Jennifer Hallmark asked me how I got over my fear of success. It’s a good question and an easy one to answer. Well, the words are easy but the application isn’t always easy.
Trust in the Lord.
If you’re like most writers you had the inkling that you’d like to write. For some of us we had no idea what that was, for others we knew right from the start. For those of us who had no idea, we dabbled, doodled and scribbled. We read books and told ourselves how cool it would be to write like that, or that we could write better. After all, how hard could writing be? Really?
And then an idea hit us and we wrote a bunch of words. In my case, most were flowery to the point of choking, just ask my first critique partners. And if the words weren’t choking, they were jarring. In the beginning, we learned a little about the craft, mainly basics, and then we grew, if we were teachable. Not everyone is, I tried to be.
There came a time when I knew I loved writing and wanted to continue, but if I wanted to be like the greats I knew I needed to put my work out there for others to criticize. However, I was scared. I wanted people to like me, and my writing was a big part of me. I didn’t want to face criticism and rejection, most of all I feared failure. Failure at doing what God called me to do; write.
When I started to meet little successes, a few contest finals here and there, I realized I no longer feared failure, but success. There is a scripture in Luke that says to whom much is given, much is required. I’m not a huge fan of The Message, but I do like the translation of this particular verse.
Great gifts mean great responsibilities; greater gifts, greater responsibilities! (The Message Luke 12:48)
That’s a lot of weight to put on the shoulders of a spastic worry wart, and I tell you it scared me to death. Sometimes it still does. I mean, seriously, who wants to become successful only to have people start coming out of the woodworks and telling all of your past fumbles through life? And trust me when I say I’ve had a lot of fumbles. But I had to get over that, especially if I was to really step into the calling God had/has for my life.
Have you heard the song by Jeremy Camp Overcome?
We will overcome by the blood of the lamb, and the word of our testimony.
Each word in this short little verse is poignant, especially the small words we and our.
We/our- each of us
We are not only overcomers by the blood of the lamb, the blood that Jesus shed on the cross to cover our sins, but also by the word of our testimony. If not for the testimonies of others I never would have accepted the fact that God loves even me. If not for the testimonies of others I never would have fully understood God’s grace and mercy.
And so it is, that with the gift I’ve been given, much had been required and will continue to be required. I may never stand before thousands as Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore do, but God has given me a platform. With the success God has allowed me to have in publishing my stories I will be able to spread my testimonies throughout the world and prayerfully to many languages. God has given me the unique opportunity to write romance fiction, not that romance fiction is unique, but my stories are set in ancient Judah and prayerfully point to the cross and Savior, and that is what makes them a bit more unique.
I know, without a doubt, my success is God’s will. I have no idea what is around the corner, but I know as long as I’m seeking him, he’s in it, whether he wants me to write about drug addiction, teen parenting, rebellious children, cancer etc.. However, whatever he leads me to write, I pray I’m obedient so that my testimony may encourage others to look to the Lord and see the unconditional love he has for them.
If you’re fearing success, you need to examine why? Is it because of what’s in your closet, or is it because of something else all together? Pray, seek God about the fear choking and ask him to remove it from your presence so your testimony can shine in a dark world.
I leave you with this:
2 Timothy 1:7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of sound mind.
7 responses to “Fear of Success”
The trust issue again. Pops up everywhere with me. Why am I afraid of success? Hmm…have to think on that.
Jennifer, what it really comes down to is trusting the one who holds your future. He knows our tomorrows more than we do by far. I’ve learned I have no control. It’s all in God’s hands.
Love this! I have had a fear of failure/fear of success thing going on inside of me for years. Fear has ruled my life for many years–since long before I became a Christian in the fall of 2003.
Also love Jeremy Camp’s song (well, all of his actually!). Thank you for sharing this, Christina. Methinks I might have to print it out and reread…perhaps every few days…
Melanie, thank you for stopping by. I was so fearful. I feared storms. I feared missteps, so much so that if I walked out the in door at Walmart I thought God would strike me down. When you realize you have very little control over situations you just have to trust God that he knows what he’s doing and it’s all to glorify his name.
I am a huge Jeremy Camp fan! His lyrics, his testimony, his wife’s testimony (both of them) are just so on spot. Talk about God using people. Amazing!
I’m with Melanie. This is something I might need to reread on a regular basis. But really for me it’s not about the fear of success (I don’t think), but of failure. I’ve been average all my life-average height, hair color, eye color, school grades, and on it goes. But I don’t want to be an average writer. I want to do it well. I want to bring glory to my heavenly Father. I just don’t know how to get there. 🙁
Ginger, the fact that you write to bring glory to our Father is huge. Keep writing, keep praying each time you sit down to write. He’ll honor your desire to glorify his name all in his perfect timing.
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