I stared at the page on my computer screen, unable to write a word. Self-doubt paralyzed me as I attempted to fill out an application for a job a friend told me about. She said I’d be perfect for the position and could fit easily into the work culture at this company. I was thrilled at the thought of working there and quickly opened up the application form. As fast as the form popped up on my screen, the self-doubting questions began scrolling through my mind Am I good enough? Do I have what it takes? Will they want me?
I closed the application, and after several days of feeling fear and anxiety, I wish I could say that I meditated all of the negativity away, but I didn’t, I couldn’t. It felt too big. This was something I had battled most of my life, the question of my worthiness.
By day four, I was emotional and I broke down with my husband and we talked about the issues surrounding my questions. Then my friend called me, and I explained what was going on. She listened and said some of the most kind and compassionate things to me. From both my husband and my friend, I felt bathed in love and like a heavy beam was lifted off my shoulders.
In less than a week many of us celebrate Christmas, the birth of a savior, and I wonder what does this little Savior baby have to do with my real life adult struggles? How can he help me when sometimes I think all I’m good for is nothing? What can he do when I think surely there is someone more qualified, clever, intelligent than me to do the job, and all I want to do is stay in bed and throw the covers over my head? Can this helpless babe show me the way when it’s like someone has turned off all the lights and I’m terrified that I’ve walked to the edge of a cliff and my next step will take me over?
It might seem hard to believe, but yes, he shows me the way and his way is always the way of love. This Christ child tells me I’m a daughter of God when I feel unworthy, and yes, this little savior baby takes it upon himself to carry my adult burdens so that I don’t have to. He cradles me and envelopes me with his love, because HE is love, and my fears and doubts are chased away. This Christmas story of Love cuts through any and all barriers, and fills me with hope again.
The spirit of Christ spoke to me through my husband and friend. Their kind words of comfort quieted those voices in my head, the ones that suggested I’m not good enough. I needed my people to remind me who I am, where I’ve come from, that I’m the hero of my story, that I saved my children from lives of abuse, that I have a beautiful life now, and that I am headed towards a beautiful future. Most of the time, I can meditate the negativity away, but I’ve been steeped in rewriting my memoir and reliving much of the trauma. This, my wise friend said, was the reason for my intense reaction to taking a step forward, a risk that I wasn’t sure I was ready to take.
Our hope in God is an “anchor for the soul, firm and secure” (Hebrews 6:19.) Have you ever been in need of an anchor to hold you firm? Me, too, everyday.
The Christ child, the light of the world, encompassed all the love, beauty, power and glory of God in that little body, and his spirit lives within us today. I’m not sure I fully grasp what that means, but I think it means that we’re capable of mighty amazing things, much more than what we believe sometimes. Even Jesus said that we’d do greater things than he did.
We’ve been called to this time and this place to do this good work. He empowers us everyday to run the race set before us.
I’ve learned that fear is usually a sign that I’m about to do something big and important, so when I’m afraid and wonder if I have the skills to do something, I have a choice to make: I can let fear rule me, risk nothing, and do nothing with my life, or I can allow the fear to be there and trust in the God who created me, take a risk, do it afraid and step out in faith and boldly create a life of adventure, joy, and love.