Doing it afraid

Fear is not my friend. I don’t normally go seeking out trouble or looking to be brave.

As one who spent far too many years afraid of my own shadow and afraid of the grown-up world impinging itself too soon on body and mind, life is not an adrenaline-fuelled ride of adventure.

Courage has many faces and not all of them are obvious. They don’t all shout their name.

Sometimes its the quiet ones going about their daily challenges and struggles with quavering hearts and wavering faith who are the brave people in God’s eyes.

He sees into hearts and minds and knows how many are living lives of such quiet desperation where getting out of bed in the morning requires enormous effort of will, (and/or reserves from Him) before they dare place foot to floor and face another day.

Life is a battlefield and we overcome it first in our minds.

I’m not a natural risk taker. There have been enough battles in my life without looking for them.

But sometimes a clarion call sounds and we know that God is trying to urge us out of our comfort zones.

This is time to take action. The rewards will outweigh the demands being made on us.

No more cringing in corners. Suit up and get ready.

One person’s challenge may be another’s walk in the park but it loses none of its edginess for the one overcoming obstacles to achieve it.

I sense a call to surrender my pen, lay down my own writing goals and allow God to speak to me on a daily basis.. then write what I hear.

This is something I’m fairly familiar with on a regular basis. It’s part and parcel of being a Christian poet and writer.

Only… daily, did you say? Gulp!! Yes… 31 days of listening and writing brave and free.

Relying totally on Holy Spirit inspiration, anointing and equipping for 31 days, though not necessarily consecutively.

The original yearly #31days writing challenge began over at the Nester’s place. You can read the details here.

To make matters manageable there are daily 5 minute writing prompts being offered over at Kate Montaung’s place, rather like a continual Five Minute Friday exercise.

And Twitter already has daily poetic prompts to help stir the creative juices.

So far, so well and good. I love word prompt challenges and I love writing.

If my health was equally reliable then we’d be laughing, wouldn’t we?

But that is far from the truth. I have had to cut back, withdraw and recover energy recently when life’s busyness leached all my available strength.

And that happens on a regular basis. More often than I like it to.

As an M.E and chronic illness sufferer I know that no two days are exactly the same yet all have their pitfalls of pain, profound fatigue and weakness to one degree or another.

How do I commit to this task without compromising my already weakened health?

By faith. By trust. By believing that all things are possible in Christ because who He appoints He anoints and who He calls He qualifies.

Am I sure? Well, I didn’t lay down a fleece, but it took 4 separate times of checking in with the Lord before I was totally convinced this was a call from Him rather than a work and desire of the flesh.

So here I am, doing it afraid and doing it with faith, for the two co-exist sometimes.

And there is a catch to this..  after checking in with God this morning, He confirmed I need to spend 31 days listening intently to Him but only write and share as He dictates.

God also reminded me of words I’d penned over at ‘Poetry Joy’ a few days ago:

“I don’t want to write
just because
it is what 
I usually do
or because
I want to have a say
These words should come
because You
have thoughts You desire
me to convey”

My reasons for taking part need to be in line with His will for me. In a sense, I need to eat my own words above.

There’s to be no noisy fanfare, no lovely linking up, no seeking of people-approval, no beautiful button to flaunt, no anxiety over daily sharing, just opening my heart when He makes it clear it’s right to do so.

Because this isn’t really about me at all; it’s all about the work God needs to do in and through me.

Some posts will appear here and others over at my sister site, poetryjoy.com. Do take a look there too because small snippets more often come to me in poetry and ‘Prayer Whispers’ rather than prose.

I’d love you to join me for the journey as I take part informally (on an ad hoc basis) in my own slow way and timing. There is grace to participate and grace to ‘fail’ in others’ eyes.

My fear stems from wondering if I can be fully attentive and listen well over this period of time, and if I can faithfully record the words I hear.

My failure would be to depend more on myself than I do on Holy Spirit’s equipping.

And for those of you who pray, please send a prayer or two up for me, would you? Thank you!

I think this weary woman needs help to stay faithful and attentive in prayer, to listen, lean and learn all the lessons God wants to teach her.

Then I can share them over time and (hopefully) bless and encourage others in the process.

6 Comments

  1. Bless you on this journey, Joy! I would like to join, but I fear I could not complete the task with what is currently set before me. I feel in over my head and only in the Lord can I fulfill this present mission. Then, perhaps, I can write – for 31 days – 31 days of praise in tribute to all the great things He has done! Blessings!
    Kathy

    1. Oh that's absolutely fine, Kathy! I have no intention to add to your load. My desire is to only join in with this challenge as God indicates and as energy and inspiration allow. There is no pressure at all. Each of us must aim to listen to what God is saying is right for us to do and try to be obedient to His voice. You sound very busy already and have much to keep you occupied for a while. May God bless all the works of your hands and grant you peace and rest in this hectic season. 🙂 x

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