Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Cold Feet

In less than a month (thump, thump, gasp), I'll be getting on an airplane with six other bloggers to blog our Compassion trip to the Dominican Republic. When I said yes, I was convinced that blogging can make a difference.

I still am, I think. . . .

When I read Shannon's post at Rocks in My Dryer last week, In Which "Rock Dude" Comes for a Visit (about Compassion's Shaun Groves), I started to feel those heart palpitations when I thought about my own upcoming trip with Shaun.

It's cold feet. Cold feet doesn't mean that I'm doubting. They don't mean I'm going to back out. They don't mean that God's changed his mind. The about.com wedding section has a great article on cold feet. It explains why we get them (in regards to marriage): It's a big change, and we don't quite know what to expect. That is exactly my issue with this trip.

The article also gives suggestions how to deal with cold feet, and distinguishing them from real doubts. One idea is to write your fears down. They will either look silly, or you can then try to figure out if there's a solution.

My fears (and solutions):
  • There's the big life-altering one -- "What if God changes me?" or perhaps my bigger fear, "What if He doesn't?" When I commented on Shannon's post, she sent me an encouraging word via email, and I shared these thoughts with her, and she gave a very wise answer: God will change you as much as He wants to. Well, okay then. I can trust God with this fear. Problem solved.
  • What if no one cares? The Uganda trip was awesome. There were some great bloggers who went along, and I know that many in our community followed Shannon's and Sophie's stories. People sponsored children (I did!), people followed their journey -- not only to Africa -- c'mon they went to Africa -- but the whole pre and post-trip life-changes that occured. Well, this one is silly (and perhaps a little prideful). I'll go back to Shannon's train of thought on that one -- God will do exactly what He wants to do though this trip.
  • What if no one likes me? I'm thinking about my team mates here, and even though it sounds silly even before I write it down to de-bunk it, it's out there -- just like on the first day in a new class or at a new church. It's there. Since I was the first blogger who was confirmed on the trip (when Shaun contacted 5 Minutes for Mom for a representative), I prayed for the team that he was working on forming from the get-go. So again, shouldn't I trust God for the group dynamics? (Speaking of the group: Melanie just posted today about her process of doubts to confirmation to excitement, and did confirm my real call, not my fake cold feet. But then I got to thinking, the fact that Big Mama is going to be there brings a whole new fear to my mind: What will I wear?)
This very week in BSF we studied Moses' call from the burning bush, where God specifically answered every single one of his objections. Coincidence? Perhaps not.

I never used to have an answer to that "What's your 'life verse'?" question, but over the last few years, one has stuck:
Teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain a heart of wisdom -- Psalm 90:12.
And it fits. Those six days, November 2 - 6, are a part of my God-ordained days. I pray that I will gain some wisdom about God's view of the poor and my role in helping them.

9 comments:

Corinne said...

I love your verse! Thanks for sharing your heart. I think you've got the answers right. This may be just one of those things where the discomfort and anxiety is part of the process, and you've got to to just get through that part to get to the real thing. Giving it to God and trusting His timing and plan is the best way to do that (although I'm the first to admit it's easier said than done!). Beautiful post. I'll be praying for you.

Katrina said...

Thanks for sharing so honestly, Jennifer! Our family has been talking quite a bit about Elijah lately and a lesson that we learned from his life. So often we, as humans, judge our "success" or "failure" by outcomes. But really, success is about walking in obedience and trusting God for the results, whatever they turn out to be. Sounds like you're well on your way on that path!

Carrie said...

Amen and good thoughts! A good word! Will be praying.

Karla E said...

Jennifer, three thoughts and one reminder.

-God has changed you MUCH over the 10 years I've known you...he will continue.
-I care...others will too.
-Have anyone ever NOT liked you? I can't even imagine someone not liking you.

AND...Don't forget to vote before you go.

Big Mama said...

I've had all these exact same thoughts. We'll get there together and do what God has ordained.

Plus, two Aggies on the trip? We're destined for greatness.

Kelly said...

What an amazing opportunity for you, Jennifer! God has definitely impacted my life significantly through mission trips I have gone on. I will be praying for your team and look forward to your posts.

Owlhaven said...

Jennifer,

I am looking forward to meeting you!

Mary

Musings of a Housewife said...

I'd be feeling the same way. But it sounds like you have the right perspective. I can't wait to hear all about it!

Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) said...

It sure does help to get our fears out of our mind where they are swirling around confusing us and put them down on paper (or blog.) They really aren't so scary when you see them staring back at you, so small next to scripture.

It will be GREAT. God is GREAT. And God is sending you. :)