OF COURSE life mission is scary! It wouldn’t be worthwhile if it wasn’t. But should fear be something that we let stop us? OF COURSE NOT! Mission is, like everything valuable in life – scary, new, thrilling, overwhelming, stressful and exciting. But ultimately, we don’t do mission or not do mission because of how we feel about it.
We do it out of LOVE. That’s it. And that’s all the reason we need.
I keep getting some feedback that I want to address today. It is that life mission is scary. Of course it is! Everything that’s worthwhile in life is scary. Think about your first date. Think about your first college exam. Think about getting married, having a baby traveling to a different country or going up to bat for the first time in your first little Little League game.
Everything that truly builds our self-confidence, that brings us joy or that makes us feel fulfilled is scary because it’s new and we’ve never experienced it before. We don’t want to fail, we don’t want to look stupid and we worry about what everybody else is going to think. We also don’t know how hard it’s going to be.
What I want to say about life mission being scary, is, again, of course it is. It wouldn’t be worthwhile if it wasn’t. It wouldn’t be awesome and amazing if it wasn’t. Adventures are scary but they’re also thrilling and that’s what life mission is.
It’s a big adventure.
I told a story in a previous post about when I started a book club several years ago. People were coming and it was growing and doing well. One day, I got a call from this woman who asked me if I could come and speak at her house. She said, “My sister and I want to homeschool and my extended family is having a really tough time with it. My parents are kind of giving me grief and everybody thinks it’s a bad idea. So I need you to come over. I need you to speak to them and tell them why it’s okay; why it’s a good idea; why God would be okay with it. And, most importantly, how our kids aren’t going to turn out horribly if we do it.”
I remember that phone call so clearly because it was such a scary phone call to get. It was the first time I’d ever been asked to speak anywhere.
So told her, “No, I don’t think I can do that. I’ve never spoken before and I really don’t know what I’m doing.”
I had a friend who helped me with the book club and I knew she could give a great speech. I told this woman on the phone, “You should ask her. She’s a more experienced public speaker and she knows what she’s doing.”
This woman responded, “No, we want you to come and speak.”
I was like, “No, I don’t think so.”
This went on for like five minutes. Finally she said, “Audrey I really have confidence in you. I think you’re going to do a good job. You’re the one that knows how to put it the right way to them and I really think it’s going to go well. I believe in you.”
I was petrified. I know it was only going to be 15 people in a living room but I was the main show. I didn’t want to look stupid. What made it even scarier was that it wasn’t just about me. I was scared for myself. I didn’t want to look dumb and I didn’t want to say “umm” five million times in front of these people. But these women were depending on me to make really good arguments for them so that their family would support in something that they felt really inspired to do. So it was even more important to do a good job because it was for them.
I prayed hard. I studied hard and I wrote down a bunch of ideas. I don’t have any idea how good of an actual presentation it was. I told some personal experiences, I read some scripture. I don’t even remember what I said. Afterwards, they were confident that I had done the trick. They were very grateful and thanked me many times.
Not long after this first public speech, I started getting asked to speak at conventions. GUESS WHAT? I had to just keep facing that fear and facing that fear and facing that fear. Today I still get a little nervous before I go out on stage but it’s not anything like it was that first time. The more I fill my mind with images of the people that I’m trying to serve the less scary it becomes.
When I was preparing my first speech, the more I thought about the mothers and their children and especially their families– that didn’t support them; didn’t understand the history of education; didn’t understand what true educational principles are; didn’t know what these women planned to do and why it would really benefit their families–I knew that I could share some things that would really help them and that gave me the confidence to do it. The more I focused on these women and this need that they had, the less worried I became and the less fear I had.
Because it wasn’t about me. That’s really the key.
Life mission is going to be scary. Everything worthwhile is inherently scary but we overcome that fear by focusing on the people that we’re loving. As you work through the first 4 Laws of Life Mission, you’re going to be thinking about all the people that you’ll be serving. You’re going to be discovering all these cool things about yourself and sharing that with your children and your friends. You’re learning more about them so you can love them better. You’re putting these principles in place in your life and they are benefitting everyone. You’re reading awesome things about people from all over the world and all times in history. You’re thinking about other people.
And the more you do that the less afraid you’re going to feel.
That’s really the key. If you look back at The Mission Driven Life and you really ponder the lives of the ten Booms, you’ll notice they never talked about themselves. It just was never about them. They weren’t really concerned about how they were going to look and what people were going to think. They couldn’t afford to because they were trying to love people. That’s what we’re called to do.
Just like Mother Teresa said, “Our mission is to convey God’s love.” We’re going to love other people; we’re going to focus on them and that’s going to help the fear to diminish a bit. Then we’re going to keep pushing forward.
We’re going to use the Facebook group and all the other tools at The Mission Driven Mom to help us to work through these fears. I’ll tell you the other thing that battles fear; it is knowledge. The more you know the less afraid you’ll be. Keep educating yourself and you’ll notice that the fear diminishes and diminishes over time. Your confidence will grow and grow and grow as you continue on this mission path.