The first time I remember encountering fear or a spirit of intimidation was in the Summer of 2002. I had just graduated from Oklahoma State (Go Pokes) and had moved to Norman, Ok to attend OU Law school. I was starting law school that summer. Vividly, I remember laying on my living room apartment floor with the Contracts 1 book open preparing to “brief” the 200 pages of reading that I was supposed to do for the 1st DAY OF CLASS. Tears rolled day my face. For the first time in my life, I didn’t know if I could do it or if I even wanted to do it.
Before that time, I don’t remember being afraid of not being able to do something. Sure, I had a Godly fear to obey, follow rules, and respect my parents. But, this particular season in my life was the first time I experienced fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, and fear of disappoinment. Never before had I looked at any task an thought, “This is impossible. I don’t think I am good enough.”
Up to this point, I had worked feverishly to get into law school. I studied, sacrificed fun times, and spent lots of money on tests and a portfolio. I also watched Perry Mason, Matlock, and Law and Order for years (since I was a little girl), hoping I would learn some amazing court room skill that I could use one day.
So, you can understand the surprise when I told my parents I had just dropped out of law school on the first day. I remember my dad saying, “But, sis, this is what you have always wanted!” He was right. I THOUGHT I had always wanted to be a lawyer.
However, the summer before I had spent some time interning in Washington, D.C. for a Congressman. It was an awesome experience filled with rich history lessons, great sight seeing, and a discouraging look at inside politics. It was during that time, I realized that a political life/law life was probably not a fit for me. I would never be who I needed to be to fit that mold. God was changing my plans, but I fought it because I though I was supposed to be a lawyer.
When the first day of law school arrived, the desire to be something else mixed with the fear of inadequacy, thrust me into the admin office to sign drop papers. To this day, I DO NOT regret my decision. Truthfully, I know it was the right thing to do. I found a love for education and teaching and now ministry.
Now, fast forward 11 years, a different fear stares me in the face. I find myself at times sitting on the floor crying like I did those many years ago in my Norman apartment. I am not ready to share the details of this ugly mental beast, but I am thankful for the Word of God and the scriptures that are true…”God does not give us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.” Daily, I am walking through the process of freedom from this particular fear. Renewing my mind, rebuking the devil, seeking Godly counsel, and focusing on things that are pure, holy, and a good report. But, it is a walk, a journey. And, at least I am walking. I refuse to stay in the same spot.
Unfortunately, the fear is greater than the desire. Shocking, I know. Faith should absolutely fuel us. It does in my life too. But, I am in a season of removing some “bad gas” from my fuel tank. (That is a gross analogy…ha ha ha).
Many times, when “counseling” with people, I ask them, “Do you want to be in this same place a year from now?” Everytime so far, the person responds with a resounding, “NO!” Then, I ask, “Well, what are you going to do right now to start changing your life and breaking the cycle.?” Today, I ask myself that very question.
Joyce Meyers says, “Do it afraid.” It’s time to put on my big girl pants and do it afraid.
My 28 Thanks:
1. I took extra time getting ready this morning. I had worked late the day before and I needed some extra time to prepare for the day. I am glad that there is some flexibility in my job, especially since there is truly never a “clock out” time.
2. Judah enjoys having company. Everyone is a new playmate in his eyes.
3. I can renew my mind.
4. I don’t have to be afraid.
5. I am walking through.
6. God cares about me, every little thing, every part of me.
7. He is my friend. I can talk to Him.
8. I didn’t go to law school. I didn’t waste a lot of money pursuing something that I had lost a desire for.
9. I became an educator instead.
10. I use my degree and training on a daily basis.
12. The educators who invested into my life.
13. I tried a new form of discipline on Judah and it worked well.
14. I was disciplined as a child. I am so thankful my parents cared enough to help me learn to control my anger, my language, my actions, etc…
15. Many of my kidmin team are going to the Family ID conference.
16. My in-laws got dinner for Judah and me.
17. My in-laws are so good to me. I am so blessed with the most caring in-laws.
18. Judah ate his dinner well.
19. My mom will be here this weekend to spend her birthday with me!
20. Holly dropped by for a nice evening visit.
21.She brought me a beautifully “Holly hand painted” shelf for my kitchen. It is so cute and perfect.
22. Holly can truly turn trash into treasure.
23. Judah almost caught a lightning bug. It was so cute watching him try to catch that cute creature. I remember doing that as a kid and making them into rings on our fingers.
24. Another evening spent on the back porch swing.
25. Rony and Danielle are loaded and ready to go back to their home. Home is a good place to be.
26. The last two nights, I have felt like a college girl once again hanging out late with these young kids. Enjoying fun conversations and meeting new people.