Tuesday, April 12, 2016

I'm Not Fearless

The Fearless campaigns have never really set well with me. I appreciate the angle. I applaud the spirit behind them. It's just not me.

Only twice do I remember fear freezing me where I could hardly breathe. Once, as a child waking up from a nightmare thinking a tiger was walking around my bed, I froze and held my breath so long I almost passed out. When our son entered high school, a tumor was discovered in his wrist. That was the second time fear would daily and randomly grip my lungs. The physician said until confirmation could be determined via tests, the tumor reminded him of osteosarcoma - the bad boy of bone cancers. 

A healthy fear is a built-in, God-given design to keep you safe. Spiders and lightning make me sweat. Therefore, I kill spiders unless they are the size of a chihuahua. Too many encounters with lightning keep me inside and away from windows and running water during a storm.

When the presence of fear prickles the back of my neck, I do stupid things like jumping between people attempting to control the atmosphere. And, grabbing the shirt of someone walking away with the stroller my toddler son is sitting in, which turned out to be a joke. They just don't know how close they were to being clobbered. Unintentionally, I put myself into sink-or-swim situations and hope for the best without a backup plan. God's angels must certainly work overtime protecting this special case known as "Sam." 

See, it's not that I'm fearless, I'm just full of courage. Perhaps, it's more of the blind courage of "if no one else will, I will." The benefits of not living with debilitating fear is an exciting life of items being checked off the bucket list. Albeit spontaneous impulses, I have chased the first snowfall of the season into the Smoky Mountains by myself, signed up for a half marathon with my hubby and gone scuba diving with my son. I want others to experience the exhilaration of a moment of courage, too!

Living out a courageous, find-a-need-and-meet-it life may have roots in one fear I wrestle with: Being obsolete. Now, in my early 50's, it would be too easy to sit back and let someone else fill the gap. I cannot. Or, when overlooked for a position due to my age, resign myself to a sad, sedentary, lack-of-ministry lifestyle. I will not. As long as there is breath in my lungs, I will continue to summon courage to try something new or develop a dormant passion and invite someone to go with me or accept the invitation! A life of courage just seems sweeter when shared.

Here's your challenge: Find something and be full of COURAGE!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Bold Confidence

I have learned many things from social media, like America's obsession with cat videos and tips from 3,000 of my closest friends on which restaurant will "change your life." I have seen or read absolutely anything - AN-Y-THING - on social media! Sometimes, that any thing cannot be unseen, if ya know what I mean! <brain scrub>

One thing I have noticed is, late at night or the wee early hours of the morning, people use social media to upload to offload. Facebook and Twitter accounts are stamped with an emoji reflecting how the person feels or a photo will be uploaded to Instagram or Snapchat expressing their current emotion with a supporting #hashtag. It seems as if the person posting sees himself/herself as posting anonymously for a momentary emotional release or offload.

Loneliness settles around a heart and offloads: I want love or someone to love me.
Loss reflects: It's been a year. I miss my mom.
Depression reaches out for hope through a keyboard: Is there anyone who cares?
Anxiety silently uploads a scream: I can't do this, anymore!

Then --for the focus of today's blog-- there are those uploaders who have experienced something which has caused them to question themselves. "Do I have what it takes?" "What was I thinking?" It may have been a conversation that shook their confidence. It may have been a thoughtless comment posted on a thread. Whether or not that comment had ill intent, a message was downloaded as inadequacy into the human spirit and, later, uploaded as "Am I good enough?" 

Dear Midnight Offloader, You are enough. That idea is a great one! "Every good and perfect gift comes down from God." That dream you're working hard to see to fruition is going to come about. Keep shooting for the stars! You will eventually find someone who shares that calling and the burden of it and is willing to bear the weight with you. This creativity is part of God's DNA and is meant to be developed. It will take work. It may take many attempts to strengthen it. Be tenacious. You will encounter naysayers. who seek to suck the life out of your work and walk away. Be courageous. You will experience loss...multiple times over and for unexplainable reasons. Do not lose heart.  Be strong in the Lord. A payoff is coming! Someone needs your idea. Someone needs you to be their confidence! Someone needs YOU.