Holley Gerth recently wrote about how she sent these words in an email to the first (in)courage contributors: “Be courageous and write in a way that scares you a little.” As one of the early contributors, I remember when the email containing those words dropped into my inbox and how it affected me.
I was equal parts frightened and invigorated.
You see, in my early blogging days, I ran every post through a four-part internal filter before I hit publish: What would my dad/pastor/neighbors/family think of this? Would they think less of me? Would I be embarrassed? Would they be embarrassed?
I allowed this internal filter to prevent me from sending words into the world that might have helped other women, women who needed to know they weren’t alone or that someone else felt or thought the same as they did. Insecurity blinded me. It kept me from seeing that I had something to offer if I could get out of my own way and let God use me for His purposes instead of worrying about my own.
Holley’s prompt to write courageously prodded me to lean into my fears. When I did, I discovered something fascinating: the people whose reactions I feared most were the ones who reacted the most positively, as if they knew I had more to give and were pleased when I did. If I was afraid of what my dad might think, invariably he’d liked my Facebook status linking to the post. If I was afraid of what my children would think, I would find they’d left a positive comment.
I let fear quiet my voice. The desire to be a people-pleaser still silences me sometimes, but I rest in the knowledge that the people in my corner support me are are not looking for opportunities to tear me down. The world needs my voice, and it needs yours too.
Please join me today at (in)courage to read the rest of the post!