. I’m familiar with living stealthily, invisible, unnoticed.
Then the inspiration I was looking for comes. It’s simple really.
Do it anyway.
“For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
Write afraid. Because fear doesn’t negate what God has done for me. I can fight whatever it is that is trying to keep me silenced and ineffective. I realize I don’t have to listen to the voices that say, “You can’t.” The voices that tell me, “Here you go again. Starting something and not finishing.”
I doesn’t matter how many times I fall down. I just need to get back up one more time.
Before Christmas, I decided that I was on an intentional blog holiday. I stopped beating myself up for what I wasn’t doing and started enjoying my family and our traditions. While I still heard the lies in my head, I chose to listen harder to the truth. I have not failed to live up to God’s expectations. He made me. He knows me. He loves me right where I am, writing or stuck.
When I stopped being so hard on myself, I started to remember why I began writing.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.” Psalm 23:4
I encountered that dark valley when my marriage imploded. It was surprising to just about everybody, including me, that I had been living in an abusive marriage.
I felt betrayed and set adrift at the loss of my marriage. I was broken and alone. I turned to God when I had nowhere else to go. He gave me peace in the midst of the chaos. It changed me.
It’s out of that transformation I started writing. I write to tell what God has done for me, what he is doing in me. So whether I’m afraid, or want to hide, or feel like I have nothing new to offer I am going to keep writing.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10