Last month I stepped out into a totally new level of dream seeking. Before I launched my Kickstarter project I was really excited, but as it got close to actually launching it, I got really afraid. I felt like I would be so exposed if I let people know what I was dreaming about, if I asked them to believe in my dream, or believe in me. What if they laughed, or ridiculed, or worse, just ignored me. I joked with friends that doing this next step felt like I was stripping down naked and running through the streets shouting.
I did it anyway. I did it scared. I did it with tears in my eyes. (For real, I literally launched the campaign and then burst into tears.)
It was a ton of work. I had to learn things along the way I didn’t even know I didn’t know. I had to press myself to stay focused and work when I didn’t feel like I had anything left. I worked as I drove 1000 miles in one day to be with family for Thanksgiving. I worked on Thanksgiving while sitting in my family’s living room. I worked the next day, too. I worked even though I could see that it wasn’t going to work.
Finally, the day came and I received the email, “We’re sorry to let you know your project was unsuccessfully funded…we know it took a lot to run the campaign…keep going…let us know if we can help…”
I was in bed, sick with a cold and pink eye, learning that everything I’d been aiming for, working for had failed. Pink eye. Failure. Sick.
My family didn’t even notice. They didn’t say sorry. They didn’t offer a hug.
When I got out of bed, life was just going on like normal. “One egg or two? Toast with that?”
How did they not notice? How did no one see how awful it all was?
But then I realized it actually wasn’t that awful.
I had learned so much. People, lots of people, HAD joined in and believed with me. People I didn’t expect. People who were generous beyond their means.
I saw that I was capable of more than I thought. I had been able to balance a crazy workload with family, teaching, mothering, cooking, cleaning. (Ok, maybe not a lot of cleaning.)
I was stronger than I thought.
And while my project “failed” I was having daily brainstorming sessions of all the ways I was going to get this book out into the world. I was dreaming bigger dreams and gaining more purpose for why this book had to be shared. I was becoming more determined to win, to succeed, to not give up.
I realized that it was all going to be okay. I was going to be okay.
I am on the right path. I’ve never known this more intensely than I do right now. I’ve never experienced the desire to try again before the failure has even happened.
I’ve heard it said that we only learn certain lessons when we are ready for them.
I have been afraid of failing for as long as I can remember. I don’t start new things if I think I will fail at them. I research and process all the way through to the end before I begin, just to be sure I don’t fail.
This has made my life smaller and smaller.
Playing it safe pretty much means you just stay home. Even at home, you can feel like you’re failing – I’m looking at you Motherhood.
I’ve gotten good at being at home. I’ve invited people to come to my home, to join me in my safe place. I’ve added things to my home that make me feel like I’m not just staying home.
But really, I locked myself at home a long time ago, I locked myself into my safe zone and I asked God to keep the key. I only trusted Him with it, I didn’t even trust myself.
He unlocked the door a while ago and has been very, very gently inviting me to come out to play, to feel the sun on my face, to smell the flowers. He’s been showing me what freedom feels like. He’s even whispered that if I fall, if I skin my knees, He will help me up and heal me.
So, I came out of my home, naked shouting in the streets, and I fell. There God was, hand ready, to help me up, to give me some clothes (Thank you, Jesus!) and to keep me moving forward in freedom.
Freedom feels good! Dancing in the sun feels good! Even with people watching, freedom is better than safe.
How about you? Are you dancing in the sun? Are you safe at home? What does it look like for you to step out in your freedom? Where is He calling you?