I’m scared sick.
So right now I’m on the brink – I’m on the final hours of one professional identity on the verge of starting the next. Now I’m not a person who leads willingly. I just like to do things my way and a lot of times I’m surprised to look behind me and notice a bunch of people following me.
It used to be that I didn’t think much of it because, quite frankly, I didn’t care but as I have matured and Jesus has worked on cleaning up my character and making me shiny enough to reflect him, I have found myself being conscious of those that follow.
Don’t get me wrong – it still doesn’t mean that I gladly take up the reins and charge to the front of the battle line… it means that I am aware of those that follow and try to curtail my actions accordingly.
Oh I’m not perfectly good at it – I still say way more than I should (especially when I’m angry or frustrated) but every once in a while God pricks my conscience and causes me to bite my runaway tongue. It also means that though I might type exactly what goes through my mind, I usually hit the backspace button instead of hitting send on an email and sometimes choose to say nothing.
Right now I have a very panicked heart. I look ahead and my imagination conjures roadblock after roadblock. My mind highlights every challenge and makes it into an insurmountable wall … I am literally on the verge of a panic attack of the likes only experienced once (you can read that story here).
Before my mind goes black or my heart explodes, I’ve decided to put words on paper and set them free. Who knows, maybe someone else is going through a similar experience and needs to know that they’re not alone.
Or maybe someone has already gone through a similar bout and knows exactly what to do and will offer some advice.
Here are my fears concerning my upcoming promotion:
1. What if I can’t do the job? What if the requirements and qualifications are way more than I currently have? First some history: last year I (once again) reluctantly accepted a promotion. As of this moment, I still feel as though I’m not fully qualified to do what I do.
I feel as though I’m still learning and unfortunately you don’t know what you don’t know so I’ve pretty much been winging it. The good thing is: I wasn’t winging that transition alone. I had two coworkers going through the same thing and we tended to bounce ideas off each other.
2. What if all the weight, all the responsibilities, all the work falls on me? How do I prevent myself from becoming resentful and majorly grumpy and (insert six-letter word that starts with the meaning of female dog here)?
3. Where do I turn for help when most of the questions that I ask now gets met with a blank stare? I’m transitioning because my manager is transitioning – where do I get support now when all eyes will be turned in my direction expecting guidance and even help?
4. Is it worth it? Now let me first off say I’m not one of those persons who will do anything for money. There are a lot of things that I wouldn’t touch with a 300-foot pole no matter what you’re paying me. But at this point I have to ask: Will the increase in compensation be worth the level of time and effort that I will have to expend?
5. What if, and this is my biggest if, what if my Jesus goes away? Can I do this job and retain the core identity of who I am in Christ? Will I even notice it if I start losing my Jesus? Will I be willing to walk away if I do? What will it cost me before it gets to that point?
Okay, so that’s out. Now here’s the big question: what am I going to do about all that?
The fact is, there’s nothing I can do about it. The only thing I can try to do is tell myself not to worry as I typically tend to. I can’t do anything but there’s a man whose strength is made perfect in my weakness. I can just throw everything in his direction and he’ll catch it.
Not only will he catch it but he will somehow make it into this awesome experience – if I’ll let him. Maybe you’re going through something similar right now. Maybe you’re on the brink of something new, exciting or scary.
Maybe the screenplay writer in your head has projected a hundred different scenarios – all bad (why is it though that we tend to lean towards the negative?) and you’re worried because it feels so real … how do you get away from those negative scenarios so that you can get the real lessons, the true experience that God intended?
Well, the first thing is we need to stop worrying about it. I know. Easier said than done, right? But here’s what I’m doing: everything I feel the panicky feeling I remind myself that his strength is made perfect when I am weak. I remind myself that “Everything is in his control. God is good and he’s perfectly good at being God.”
Lean on Jehovah. As my BFC (best friend cousin) reminded me, God is a God of war. He is Jehovah Tsebaoth. He’s the same God that fought for Moses and Joshua and the children of Israel. God doesn’t ever change. If he fought for them he will fight for me too, he’ll fight for you. And if God is fighting the battle, you know we’ve already won the war.
Build positive triggers into my day. I recently read an article by Angela Herrington on this topic. Basically she was saying that we had the ability to change the tone of each day simply by planning ahead and setting up some things that will motivate so that a task that is usually a pain takes on a more positive spin. So that’s something that I’m definitely going to start doing.
Pray. Pray a lot. You know sometimes as Christians we underestimate the power of prayer. We forget that even though God knows everything because he sees everything, the act of talking to him about something is wonderfully therapeutic. And he’s the best possible person to talk to because he’ll never repeat it, he won’t beat us over the head about it and he actually has the ability to do something about it.
Leave yourself open to the Holy Spirit revealing himself. Here’s the truth – a lot of times we think we know everything and so we block ourselves off from what could have been an excellent solution.
One way we can do this when reading God’s word is by looking for the Bible verse or the particular chapter or story that we know addresses our fears, instead of allowing God to lead. It’s his book – he wrote it – don’t be surprised if he gives insight on a section of the Bible that you had never previously understood.
That’s my dilemma and the things I’m gonna try going forward, what tips do you have to offer? Have you ever experienced something similar? Share them with us in the comments below.