In early December of 2011, I embarked on a journey. It wasn’t an exotic overseas vacation; more of a personal quest. I got in contact with an editor/publisher about developing a book. This would bring about the fruition of a dream, one that in my wildest imagination I didn’t believe could or would come true. I love to dream, and I like to dream big. I am most comfortable, however, with dreams that remain dreams, because dreams that come true bring change. Change can be scary. Don’t misunderstand - I know change is inevitable. And that it can bring about life-altering changes for the better. The idea of better can paralyze you with fear.
As it turns out, my book got finished, and is now going to a second printing. I spent the week before the book launch in a complete state of panic. Fear almost rendered me immobile. When the day arrived, though, I was surrounded by friends and family. But I was still afraid. Every fiber of my being was yelling “Run and hide.”
I spend a lot of time in front of my computer. I am quite comfortable talking on the phone and having conversations with strangers - on a one-on-one basis. Large groups scare me; I try to avoid them.
At the book launch, I was expected to read aloud from my book. I stepped up to the podium and did what I had to do. My hands were shaking, and yet when I see pictures of the event now, I used them when I spoke. The video is twelve minutes of me, reading, looking only a bit nervous. In the greater scheme of things in life, it seems silly, and yet it was so far out of my comfort zone, the reading seemed like 2 hours by the time it was finished.
When I think about that day now, I can’t think of anything I would have changed. It was perfect. The people who love me were there. The support that surrounded me that day were inconceivable to me. I didn’t run, throw up, or wet myself, and really those were the highest expectations I had. It’s funny how God can surpass all of our expectations. Expectations we didn’t even know we had.
I don’t know what happens from here. When I dreamed of publishing a book, before this year, I didn’t dream about what would happen past the actual publication. I didn’t even dream of telling anyone I had published a book. I think the main dream I had was that I would finish something that I had wanted to do, not for anyone else, but for me. The book is even available on all e-readers and the paperback is at the local Christian bookstore. That is far beyond any of my expectations. The original idea was for me to have one print copy, and for my grandmother to have one. So the rest of it is all an additional blessing that my Father has given me.
I’m still worried about change. I’m a work in progress - what can I say? In my head, I enter negotiations with Him.
· “OK God. I realize that I don’t know the full plan, but … if you could eliminate any public speaking from the plan, that would be great.”
· “OK God. I realize that I have to learn to fully rely on you and that you will never leave me nor forsake me, but… if you could make sure that I don’t have to travel, that would be great.”
Of course, if God were to call me to travel and speak in public again, without thinking about it, I would go. I may not be comfortable with it, but He hasn’t promised to never take me from my comfort zone.
I am very aware of the amount of growth that I still need to do. He is aware of my fear and that I prefer staying where I am. Maybe I am to go no farther than I have at this moment in time. I would be happy with that, and yet I wonder… if He has brought me this far, and I choose to not follow where He leads, what will I miss? Even though I am a scared and imperfect servant, what more could He use me for?