Have you ever struggled to make a decision? Whether it is over the large life changing events or the seemingly small stuff, we can all feel off balance at times.
Having always known that “someday” I wanted to write a book, when it came down to making a real commitment of my time and money, I suddenly felt a great storm of doubt. Surprisingly, all the “what ifs” plagued my thinking, until I felt physically ill.
Take a moment now and observe Rembrandt’s “Storm on the Lake of Galilee” This painting illustrates the event of Jesus calming the sea that we find in all four of the Gospels.
If you look carefully, you will experience through a variety of gestures, all the different ways people handle a crisis. Some work very hard to fight against the storm and others are frozen by fears and doubts.
As you scan the scene try to internalize every expression…
Ask yourself, “Who would I be in this situation?”
Can you see who the 14th disciple is in the center holding on to the line and looking outwards? Yes Rembrandt painted himself into the scene…very cool:)
(Recommended Listening: J.S. Bach St. John Passion Overture on Spotify)
I can honestly say that I experienced all of these emotions as I was trying to make the decision to write and publish a book.
“What if I find out I can’t write?” I thought….
“What if all my friends and relatives think I am foolish?”
“What if I can’t finish or I run out of things to say”…on and on it went until every terrible doubt swirled around inside me. “How could I become a student again after being a teacher for all these years?” “Could I withstand the feelings of vulnerability?”
After several conversations with friends and family, I decided to go to God in prayer. I can’t tell you that I heard trumpets or saw flashes of light giving me a crystal clear message, but I did suddenly feel calm enough to ask myself, “how would I feel if I didn’t move forward?”
The answer I heard came to me as a feeling of sadness weighing on me and filling me with a sense of loss. It might seem odd to say, but I felt heavy and empty all at once.
As soon as I decided to make the commitment, the storm lifted and I felt lightness and calm return to me.
Looking back, I can see that my fear of failure was so paramount that it was keeping me permanently drifting away from realizing my dream of publishing.
Yes, writing a book was difficult, but I enjoyed the process and working with the Ascent writer’s program guided me to produce a product that far surpassed my dreams.
As you experience your own indecision, hear these words personally:
“Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid?” “Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe… Mark 4: 39-41
Peace be with you as you sail towards making your dreams a reality:)