I can honestly say I am not afraid of ebola.
I am not afraid that I will be blown up by a terrorist.
I am not afraid that I will contract Aids.
I have only had my cholesterol levels checked once.
But, every now and then, when the elevator door opens, I fear there might be a dead body in there.
On the writing journey, I have come to realize that it's the stones in the shoes that continually irritate, and slow the pen down. It's the nagging doubts about the call to be a writer, the value of my words.
And time and time again God provides reassurance and confirmation. He knows that I am made of mud.
About two years ago I went skiing in the mountains, after a lengthy time of not skiing. At the time, I was close to completing my book on the grief journey, and was experiencing a case of Capital-D Doubt. What was I thinking to let people in on my personal sorrow? How was this all going to play out? I knew I was afraid ... the fear of vulnerability.
Nature nourishes my soul and this day I had planned to ski the mountains. In order to go down a mountain, on two skinny pieces of fibreglass you have to focus on the immediate. The slopes of Mount Norquay intimidated me when I was younger, but I had almost forgotten. This day the chair lift took me to the top, I could see the valley of ten peaks to my right, absolute beauty all around, a sense of majesty, the bigger picture; and then, there was little old me. And I felt that recurring fear, what was I thinking to get on this lift? Now I'm at the top of a mountain, and somehow I have to get down.
At that moment, I had a flashback to when I learned to ski ... the taste of fear in my throat because I could not see ahead of me, unable to make my legs move because all I could see was that the mountain dropped away. I had been sure I would fall off the edge. A good friend came alongside and said to me ... “Jocelyn, the mountain will unfold.” And it did back then and this day again. As I got to the edge, it was not so steep, there was a way down to the next edge, and the next. That day on the mountain, God reminded me with a personal object lesson ... all these things going on ... they will unfold in their due time.
Trust in me.
It's a process. I did not get chair-lifted down the mountain, No, I still had to ski, but as I did, my legs regained their strength, I stopped to catch my breath, take a moment to appreciate the incredible beauty, the sense of freedom, and most importantly God's presence making me feel very much alive!
Too often the fear of the future steals my hope of the day ...
When I reread my journals, I wonder why I seem to have to go over this doubting business again and again. And then again. And praise God, he keeps answering.
“For I am the Lord, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, 'Do not fear; I will help you.'” Isaiah 41:13 NIV
When the doubts return, I raise my right hand and picture God taking hold of it, the help comes.
And I wonder if all writers are doubters, or do only doubters write?
Jocelyn blogs at: http://whoistalking.wordpress.com