You know that feeling where you get all tight in the chest, your heart decides it wants to run a marathon all of a sudden and your head feels kind of fuzzy like you just woke up? It’s what you feel just before you step onto the stage in front of a hundred people. It’s what takes your breath away and makes your body go hot all over as you begin to speak the words “I love you” to someone you’re not certain will love you back. It’s the feeling that goes along with the scary thought, ‘I don’t know if I can do this’.
It can be described as ‘nervousness’ or ‘uncertainty’, maybe ‘insecurity’ or even ‘excitement’.
But could it be that these are all synonyms and symptoms of ‘mistrust’ and ‘unbelief’?
This was the feeling I got last week when I received an email from my boss. My chest tightened up and I found my head buried in my arms after my brain kind of came out of that ‘oh my gosh what am I going to do’ fuzz.
Hey, let me tell you all right now that it was some pretty great news. I mean come on, a promotion (of sorts). Awesome news.
Then why was my face buried in my arms, groans emanating from the very bottom of my soul (and yes. I was feeling a tad dramatic at that moment)?
Well, that’s an easy answer.
I was scared.
Because for some reason, when you get a promotion you are expected to take on a whole lot more responsibility! Who’s ever heard of that concept? (Ok, there really needs to be a font for sarcasm. Come on smart people)
To be completely honest, I was totally expecting to walk into this job knowing almost exactly what I’d be doing. For once, I was ready to not be the ‘newbie’ on the job. I was ready to go do this job and finally not be questioning myself every day wondering if I was doing what I was supposed to be doing… and doing it right. I was ready to feel like I wasn’t failing every time I tried to do something that was required of me, because at least now I know what I’m getting into.
Now, I know all the right answers. I know that it’s my silly pride that tells me “you can at least look like you know what you’re doing!”. I know that I’m expressing my unbelief when I express my fear of failure. I know that God works through a weakened vessel. I know I know I know.
But that’s head knowledge. Right now, my heart is simply screaming,
DON’T DO IT, you won’t do anything right.
DON’T DO IT, you won’t make an impact.
DON’T DO IT, you’ll be too stressed, too tired to be any fun.
Basically, don’t do it.
That’s what it is. I’m scared, because I don’t want to fail. I think I can do everything that’s required of me, I think I can do anything through Christ who gives me strength. But that’s the thing. I think I can.
But I don’t know I can.
And you know what- that’s ok right now. I’m human, and I’m not ashamed of it. I sprawl out on the carpet in dismay like the rest of you (or maybe it’s just me). I bury my face in my hands and my chest tightens up and I am nervous like h-e-double toothpick like every other person in this world is at one point in time or another.
But what it really comes down to is this: Do I believe what I say I believe?
Do I believe that God will give me strength and use me where I don’t have any left? Do I really believe that God will work through this broken, weak, fearful vessel and touch others no matter what I do right or wrong?
Do I truly trust that God has a reason for placing me in this position? Do I trust Him?
At this point, I’ve written so many sentences and deleted them because they reveal how much I don’t trust Jesus. Right now, I don’t believe that He is so big and so great that He could do a miracle through me. That’s why I’m so scared.
I have a bad case of mistrust and unbelief.
You know what- I hope that instead of fear being the reason my breathing speeds up a little and my heart tries to run laps around my stomach, I hope it’s excitement. You know, the nervous kind of excitement that looks a little like expectation. I hope I can look forward to this job and instead of dreading it, look for ways God is going to show up.
Especially in my weaknesses.