I was never that girl…the one boys lined up for, the one girls invited to their slumber parties, the first one picked for a team, the cool one.
And though those feelings were always present while I was growing up, the worst years were middle school and into high school.
Kids were mean…and I’ll never forget that day during my freshman year of high school.
It had actually started out a few weeks before as I was sitting at lunch with a few of the “friends” I usually ate with. We’d been talking about a few random things, and I confessed that there was a boy in my algebra class who I thought was really cute.
For some reason they thought this was information worthy of bringing up repeatedly, even if he was within earshot. Because, you know, it’s fun to be fourteen and
Have I mentioned how much I don’t like mean people?
Mean people are bad enough. And mean girls are even worse.
They would talk about this little piece of juicy news, seemingly, day after day after day.
And what I didn’t know one day as I took my usual spot at the table? That they’d planned a little something.
How nice of them.
One of them leaned over and whispered to me, Hey, wants to eat lunch with you.
I remember giving them a strange look and questioning them, but these “friends” insisted that he was expecting me to go over to his table.
Reluctantly I glanced over toward him, and he saw me. My heart was pounding, but I took the risk and I picked up my things and stood up to walk over to him when all of his friends (and he was surrounded by at least eight or ten guys) grabbed their trays and left the table, leaving him alone with me walking toward him.
He looked at me, and we both realized what they had planned. And the look on his face said everything.
Sorry, I’m not interested. Get away from me, you big nerd.
Ok, ok, I might be dramatizing that reaction slightly…but let’s just say I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I’m pretty sure I went straight to the bathroom stall, closed the door, and let the tears fall.
It hurts, stings, leaves a mark. It damages identity.
I’m mature enough now to realize that those awkward, teenage years don’t define me as a person. I don’t think of them often, and I certainly don’t dwell on the day when I realized that those friends really weren’t friends at all.
But when it comes to dreaming?
Dreaming God-Sized dreams like writing books and being a blog contributor? (And maybe even working on a medical ship someday?)
I fear rejection. It kinda makes me shake in my gray, knee-high, boots.
And then I think about book writing and how it’s inevitable. At some point, there’s going to be rejection.
The day I handed over my rough draft to one of my dearest friends…the actual, physical, letting-go of the draft was painful. Here was my heart and soul on paper, and she was only the first in a long line of people who will eventually (hopefully!) read it.
What if she hates it? (P.S. Thankfully, she didn’t.)
What if I really am a terrible writer?
What if I get a bad review or a nasty comment?
What if there’s not a publisher out there who likes it?
Or, worse, what if I go through all of that and no one buys my book?
I suppose these are things all writers tremble over at some point…but this is somewhat new territory for me. And if I stare at that stack of rough draft for too many minutes, I start to feel overwhelmed.
Completely terrified to keep moving forward…those next steps scare me.
I fear that, as I take that next brave step, I’m going to be met with those words…
Sorry, I’m not interested. Get away, you horrible writer.
I listen to the enemy’s whispers far too often. I let him tell me that my writing is no good and that no one will want to read it and that I’m a nobody when it comes to word-sharing and heart-spilling.
Thankfully, I know the Truth, but there are always those doubts.
Because with risk comes the possibility of failure. Of rejection. Of a confirmation of those feelings of inadequacy.
I have certainly failed in my life, and I’m not finished with failure, I’m sure.
From being a wife, mommy and friend to writing, dreaming, and doing, there are those days when I feel as if I’ve failed miserably.
Each day I have to remind myself that I’m His.
That this dreaming? It’s for Him.
And whatever happens? It’s His plan.
And so I’ll pick up that rough draft again, grab my favorite pen, and pore through it. Pick out a few chapters. Send them with my (hopefully-soon) edited book proposal.
Allow my restless heart to beat fast and furious as I wait for a response, knowing that it’s part of the journey toward a dream. And it brings risk.
But along with that risk is the opportunity for the Giver of my dreams to bless unexpectedly and wildly.
And that’s what makes this dreaming and doing worth it.
Photo Credit: mararie