Sunday, October 11, 2015

The What If? Plague

This is Day 11 of a 31 Day Challenge. Catch up on all the previous posts here.

What If. What if I choose the wrong graduate program? What if we get pregnant as I'm about to start school again? What if we move away from this city where we've grown roots? What if...?

These questions can peck at my hope until I'm left curled into a fetal position on the floor. The uncertainty of the future creates a monster that grows stronger as the fear deepens. It's the kind of fear epitomized in horror movies. You stare blankly as the demon moves in closer. You know it will steal away your life, or worse, but you can't move. You're paralyzed.

As a recovering perfectionist and people pleaser, the What If? Plague can swiftly descend on me and destroy an entire day. Recently, exploring my dream of writing and researching possible graduate programs has caused a resurgence of Plague days.

Friday was one and yesterday evening another episode.  These moments are punctuated by an overwhelming panic of not knowing what to do. More than not knowing what action to take, is not knowing what will be the right action for myself and our family.  I dwell on the issue until I shut down. If I cannot find a tidy answer, I shelve the issue and walk away. Last night, I drew a swift conclusion that would end the ravages of my plague symptoms: "Maybe now isn't the right time to pursue my dreams."

Can you relate? When things get messy in life and you have no control over the outcome, do you panic, freeze up and not move forward?

 I have only recently discovered the cure to this paralysis. It's to remind myself that failure is an option.Read that one more time. Failure is an option. It's to remind myself that I am still loved even if I take a step out onto the limb and it breaks. The act of stepping out will just propel me forward into the next thing.

So if you're in a similar place, suffering the crippling affects of the plague, remind yourself that you have the permission to fail and also, that God knows the future, and his love will not change. Just keep moving forward.

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