As I was driving home today from a friend's house my fourteen-year-old daughter reiterated words that I have heard my own heart say, "I don't feel like I am enough." I confessed my own heart's yearning and explained that is a lie so many women believe.
Why do we live in a society that feels like we are not enough? Enough of what I will never understand.
I have been reading Jennie Allen's book Restless, and I see how this "not enough" feeling is our own heart's restlessness. We want to have a purpose. We want to matter. We want to make a difference, yet we are a society driven by fear.
The Pain of Being Judged
For me I fear the judgement of others. I have all these big dreams that I am afraid to fulfill because I am afraid of what others will think. I have very conservative Christian beliefs, which is widely rejected by many, especially as our society becomes more divisive. What I want more than anything is to have an impact on the world around me. I think we all do.
Though I have these plans in my heart and in my mind, some since I was a little girl, I hesitate out of fear that I will be criticized. Fear that I will be told I'm wrong, even when I know I'm right. Fear that my abilities will not stack up to those who are more gifted and my failings will be pointed out. When it comes down to it, I fear man's opinion more than I fear God's.
There is a danger in that. I am also missing out on what God has planned for me if only I took those steps. As Jennie Allen stated, I end up feeling restless because I am not doing what I was born to do.
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The Fear of Failure
Even more than being judged, or maybe because of the fear of being judged, I fear failure. What if I do write that book and no one wants to publish it? What if I publish it and no one wants to read it? What if people read it, and it is a mockery and I am publicly humiliated? What if...
I fear failure in other ways too. What if I were to work really really hard, become a success, then because of one stupid mistake, my credibility is tarnished and all the good goes down the drain? What if I work towards one of my many goals and I realize that I am not good at it after all? What if I make a mistake? What if... What if... What if...
There are so many what ifs that I often feel paralyzed by fear. The great what if is, what if I do fail and it hurts a relationship? What if people judge me so harshly, they reject me?
The Hurt of a Broken Relationship
For me, the biggest failure is not just being judged by others, not just not succeeding, but being rejected. I have experienced rejections a lot of them in my life. Some were due to my own failings, some were due to the things I could not control. Rejection is one of the biggest hurts in life, especially when it is someone whom you care about immensely.
Truth is, I don't want to hurt anymore. I don't want to fail. I don't want criticized. But I also am tired of feeling restless; feeling like there is more to life; feeling like I could make an impact, but not. So I have chosen to go towards my goals. Goals I do not share publicly, because they seem too personal to share on a public forum.
I am taking small steps. I am praying. I am hoping. I have faith that God will be with me even in the hurts, even in the failures, and even when I am rejected again. Most of all, I don't want to be a prisoner of fear any longer! Please, I urge you, if you feel like a prisoner to fear; please let's encourage one another and turn to God. Ask him for strength and wisdom and to silence our fears.
This Christian mom is far from perfect, but continually strives to grow and develop. She is an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction and focuses a lot on personal growth. She loves to share what she has learned through her studies and her own failures, as well as walks alongside other mothers as they learn together the ins and outs of parenting.