Will it work?
What if I let her down?
Will it be too hard?
What if nothing changes?
What if I can't hack it, and I have to admit that I’m a failure?
These thoughts cruise through our brains as we’re staring down the barrel at something we know we’re meant to do. Our doubts stop us in our tracks and momentarily paralyze us.
I know this all too well. Fear paralyzes me, and I'm stuck in a dead stop, entirely ineffective. I can’t move. Can’t breathe. Can’t function with any purpose. I find that I get so concerned with my body, my hair, my house, my clothes, my work, my kids, and even my ability to parent, that I'm deadlocked.
Am I doing this right?
Will they applaud?
Will I be found praiseworthy?
Am I good enough?
A single word of disapproval or rejection is enough to shatter me for a while. The fear and anticipation of that word rules my life. I find that it's dictating everything.
I’m stuck. All of these thoughts are paralyzing. All of the things I should be able to do, the things that God intended for me to do, can’t be done. My limbs are dead and heavy because of the doubts that roll through my mind. I should be way over there, taking action and growing, but instead I’m over here, paralyzed by fear.
It reminds me of a story I've heard since I was a little girl. But this time, I’m in it...I'm the main character. (Go with me and imagine yourself in this story, too...)
In this scene, I'm horribly aware that I'm being carried on a stretcher. My body feels dead all over. It's just heavy and immobile. I can't move on my own, so others are having to carry me. It's humiliating.
But we're moving somewhere. I can sense it.
The anticipation of where we're going is making my heart beat faster. There's a buzz, an excitement, and I genuinely want to be a part of it. The friends carrying me toward the hum start shoving people aside, creating a wake through the crowd. My paralyzed body is so obvious to everyone there, and I wish I could hide. But there's nothing I can do now because I feel caught up in this oddly irresistible pull toward something, someone.
All in a moment, the crowd breaks free and that's when I see Him. He's the pull I had felt all along. He's the buzz, the heat. I knew I had to get here, somehow. I had to be near Him...to just feel His presence.
My friends set me down in front of Him, and I can feel every eye in the room on me, especially His eyes. My heart knows I need this, I need Him, but I'm so embarrassed. I'm ashamed of my condition. I wish I could have walked to Him and could have stood on my own two feet before Him with some sort of stature. I wish I was even a tiny bit impressive. But instead I had to be carried, because obviously I’m paralyzed. I feel pitiful.
But He knows this. He looks at me and sees me. And in that look I am keenly aware that He knows the full extent of my in-capacities, my limitations.
Yet I can tell He's looking at something deeper, not just the dead weight of my physical body. He sees something else there...
"Be encouraged, my daughter! Your sins are forgiven."
At first the word “forgiven” doesn’t make sense at all. In fact, nobody in the room understands. I can hear the whispers..."why on earth would he say that?!...he can't do that!...who does he think he is?!"
And to be honest, I was just hoping he'd say “you've got this, girl...walk!” But forgiven?
Forgiven means he sees the depths of me, the reality of my soul. He sees it all. He sees the fact that I am bound up and locked to sin. I am stuck in a place of pride, a place of believing lies, insecurity, doubt. FEAR. All of these things, this sin, is the true cause of my paralysis.
He doesn’t just see my immobility and fix it....he sees the root cause. And forgives it.
It's becoming clear now. Before I can move, before I can stand and walk with freedom, forgiveness has to happen. Until I am free from the sin that binds me, I won’t be able to move freely.
If I had half a brain, I would have seen it first. I would have said, “I’m so sorry! I’m so sorry for my obsessions, my shortsightedness, my smallness. I’m so sorry for not trusting and seeking your approval, but seeking the approval of others.” But I didn’t see all that. I didn’t see it until He said “I forgive you”. In that moment, when the sins were washed away did I become fully aware of their weight. Their paralyzing effect.
But it was already done. I was already forgiven. He shook them free before I could do a thing.
“Now get up and go!
Walk forward into the unknown.
Walk forward into my kingdom plan for you.
Walk forward into my promises.
Walk forward into my extravagant love and peace.
No longer let deadness and paralysis define you. You were meant for great things. Now go!”
I was so light, lighter and more weightless than I had ever felt before. I practically flew off the ground. My joints pulled into place, my muscles fired, my blood surged. I had a deep desire to use every breath, every light movement, and every ounce of energy I had to serve this man.
No more fear. No more doubts. No more paralyzing sin.
Pure, sweet freedom.
Get up and go!
Sweet sister, if you’re like me, it’s hard to see, let alone admit, the paralyzing effect that fear, doubt and insecurity have on us. It could be preventing you from moving, shifting, sliding into that next phase of life.
You might feel like you’ll be a failure and will have to quit and admit defeat.
You might be afraid to make changes in your habits, even though you know you need to.
You might completely doubt your ability to stay consistent.
You could be afraid of the difficulties of learning something new, and afraid to face your body’s weaknesses.
You could be terrified of finally facing your bad food relationship.
You might be terribly insecure in your body and don’t even want to deal with it.
You could be afraid that you're not "keeping up" like you thought you'd be able to.
Go to Jesus. Let yourself be carried if you must. Ask him to forgive you for these feelings and heaps of doubt and let him wash them away. They're paralyzing you, strapping you down and preventing you from doing great things.
And then listen for his words...”Get up and go!”
"The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing, but even greater things,
because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it."
John 14:12 (MSG)
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