Imagine you are going on a road trip across the country. You put the address of your destination into a new travel app, and instead of the usual map with step-by-step instructions, it spits out a paragraph of road names and directions, but not necessarily in any order. Not only would you be confused and discouraged, but you probably wouldn’t make it out of your driveway. I know I wouldn’t.
That’s how I feel sometimes when I am attempting something new. It’s so big. There is so much I don’t know, so I stare motionless into the blob of possibilities, intimidated at the prospect of moving forward. Sometimes the hardest part of starting something new, fulfilling a dream God has placed in my heart, is getting started. Taking that first step. Do I turn left or right? Do I take a class or apply for an internship? Should I join a gym or go for a walk? You get my point. Often, because I’m not sure what the best way is, I don’t do anything.
Lately I’ve started asking myself the question “What’s the truth?” What is the truth about why I am feeling sad, lonely or afraid? What’s the truth about why I ate too much or spent too much? Whatever the situation, what is the truth? It is in these times, I ask the Holy Spirit to help me think about myself and my situation correctly. Am I believing what the Bible says about me and what I can do, or am I believing a lie and living from the insecurity of my soul?
When I’m stuck, or find myself making an unhealthy choice, it’s usually because I’m believing a lie, and if I’m honest, it’s because I’m afraid. “What if I didn’t really hear from God?” “What if I do it and it doesn’t work out, or it’s average, or messy or worse?” So, there I am, waiting, praying, wishing, but not moving. Ineffective. And isn’t that exactly where the devil wants me?
I don’t want to live life afraid anymore. I don’t want to let a lie keep me from doing anything God intends for me to do. How about you? But what’s the answer? What do we do with that very powerful emotion? I’ve learned, the answer is pretty simple. It usually is. I change what I am focusing on. I must know The Truth, Jesus, and focus on Him. I’ve learned that when I focus on what other people think or what other people might say, it creates fear in me. When I read the Bible and listen to what the Holy Spirit is telling me about myself and what He has for me to do, and I trust that He will help me to do it, then I am able to push past the fear that I feel and take that first step.
So, today I step out in faith and write, not knowing what impact it will have. I write, knowing that if I obey the voice of God to speak truth, and share my flawed, grace-filled journey, I cannot fail. And if I have inspired you to allow God to speak truth to that thing in your life that He wants you to trust Him for, and you take a step in the direction He is leading you, then I have more than succeeded.