One of the movies I like to watch as of late is The Proposal with Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds. In the movie they go to Alaska to see his parents and they need to get on a boat to get to the house. The conversation goes a bit like this: Margaret “ I’m not getting on that boat.” Andrew “ That’s fine I’ll see you in a couple days” Margaret “You know I can’t swim.” Andrew “Hence the boat!” This cracks me up every time, then it gets me to thinking. She is afraid of getting on the boat because she can’t swim. He can’t understand why, because she won’t be swimming, she’ll be on the boat. How often do we miss the boat or refuse to get on the boat because of fear?
I have been having several “duh” moments lately. Moments where I feel like God is just pointing things out to me and some moments where I feel like “Oooh I get it now. That’s what I’m supposed to get from this.” My goodness how many boats have left the dock without me on it. How many boats have I watched leave the dock and waved with the “I’m not ready, I can’t do it. I’m not good enough” thinking. I think I’ve missed every boat that came to the dock or maybe I never even went to the dock. Fear has been so prevalent in my life and I think I’m starting to understand why. I’m starting to “get it.”
I was doing my bible study last week and I was having some trouble getting what I was supposed to be getting from it. For me, it helps if I can talk it out. So I called a friend and asked her about it. As we spoke, the light bulb went off. I believe there may have been a heavenly choir that began to sing in celebration and I finally started to get it. When you are a child, and we all know this, we tend to learn what we live. If you are told something long enough you eventually take it as a fact and accept it. To this end I try every single day to tell each of my children how special and wonderful they are. I tell them they are beautiful and smart and kind and such a gift to my life. Because those are the things I want them to believe about themselves. Those are not the things I grew up hearing. My mother married a man, not my father, who told me daily that I was ugly and would never amount to anything and no one would ever want to marry me. Well, I have been happily married to my hottie hubby for almost sixteen years. I take no credit for that it’s a total God thing. I would also likely tell you that I believe fully that he could have done better. There goes that fabulous self esteem again. When I look in the mirror I see flaws. When I think of doing something I usually give up because I’m certain I’m bound to fail. Mostly because that’s what I was told would happen. I have always believed the lies and never believed the truth because I never felt like I deserved it. After all I’m ugly and I’m never going to amount to anything, remember?
Here’s what I’m figuring out. I married an incredible man. God brought just the right man to be my partner in this life. And this wonderful man must see something beautiful and worthy in me or he wouldn’t have married me. I usually fail at things because I quit or give up before I have any chance to fail or succeed, because I am equally afraid of both scenarios. Is that ridiculous? I’m not sure. I suppose even, I’m more afraid of succeeding than I am of failure. How crazy is that? I don’t think it’s really all that crazy if you think about it. If I try something and fail, it’s really not going to change my life. I’m pretty comfortable with my life as it is. I’m comfortable in my comfort zone and I like it there. If I were to attempt something and succeed it could greatly change my life and I would be moved from my comfort zone where I’m so comfortable. I suppose I never really knew if it was worth the risk. For two years I have wanted to turn my writing into a book. Book deals mean traveling. Book signings, meeting, a lot of things I am sure that would take me out of my comfort zone. As I am an optimist. Which is the weird part of my lack of self esteem. First I think I would fail miserably but that would be ok because that wouldn’t really change my life. Second oh my goodness what if I were to succeed then what? What if all your dreams could come true? What if I got pulled from my comfort zone? I am a very nervous flyer.
I am a walking contradiction. I don’t want to try something because I will probably fall on my face. I don’t want to try something because of the off chance I succeed. There you have it. I am a loser. I have let the fear of both wrap chains around me, stick my feet in concrete, and plant me in with roots that are strangling me. I am the only one who has done this to me. I have the most supportive family ever. For Christmas one year I received a book of all the publishers and agents in the country and a publishing for dummies book. It was exciting and it scared the day lights out of me. It became a little too real and strange. In growing up I never had anyone believe in me that way.
I think the message I’m suppose to be getting here is get on the boat. Stop letting the fear of drowning keep you from getting on the boat. DUH! Or as we say in our family d-u-h, d-u-h, d-u-h. Because of course it means more if you spell it out. I don’t know where this boat will take me. I suppose it’s a bit like learning to swim, you either sink or you swim. But I suppose it’s like Andrew says “Hence the boat.” I suppose if Jesus can calm the seas and walk on water, He can steer the course of any boat that comes my way and says get in. And maybe I will fall on my face, but how will I know if I don’t get on the boat? It’s like that joke about the man stranded on the island and the first boat comes and he turns it down and says “no God will save me.” Two more boats come and he says the same thing. He cries out to God and says “Why won’t you save me?” and God says “I sent you three boats what do you want?” Get on the boat. Go for the ride and see where it takes you. I think that’s exactly what I’ll do.