In his book The Lifestyle of a Prophet, James W. Goll describes my own barrier to effectiveness. Goll writes:
What will I look like if I do this? What will others think of me? How well will I perform? …if we allow ourselves to be held back by the fear of rejection or the fear of authority or the opinions of others, eventually we will become people-pleasers, strangled by the anticipation of their opinions. …Fear can paralyze us while authentic faith propels us forward.
I already know the truth of this and when I feel myself becoming self-conscious, my best response is to get out of God’s way, say what I am given to say, and move on. (See All I Need to do is Show Up and Jesus, Keep me busy.)
But I find I have another barrier to true effectiveness…and true healing: protecting cherished hopes.
For the past two years I have been releasing worldly attachments: careers, possessions, reputations, dreams, aspirations, hopes, resentments, fears, illnesses,…
Last night, I wrote a letter to a person from my past. Seems I have been holding on to a hope…or rather, I have been reluctant to give up on a lost opportunity.
When I met this person shortly after becoming a single mom, over 25 years ago, I was immediately overwhelmed by a desire to be close emotionally, physically, spiritually and so much so that I could not behave normally. My fear of rejection was so strong that I could do nothing but create a situation that begged for it.
I have become aware, recently, that I was protecting this small cherished hope like a bar of chocolate tucked between two books in a bed side shelf…well-hidden and sweet.
But, in light of all that I have been able to shed these past two years, and in light of the clarity and strength of my connection to God that I am blessed with as a result, I felt the need to let this one go, too.
However, I am still human. The sealed envelope that sits on the table, stamped and ready to be put in the box, contains a weak and flawed attempt to let it go. How it is weak is how I am essentially asking if there is any similar feeling of regret on his part. How it is flawed is in how I failed to mention to this person just what my life is all about now. Like Peter during Jesus’ passion, I have essentially denied Who it is I follow…Who it is I serve…Who it is I love above all else and above all others.
For the most part, I am in a good place emotionally and spiritually. From that good place, I felt the strength to get this wrapped up and done. The writing of the letter, researching addresses, recalling events and feelings, however, opened small but unhealed wounds that have a bit of foul odor. There is still pain. It still hurts. I’m still disappointed. I still have tears to let drop. Jesus is the only one who can hold me now. and He does