September 6, 2018

A Hundred First Days of School - Finding Courage to Face Our Fears

I was ever so slightly venting to someone who had graciously agreed to review my book and these words flew from my fingertips into the email I was writing her, that everything about the book publishing process from point of contract to release date was feeling like a hundred first days of school.

Do you remember what it was like when you were nervous on the first day of school? Especially at a new school since you had moved and did not know anyone. Or, maybe you recently started a new job or new ministry that was a greater challenge than your previous experiences and you were overwhelmed.

Do you remember how it felt when everything was a giant question mark? You had to ask questions and ask for help, repeatedly.  

Every inadequate, insignificant feeling you thought you had already outgrown reared its ugly head.

Do you remember the times you had to fight your way through the fear? Did you choose to be brave?

There was so much to learn, and you tried and failed … and tried again, and eventually succeeded?

This is how it has felt many times this year as I have gone through the book publishing process for the first time with my devotional book First Breath of Morning with a traditional publisher. This experience has unfolded like a hundred first days of school.  

I have had to work up the courage to ask my publisher, or my editor, or my agent, one more question, or make that two more questions! Or three…! I am certain I have looked foolish at times and I know I have made many mistakes in the learning process and God’s grace and the grace of others have met me in my need.

My questions were answered. I learned what I needed to learn. The Lord calmed me when I grew anxious. He turned my worried eyes to His face and when my gaze stayed on Him my courage grew by leaps and bounds.

My human frailty was overtaken by God’s strength and guidance and He chased away my fears of everything new and reminded me to embrace the exciting opportunity He had placed in my hands.

There will be many first days of school we must face throughout our lives. God’s strength and guidance will give us the courage we need to embrace them all.

Psalm 31:24
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart,
All you who hope in the LORD.