The reality hit me last night that God’s promises for my life are coming true! I realize that I am seeing the early manifestation of what He told me He was going do in my life, however, it is still quite surreal. Honestly, I have been through so many hurtful and disappointing situations in my life, that at times I lost focus regarding my purpose. Frankly, I remember a time in the not so far off past, that I doubted that I would achieve or do anything great. Don’t get me wrong, I have always believed that I am smart, intelligent, and had potential inside of me, but that didn’t change the fact that I still struggled with feeling like I wasn’t equipped enough. I always seemed to feel like I was not as good as others. Don’t misunderstand, I never had the desire then nor do I have it now, to “outshine” others. It was never about that for me. It was however, about not feeling like I measured up to the ability of others. The irony of it all was that to look at me from the outside, one would NEVER know what I was secretly struggling with on the inside. Doing something Great! That’s just not something I believed I could do. I always believed I could do something good, but greatness was not a term I ever attributed to myself. Not until now!
You see, about 3-4 years ago–during my prayer time–God revealed to me that I struggled with the fear of failure. I was afraid to start certain things or finish them, because I feared I would be unable to achieve a level of greatness in it. As a result, I made a lot of excuses as to why I had to quit certain activities: basketball, piano, gymnastics, and even Ivy league college. I was a good student throughout school, but I never thought I could ever be Valedictorian. My internal struggle was great, and sadly, I never felt I could talk to anyone about it! I mean really–what would they say! Would they understand? Or would they judge me harshly? How do you tell someone that you struggle with a lack of confidence, which is stemming from a fear of failure? I couldn’t figured it out at that time. As a result, I lived with this struggle well into my adulthood.
So, where did this feeling come from? After all, I– like many of you, had a good family upbringing! I was loved by my family and had some good friends. Nevertheless, what many don’t realize is that its not your environment that necessarily determines your mental struggles, but it’s often what others say to you. For instances, my English teacher (who’s name I won’t say), always marked up my papers with thick marker. Although, I would write from my heart and soul, believing I was giving her my best—I always seemed to manage to get a C, D, and even an F. I don’t believe it was ever her intention to plant a seed of “lack of confidence” within me, the reality is–her words did. Remember, in my heart, I was giving her my best. I was a creative writer. Somewhat out of the box. Nevertheless, her sad looks over the top of her glasses with her mouth turned down, made me feel like “my best was not good enough!” Add to that, my mother (the English major) correcting my homework and asking me question after question regarding, “why did you use this word? Why did you write that sentence like that? Or look at this sentence, you forgot to put a comma here!” Once again, although not the intention, I begin to feel like I was not good enough or smart enough. No one ever knew that this seed was growing–not even my mother. There are other things that occurred in my life that effected me tremendously. The teasing of other children, the rejection of boys (because I wasn’t light enough or pretty enough in their eyes, a period of sexual molestation, the yelling of coaches during sports practices which created personal embarrassment to me, and often being overlooked or mistreated in my work place were other offending agents.
So back to the revelation that I was struggling with a fear of failure! Initially, I didn’t believe it! After all, I achieved the status of becoming a board certified physician, an ordain elder, an educator, a well know marriage coach, and mentor. I questioned God as to whether or not I was hearing Him correctly. His answer was a resounding– YES! I cried like a baby! I was relieved to know that someone else recognized my struggle and wanted to help. Honestly, I was so good at “keeping it moving,” and being “strong” that I didn’t even recognize WHAT I was dealing with anymore. I just knew I was afraid to go after the greater things in life because I did know that I would be the one to achieve it!
I know that there are others out there that have had my same struggle. Maybe you are in it right know. I want you to know that the only way to be free is to acknowledge the struggle and then allow the Lord to heal you! When I embraced the truth that God never lies, I realized that He truly did create me to succeed. It’s how He designed all of us. All of us have been designed by God with an amazing purpose. This purpose is Great! All purpose is great! When I really started trusting in God’s Word and His ability, fear began to dissipate. I am reminded daily that God determines my value, not others! Whether others recognize, acknowledge, or even invest in my value –doesn’t change the fact that there is great purpose placed in me! I see it now! I believe it now and I am living it now! I believe that we can all live this way –free!