Stepping Up to the Plate

Sorry to disappoint you baseball fans and myself at age 12, but this post is actually not about baseball. Just want to start with that disclaimer in case anyone scrolled through and thought, "She didn't talk about baseball at all!" Carry on.

My list of fears does not include ice cream.

It always amuses me when people make these grand, dramatic statements in an attempt to share something about themselves, when in reality the "super unique" trait that they're sharing is something pretty common. For example, if I were to ceremoniously declare that I struggle with fear, then every other human being (especially the 13 and under crowd, with whom I closely identify) would have to admit to also being afraid of something. I mean, who doesn't have a major fear of at least one thing?

Of course, there are remedies or "cures" for different fears. For example, if you're afraid of snakes, you can solve that problem the way I do- by rarely venturing outside. =) Every child knows that a fear of the dark can be solved with a nightlight (or "nighty-light" as my 3-year-old nephew says, which is an unessential fact but one I'm including because it's adorable.) And if you're afraid of being inadequate, unsuccessful, or just a big old flop, you can...

Huh. Is there a cure for those feelings? It's kind of raw deal. We finally realize that there are no monsters under the bed, no "bad guys" lurking in the closet (well, at least I hope not, but that's why I don't watch crime shows), and no other unknown danger promising a fate worse than death... only to be plagued by grown-up fears that, let's be honest, are a little bit harder to overcome. Everyone has their own way of dealing with these fears (deny, deny, deny?) and their own go-tos when feeling afraid. I remember lying in bed as a kid (okay, last week) and chanting "What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee" over and over again while I tried to block out the creaking noises of my house that I was absolutely positive meant a murderer around the corner. But now that my fears are a little more... reality-based, if you will, I find I have to dig a little deeper. Not that Scripture isn't deep... I mean deeper into Scripture and other resources to silence that nasty little voice of doubt, worry, and criticism that comes from yours truly.

Lately I've been feeling really fearful in a lot of ways... but one of them has been in my writing. Life has been a little crazy the last few months and, in an attempt not to spill my guts about everything, I just haven't really written much about anything. And, as is usually the case when I'm not writing, I start feeling like it's not that great, that I don't have anything interesting to say, that I'm never going to write a book, or be a real author, or write anything worthwhile. (I'm a very positive person, eh?) As Jon Acuff says, it's easy to think that every topic has already been covered by "a million writers who are smarter than me." For whatever reason, it's easy to grow especially morose about topics like this when it's late and I can't sleep, last night was one of those times. Of course Jonathan, who is way too nice and always indulges my stupidity, helped talk me down from the crazy a little bit but he's required by law to tell me I'm not completely devoid of talent so... I take his praise with a grain of salt.

So this morning, while having my devotions, I turned to a chapter in Resolution for Women that I knew was right up my alley. (By the way, ladies, if you haven't read this book you really should.) Anyway, I'm reading along, enjoying Priscilla Shirer's writing style, as always, when this paragraph hits me between the eyes:

"Some readers will only hear, understand, and accept certain things when they read it in your words, from your perspective, written in your voice. We were each created by God to do our part. And if we fail to do it because we don't think it's valuable enough, great loss will be suffered. Someone, somewhere, needs you- in all your uniqueness- to step up to the plate of your calling." 

Um, okay. That slapped me around a little. It would be a cop-out to tell myself that these words don't apply to me, that they're for someone who is more talented, or more experienced, or more... different. But Jeremiah says that before we were even born, God knew, sanctified, and ordained us with specific gifts for specific purposes, so I have to believe that this is true for my life. Because to ignore that fact would be a contradiction of God's plan. I don't know always know what that plan entails, or what it looks like. Sometimes that makes me crazy, but mostly I need to remember that all it really requires is for me to do what I'm called to do. And whether that means writing poetry or ranting about grammar or sharing Disney playlists, I better be doing it... stepping up to the plate of my calling, whatever it is.


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