Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.

It’s one thing to whisper your dream to trusted friends. It’s another to have a stranger say, “Yes, we like your dream and want to partner with you in bringing your dream to life.”

At first, it’s magical—no, it’s worshipful. It’s humbling and exciting and overwhelming. You squeal. You cry. You feel compelled to tell the man at the post office that, contained in the large envelope you are mailing, is your very first book contract. You ask him if he is sure you don’t need insurance on it. You take pictures of your first check from a real publishing house. You skip to the mailbox to find a box of books your publishing house sent you—for free because you’re one of them now!!!

But then, Monday comes and your kids go back to school and suddenly your dream becomes your job—your responsibility, and things start to change. Your once intangible dream now has deadlines. Your once whispered hope is now discussed by teams of people. And you feel less than qualified to pursue your own dream.

The panic sets in: What have I done? Am I going to be able to do this?

The ability to form sentences seems to have left you. You stare at a blank screen and are convinced you hear it taunting you.

You begin to wish you could take your dream back. Make it your secret once again.

But no, the secret is out. The story must be told. Yet, you feel like the most unqualified person on the planet to tell it.

Breathe.

You realize that your breathing rivals that of Michael Phelps after finishing 80 laps in the pool. You draw in one slow, deep breath. You then exhale, and feel the cords of anxiety loosen ever so slightly.

You reach for your Bible—your anchor in this emotional maelstrom. Your fingers know where they are going before your mind engages. You open to a passage covered with stars, lines, and scribbled words. You smile as your memory floods with other times you have turned to this passage: the night before competitions in high school, the gripping fear of 9/11, hours before going into labor, the heartbreak of grief, the milestone of sending your babies to kindergarten. Once again the familiar passage provides the balm to your aching soul. You read the words you hold so dear:

“We have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are fixed upon You……Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, it’s God’s.” 2 Chronicles 20:12&15

Breathe.

Tears spill onto the precious pages of truth.

“God, I can’t. I can’t…..but You can. Will You? Will You write this? Will You take this dream—this calling You’ve given me—and bring it to fruition? I’m scared Lord. Really scared.”

An echo rings in your heart. A whisper tickles your soul.

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of [pursuing this calling]. For this [story] is not yours—the outcome is not yours, it is Mine. And I AM the LORD, your God.

My child,

Exhale your fear.
Inhale My Presence.

Exhale your fear.
Inhale My Presence.

Stay close to Me. Stay in My Word. Listen to my voice.

Exhale your fear.
Inhale My Presence.

Now, let’s get to work.


I tend to think that I am the only one who battles this kind of fear. The paralyzing, make you question who you are, kind of fear. But I am slowly starting to realize that this is not a unique quirk of mine, but is shared by many. If you are in a place of fear today, may I encourage you to stop and exhale. Exhale your fear and inhale God’s Presence. Run to God’s Word and ask Him to fill you with His peaceful Presence. Ask Him to replace your fear with Himself.

Are you starting something new? Are you scared of doing something beyond your capabilities, but something you firmly believe God has called you to do?

I get it. I feel the shaking feeling you have.

Let’s breathe together and then fix our eyes upon the One who promises to equip those He calls.

May you find your strength and your peace today in the One who loves you more than you can ever imagine!

IMG_0242

Much love,
Jen

3 Replies to “Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.”

    1. Thank you for commenting here 🙂 And I am honored that you would want to print the picture! I so appreciate you taking the time to write and offer such sweet encouragement. And I love your blog! What beautiful and honest truth you share! I love your transparency. Thank YOU for sharing!

      Like

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