life and faith

A familiar fear

It creeps up on me again.

‘You’ve really done it This Time’. 

Whispers close.

Breathing and hissing out its venom.

A voice I know too well and cannot ignore.

Did I think I could break the habits of a lifetime?

When life is littered with a trail of:
 
Unfinished projects 

Dreams unfulfilled
 
Tasks to be done
 
A heavy weight of expectancy burying all hopes of finally achieving my goals

This year I had a dream. I went public with it. Shared it openly. Making the humiliation complete. When failure seems to be a default position for a person with perfectionism allied with chronic physical illness and weakness.

Failure

Looming 
over it all
A word 
that marks us out
Gives away 
our inner state

Overshadows hope
Brings grief 
and gloom
Pain 
and sadness
Bleeds despair

Awful in 
its familiarity
Pinned on a board
Marked on a card
Stamped on a form
Spoken over us

Engraved on 
our hearts
Fresh wound to add 
to all the rest
Yet another
Failure
ยฉJoyLenton2013
Did I really expect it to be any different This Time?
Don’t these patterns repeat themselves ad infinitum?
No. No. And Thrice No. It needn’t be that way. We can step off that treadmill!

” I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work” ~ Thomas Eddison

Too often, our ideas of failure stem from a heightened expectation of the perceived outcome, rather than genuine slip-ups or mistakes. We can be our own worst enemies in many respects.

In writing about my fear of failure in following my God-sized dream, I am looking to follow Holley’s encouragement to also seek the truth that’s bigger than that fear.

I am discovering there is freedom in learning to let go of:

The pretence of having-it-all-together

Perfectionist tendencies

People approval issues

Memories of past failures

Unrealistic expectations

Low self-esteem

Instead, I am learning to embrace:

The truth of who I am in Christ

Knowing that God’s perfect love casts out fear

Being a ‘work in progress’

Making mistakes as a way of growth

Falling down only to get up again

Resilience rather than defeatism
Failure needn’t mean stopping something. It doesn’t have to signal an end. Rather, it is an open door of opportunity for growth, for learning, and developing the fruit of patience, wisdom, endurance and  perseverance

The truth is that God’s word and His grace are far bigger than any fear

As we allow His word to invade our hearts and minds, absorb its message and let it penetrate our understanding, it gradually fills the space where fear and dread once lived.

Freedom comes from surrendering fear and substituting it with faith

Despite the way it may feel, failure can be a stepping-stone to success as we yield to the lessons it teaches us. All it takes is a recognition of our need and courage to want to overcome the paralysing affects fear has on our everyday lives.

This may be one of those times for you too. Whatever your particular fear might be, will you join me as we ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’? 

We are not alone. God has gone ahead of us to prepare the way we will walk in and we have the reassurance of His word:

“For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but He has given us a spirit of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control” ~ 2 Timothy 1:7 (Amplified)

Let’s aim to:
 
Heed His voice more than our feelings.

Rest our restless hearts in His Presence.
                                              
Immerse ourselves in His word.

Trust that God is changing us little by little.

Take tentative steps of faith that will grow with practise.

Believe we can be Overcomers in this area too.

Seek support and encouragement from others.

Pause to ponder:


What fears are holding you back from realising your dreams?
How do you plan to conquer them?

In this post I am linking up with Holley Gerth and the rest of the God-sized Dream team. We’d love you to join us on the journey. More to come next week!

You can also connect with me on Facebook or Twitter

14 Comments

  1. Tami 5th February 2013
    • Joy Lenton 7th February 2013
  2. Penelope Swithinbank 5th February 2013
    • Joy Lenton 7th February 2013
  3. Helen 5th February 2013
    • Joy Lenton 7th February 2013
  4. Jedidja 5th February 2013
    • Joy Lenton 7th February 2013
  5. Barry Pearman 8th February 2013
    • Joy Lenton 9th February 2013
  6. Marie 9th February 2013
    • Joy Lenton 10th February 2013
  7. Anonymous 10th February 2013
    • Joy Lenton 10th February 2013

Leave a Reply

My Instagram life