Monday, August 11, 2014

Overcoming 2014

After Friday's post on Becoming 2014, my next logical post should be on leaps forward and triumphant adventures, but this post is not about those, it's about fear, more specifically, overcoming fear. Fear is so heavy and crippling. I was e-x-t-r-e-m-e-l-y afraid to attend my first conference, and that may seem so silly to many of you, but I think that some of you, may wholly understand. It's nothing new for me. I first experienced this fear when I went off to college, where some days it was so overwhelming that I could not even attempt to make it to class. Sometimes that one day would turn into three, and yes, it was very hard to keep my grades up not attending classes. I couldn't grasp what I was afraid of, but I knew that I was afraid. 

Then one day, twenty three years ago, I met the most kind and caring man, and we were married. We had children and I became a stay at home mom, and eventually began homeschooling our children. Intentionally or not, my world became smaller and very easy to control. Fast forward to now and our children are older and I want to explore my passions, you know, what I want to be when I grow up. And guess what? That fear that I buried so long ago- it's still there. It didn't go anywhere. It's just been in hibernation.  

Last Friday evening, was my first night at Becoming 2014 in the smokey topped mountains of North Carolina. At 6:15 p.m., I was supposed to attend the welcome meeting. I did not. I was so overcome with fear, I couldn't leave my room. Instead I buried myself in a scrumptious piece of key lime pie. You'd do the same, right? Then, I began to pray and wonder. I wondered how all of the women here had managed to get to the welcome meeting when I didn't. I wondered if I was the only woman here paralyzed by fear. In this whole huge conference center, was I the only one in my room? Prayer led me to reflect upon a reply I'd received from another blogger. I had commented on a post by Edie on her blog Life In Grace {she's blogging royalty y'all and she just happened to be speaking at this conference}. I had mentioned to her that I'd be attending the conference and that I was looking forward to hearing her speak, and also that I was quite fearful of my adventure. She replied, "My secret for myself at conferences is I try to not focus on myself and how nervous or fearful I am, but instead, I try to focus on others and see if there’s someone I can be a blessing to. It really helps!!" I prayed over her reply and was so grateful for her advice. She's quite right, you know? I did finally make it out of my room, whew! When I looked outside of my fear, I did begin to see others that were attending the conference alone. I smiled a little more freely, BUT I just couldn't get up enough nerve to say "hi" to Edie when she was done speaking. Small steps of progress people- small steps- I did smile more!

So now that my first weekend away has come to a close, what did I learn? I learned that fear is a huge, vicious monster that steals opportunities. I don't like it at all! I have many new goals for myself at this time in my life and every single one of them requires me to conquer my fear first. So, through baby steps, I will fight this fear and I will slowly but surely prevail. Becoming 2014 is now Overcoming 2014. And, now it's your turn- do you have fears standing in your way? Share y'all- share!

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  1. I'm so thankful for your post this morning, for your honesty and vulnerability! You are so brave to post about this and I'm so glad you made it to your conference despite your fear. I've dealt with similar fear for years. Your are such encouragement to me! Praying for overcoming for the both of us this 2014 and beyond!

    1. Danielle, I'm so grateful for your comment today! It does REALLY help to know we are not alone! Praying for you my friend!


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