Have you ever felt fear rising in you because there was a situation coming up that was completely out of your control? One that had a very high probability of leaving you alone and/or looking foolish?
I experienced that very familiar scenario tonight... yet it had a different outcome than that to which I was used to.
Normally, my heart would fight with all it had in it to get my mind to remove me from any potential situation that would leave me in such a state. Or if it was unavoidable, I would dread each minute that it ticked closer. Tonight was no different. My heart didn't want to be feeling this fear so it took its cue and the self-pitying, miserable statements and questions started to ricochet around in my mind.
But in the midst of this usual routine, I was asked a question that stopped me in my tracks. Now it was specific to this exact situation and doesn't really need to be shared. However, it was what the question led me to that changed everything. I think a good name for it is: "THE POWER OF THE UNDEFINED".
Here I was freaking out about a situation I had no control over. I was fearful to keep walking towards it. I wanted to run, but I had not even defined what success in this situation would look like. I had not taken the time to think about that in the event my fear came true, would it actually matter? Would it have any actual effect on my self-worth or my goals?
I'm reminded in this moment of a friend of mine that likes to counter the "what ifs" with saying "even if...". Even if such and such happened or didn't happen, what would happen. Did that matter... really? And what remains true even in the midst of the worst case scenario? Does it really change anything (who He is or who I am)? If so maybe that needs more reflection and understanding. If not, then...
What was I wanting in this particular situation? Why was I sacrificing focusing on what God had for me in it for finding my worth in a particular outcome... an outcome that wasn't even defined yet? It's madness if you think about it.
Why are we wasting so much time fearing that which we haven't even defined? That is the power of the undefined. For when I actually changed my question from "What will I do if such and such happened?" to "What is the purpose of this particular event in my life and how do I want it to go?" all the power it once held melted away. As soon as I defined it, rather than ran from it, it lost its power over me.
If you look at the picture I chose for this post (for the top banner) - I think it perfectly depicts moving from our usual pattern of fear and from analyzing the wrong thing, to stepping out into something different. Sure the mess is familiar and may feel safe but it is filled with confusion, self-pity, and sadness.
We are NOT meant for this. We are meant to walk on water and to do that we need to step out of the boat. We need to bring all of it into the light. No more feeding the usual patterns of fear by telling ourselves lies.
Even if _________ the world with not end! And better yet, with taking the power from the undefined and giving it back to the only One who actually has it... there's life, joy, and peace found there.