I struggle some when it comes to talking with people about my writing career. Friends will ask me how the writing is coming along or the status of my non-fiction book and I kind of freeze. I’m excited about my new direction of fiction writing, but I’m also scared to talk about setting my non-fiction book aside.
I’m afraid because I believe people will see my non-fiction effort as a failure and subsequently see me as a failure.
These negative assumptions cause all kinds of anxiety and come from the basic lie that what I do increases or decreases my value. It’s important for me to daily call out this lie and replace it with the truth. I am a beloved son of God and nothing can lower my standing in His eyes. (Romans 8:38-39)
Calling out the lie and replacing it with the truth is not just a daily practice either. Sometimes I need to repeat this process a few times in an hour before the anxiety starts to fade. Those are the times when I benefit from the practice the most though.
As the size of the problem, doubt, or anxiety grows, so does the size of the opportunity for God to show His love. Many of us rob ourselves of opportunities because we give up too early. I catch myself doing this with my writing career all the time.
I think to myself that I have worth because I’ll be a great fiction writer who impacts a multitude of lives someday. My thinking ignores the possibility of my incredible worth in this very moment. I unwittingly block God from speaking into my life because I’m looking to fix my anxiety on my own.
The best example of this problem comes from what happens when people talk to me about my writing. In the last few weeks, I’ve done my best to avoid talking about my writing with people who don’t know about my new direction. When the subject does come up, I quickly talk about switching directions before talking at length about fiction itself.
It’s not a bad thing to express my excitement about fiction and what I’m writing, but it’s not helping me to gloss over the fate of my non-fiction book. If I don’t give people a chance to react, I’ll never see their acceptance of me and I’ll miss a reminder of their unconditional love. I don’t want to go through life thinking my friend’s opinions of me might change because of my writing’s success; or lack thereof.
My conversations have looked something like confessing a sin to a close Christian friend and then pointing out something in the room to change the subject. I’d technically be confessing, but I’d miss out on experiencing a physical expression of Jesus’ unconditional love. I need that love to make it through the battle of life and I’ve been robbing myself of the opportunities to experience it.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’m going to challenge myself to open up more about my lack of success in writing and other areas I feel anxious about. Hopefully, I can come back in a few weeks and write a follow up post about experiencing some genuine conversations and reflections of Jesus’ love.
Do you have a part of your life that you gloss over in conversations with friends? Do you miss some opportunities to experience Jesus unconditional love through other believers? How could you better take advantage of those opportunities?
Please throw out some answers, thoughts, or questions in the comments and I’ll see you next week.
Image Copyright: Petras Gagilasby