I’m afraid to fail. There it is, in print, my greatest fear in life. I’m afraid to fail as a mom, as a wife, as a pastor and as a human being.
Sadly, there have been seasons of my life where this fear has been an asset and I’ve learned to rely on it. For example, church plants have an 80% failure rate. Logic might suggest that statistic alone disqualifies me as a church planter. Instead, it became the perfect driver. We set out to plant a church and I refused to fail because that would have been more than I could bear.
At a conference in Nashville two weeks ago, we talked about the dangers of leading out of our fears versus our true self (true self defined as, “the me that is essentially me, uniquely reflecting God’s merciful, undeserved presence inside of me”). I had a lightbulb moment, realizing just how much I had been leading out of my fear of failure. I had become paralyzed, unable to make decisions in case that decision became the decision that led to a failure. I was pleasing people to build a hedge of protection in case I did fail and I needed people to love me so much that they wouldn’t be able to see it. I was so busy worrying about what I thought I could control that I forgot Who is in control.
Craig Groeschel once said, “Be careful not to take too much blame for your failures or you’ll be tempted to take too much credit for your success.” Wowzers!
Here’s the deal, I can’t allow fear to call the shots. Especially when the thing that I fear is inevitable. I will fail. I have failed. I do fail.
His grace is enough. It’s time to go big!
2 Timothy 1:7 – “God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, love and self-control!”