One of the things—and probably the major thing—that can keep a would-be writer from doing what she’s been called to do is flat-out fear. With this month’s Strong and Courageous post, author Linda Yezak shares a childhood story to provide encouragement for whatever you’ve been called to do.
The Fear of Diving
In the ancient days, back when concrete swimming pools were newly invented and the high-dive boards provided the latest adrenaline rush to thrill seekers . . .
Okay, maybe not that long ago, but pretty close. I was nine. Swimming pools had been around for a while.
So, picture it: A scrawny, freckled redhead—mostly elbows, knees, and impulsiveness—climbs the steps of the highest diving board at the pool—an Olympic-sized pool, with an Olympic-regulation diving board. My mind is made up. All my friends have jumped off this board, and they’re down below, squinting into the sun at me as I force my feet up another step. Others who want to take the dive are climbing behind me, so I don’t dare stop. One more step. One more step.
Don’t look down.
I feel triumphant as I hit the top. I survey the terrain around me. It’s beautiful. And for a moment, I’m the world’s princess.
Until someone complains behind me. “Hey! You gonna jump, or what?!”
The board is wider than it appears from the poolside, so walking it isn’t nearly as frightening as I’d thought it would be. But going to the edge . . . looking over the edge . . . at that tee-tiny pool below, that I’m supposed to jump into . . . gulp!
I couldn’t do it.
The groans, growls, and outright cussin’ that went on while everyone climbed back down the steps so Chicken Little could run to her mommy are still vaguely lodged in my memory.
Fear can stop you from experiencing a wide variety of thrills. It can paralyze you from being daring. It can glue your feet to the ground and leave you at a standstill. It can force you to back up, to retreat.
And it can stop you from writing what God wants you to write.
Writers face a wide variety of fears: What if I can’t do this? What if I’m not good enough? What if my story isn’t good enough? What if God didn’t really call me for this? What if everyone hates it?
Recognize where those doubts and fears come from, and remember Isaiah 41:13. “I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, ‘Do not fear. I will help you’” (NIV).
Whether God called you to write or you dedicate everything you write to Him, He’s going to bless it, so the idea the doubts and fears come from Him can quickly be ruled out. Whenever we’re doing something for His glory, He’s interested and engaged. It’s not likely to be Him asking us to climb back down the steps.
So, what are you afraid of? Give your fear to Him and dive in.
Have you ever been called to do something and refused to back away despite your fear?
I don’t do giveaways through the blog posts, but Linda wanted you to know she’s running a special giveaway during her blog tour for Ride to the Altar. When you comment on any of the blogs in her tour, your name goes into a (figurative) cowboy hat in a drawing for the items in the photo: “a signed print version of the series, a 16-ounce Christian cowboy mug, a horseshoe picture frame, a Ph. 4:13 stretch bracelet, a cute set of magnetic page markers, and a Texas Rubiks cube.” Tomorrow (7/25), she’ll be visiting Seriously Write.
Linda W. Yezak lives with her husband and their funky feline, PB, in a forest in deep East Texas, where tall tales abound and exaggeration is an art form. She has a deep and abiding love for her Lord, her family, and salted caramel. And coffee—with a caramel creamer. Author of award-winning books and short stories, she didn’t begin writing professionally until she turned fifty. Taking on a new career every half century is a good thing.
Sandra Ardoin engages readers with stories of love and faith. She’s the author of heartwarming and award-winning historical romance. Visit her at www.sandraardoin.com. Subscribe to receive her updates and specials: http://eepurl.com/Xjqwr. Connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, and BookBub.