Right now, if I’m honest, I can tell you that I truly miss my comfort zone. At times I feel like I’m living someone else’s life. Everything that was comfortable to me is gone and replaced with unknown things that are terrifying. I miss curling up with a good book and reading with no feelings of guilt. I miss hanging out with my kids and, at the busiest of times, hearing the sound of their laughter. I miss going through my days, with little or no responsibility. I even miss cleaning my house.
My life has become hectic and unpredictable. There is so much more to being a published author than I realized. Now there are lots of emails, phone calls, interviews, and so many fears to overcome. There are days when I feel so overwhelmed with it all. I just want to snuggle in my husband’s arms and beg him to make it all go away.
I’ve allowed the fear to overcome me. My stomach hurts, I’m so tired at night I can’t sleep, my body aches and my mind races. I feel like I’m always going a million miles an hour and when I get one problem taken care of, three more surfaces. Yesterday was one of the worst days I’ve had in a while, and yet, it was wonderful because it enlightened me.
I’m only one person and I can only do so much. Sometimes we have to prioritize our lives and realize that if we don’t get it all done today, then that is what tomorrow is for. God doesn’t ever give us more than we can bear; however, sometimes He does push us beyond our comfort zones to show us our true capabilities.
I’m terrified of interviews and public speaking. I want to deny them all. I’m afraid the fear will paralyze me and I won’t be able to say a word or that I’ll say the wrong thing. Yesterday I felt myself closing off from it all. I was retracting and the negative feelings were bombarding me. And in the height of my misery, God intervened and reminded me that it’s not just about me.
So what if I say something wrong or fall flat on my face. Is there anyone perfect? Could anyone cast stones at me for failing, if I tried with my whole heart? But what if God gives me something to say to help someone else? Wouldn’t just one opportunity to help someone else be worth a thousand failed attempts?
I’m not perfect! Nor will I ever be. I have a southern accent and heart full of love. God knew all of this when He blessed me to write these books. I also know that regardless of what I face, God will always be there for me. It is through Him and by Him that I can make a difference, and isn’t that the whole point?
I REFUSE to allow fear to overtake me. I refuse to allow the devil to overwhelm me. I refuse to allow the devil to steal my joy. Of course, I will still get nervous. In fact, I hope the Lord always blesses me with that dread to keep me humble. However, I learned through Zippy’s story that courage is being scared to death, but doing it anyway.
I’m so thankful for all of the beautiful opportunities God has given me. I love it when He blesses me to tell of His greatness. I love it when I think I’ve made a complete and utter mess of the situation and God still makes me look good. I love it when He talks with me and calms my fears. I love it when He steps in and causes the devil to flee from me. I love it when He blesses others through my story.
It is so precious when someone tells me my story touched their life and changed it in some way. It is so precious when a child stands and begs their parents to buy them Zippy and the Stripes of Courage for Christmas. It is so precious when someone takes the time to make a special sign in my honor and even put zebra stripes on it. It is so precious when a child’s eyes light up when they look through my book, and then tell me of their favorite part. It’s so precious to see them connect with Zippy and his story.
All of these wonderful blessings, I received outside of my comfort zone. I’m nothing more than a work-in-progress and my Lord has so much more to teach me and help me overcome. He also has an abundance of blessings just for me. It’s not His will that we succumb to fear, but rather overcome it all through Him.