What does the word enemy bring to your mind? Does it conjure up a picture of a tough-looking, dirty, smelly, wild-eyed man? Someone who is behaving in an erratic and unpredictable manner? Or maybe in your mind an "enemy" is an animal with ferocious teeth that is about to take a bite out of you. What if I said I think most people encounter their worst enemy every day when they look in the mirror.
I know I do.
I wrote and published a book about my life in 2011. The experience of writing down my life struggles was very cathartic for me. I am proud of the book, I think it's message can help many people. Once in hand, I had a website set up as the primary way to distribute the book and as a way to continue writing. During the last 18 months I have worked consistently to promote my writing endeavors.
There have been many days when I felt the book was going nowhere...I felt sheer annoyance at not being able to figure out the right avenue. Yet, never enough frustration to give up the challenge.
Then there are those days when someone will send me a note, email, or message on FB saying how much they enjoyed the book, what the story meant to them. Many people, I guess because I was so brutally honest in the book, felt they could share with me the intimate struggles of their own lives. This has happened often enough for me to continue to work at taking the next step in getting the story to a larger audience.
I believe God (through a wonderful woman named Liza) is offering me the next step on my writing journey, which is to speak about the book.
Honestly, I am simultaneously excited and scared shitless about the opportunity.
You see, my biggest fear in life [besides dying in an airplane crash over the ocean...God I hate the movie Castaway] is speaking in front of a group of people. Doesn't matter if it's 3 people or 30 or 300...the idea of standing over people, looking at them, and them looking up at me makes my heart race. But, not enough not to do it.
When I think about where this fear comes from, I realize it is because deep inside I don't feel "good enough" or my message isn't important enough to share. But then I reread all the notes I have gotten over the past 18 months, and I know God is calling me to take the next step. I am driven by something I cannot explain.
The next right step for me is to show up Friday night and to speak to and with the women who graciously give me their time and attention. I know this is what God wants me to do. And now that I have committed myself to following His purpose for me I will take any and all steps necessary to share the message of my writing.
I once read a wonderful story in a book called God Never Blinks, 50 Life Lessons for Life's Little Detours by Regina Britt. The story is called, "Don't Compare Your Life to Others' You Have No Idea What Their Journey Is All About" in which Britt paraphrases Buechner who says, "the place God chose for you is the intersection where your greatest joy and the world's greatest need meet."
My greatest joy is connecting with people and listening to their story. So, as nervous as I may be, I will find the courage to take the next right step in the hopes that by sharing my story, others will feel comfortable enough to share theirs as well.
When the next right step shows up in your life, will you be willing to take it?