Waiting, Self-Doubt and Heroes

You are wasting your time. No one will see or appreciate your work. You’re failing.

Photo by Alex E. Proimos, sourced from everystockphoto.com.

Photo by Alex E. Proimos, sourced from everystockphoto.com.

Even though I haven’t been consciously thinking those discouraging thoughts, they’ve definitely been on my mind over the past few weeks. Self-doubt has been infecting me. Quietly hovering on the edge of my subconscious, a general feeling of failure and foreboding has been like that sticky black goo that covers Peter Parker in Spiderman 3. Strong, dark, evil, and hard to get rid of.

Why?

Part of it is my addiction to affirmation. God’s weaning me off it, and this novel-writing venture is certainly stretching me. It will be a very long time before an agent, editor or reader tells me, “Good job!”. In the meantime I must plot, research, write, read, re-write, edit, edit, edit, re-write and so it goes on.

To put it simply, the waiting is frustrating. Alone at my computer, sometimes I feel insignificant, unworthy and foolish.

But then God reminded me of something I should have known all along: everyone has to wait.

Abraham stayed childless for decades. Joseph served time first as a slave, then as a prisoner. David was chased from cave to cave. Even Jesus spent years building tables and chairs. I’ll bet they were all tempted to feel forgotten, useless or alone. Yet when the time was right they founded nations, ruled empires and saved the universe.

The book of James opens with the words, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you face trials of many kinds”. (James 1:2 NIV, emphasis mine.) Pure joy? That’s right. Because God is teaching me perseverance; giving me maturity. Same as He did for them.

It’s a little humbling. Suddenly I almost feel proud that God is asking me to wait. I’m sharing in an experience that all the greatest men and women of faith have gone through. It’s an honour, really.

And so is God’s reminder in Psalm 139 that I’m not alone. Even when it’s been just me and my computer all day, God’s actually paying pretty close attention.

Blog 136 O LORD, You have searched me

and You know me.

You know when I sit and when I rise;

You perceive my thoughts from afar.

You discern my going out and my lying down;

You are familiar with all my ways.

Before a word is on my tongue

You know it completely, O LORD.

Psalm 139:1-4 NIV

 

How about you? How do you feel when you’re stuck waiting? What do you do about it?

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4 comments

  1. Jessica, I too struggled with feelings of insignificance while I was waiting and “hidden”. I was waiting for external approval or a sign from God, but little did I know that God was teaching me to stand without any sign from the external. I believe that this is the greatest of faith – when we can stand and be strong, and HOPE without any external sign such as prophecies, people’s approval or recognition, outwardly happenings etc. As I write this I am reminded of Elijah who was waiting on the rain, and I feel some revelation coming on . . . ๐Ÿ™‚ But I just wanted you to know that you’re not alone in this and now I just tell myself that “it’s” coming and has almost reached – that thing that I am hoping for. I tell myself, like you (and that’s the awesome part that you were saying the same thing), that I am privileged to wait, because the “longer” I wait, the “greater” “it will be”. ๐Ÿ™‚ (see my new post sometime day – I am getting some revelation here! You can edit out this part when you approve the comment – I don’t want to advertise myself on your blog ๐Ÿ™‚ )

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