My Dark Clouds
I didn’t know what else to call them. It’s hard to explain how I felt. On the surface, things seemed fine. They even felt fine. I was happy, confident, content… until there was the chance that things would get ‘too’ good. Then the Dark Clouds would roll in and sabotage any hope for success or abundant joy.
What was my problem?
It was a heaviness of sorts. Gloomy thoughts filled my head. Worry overcame my good sense. Fear permeated my soul.
I didn’t feel I deserved to be spoiled. For life to be easy. For rewards to come.
I hate disappointment. If things got ‘too’ good, something would surely happen to ruin it all, I reasoned. Perhaps I was afraid to jinx my good fortune by enthusiastically embracing joy?
Maybe this was a self-protection of sorts? A coping mechanism?
I can’t tell you exactly when this started or why, I only know how I felt when the Dark Clouds rolled in. I was afraid of hope and unwilling to fully submit to joy, so I stood vigilant guard at the door to my heart. I was in full-on protection mode, warding off any chance of rejection, defeat, disappointment, or pain. I focused my energy on only the things I could completely control; the ventures where success was guaranteed.
Yeah, and we all know how many of those there are!
Friends, have you ever felt this way? Are you afraid to truly letdown or show vulnerability? Do you hesitate to fully embrace excitement for fear something wonderful might be snatched from your grip? Is the thought of disappointment too painful or embarrassing to bear?
I believe allowing Dark Clouds to invade your mind indicates a self-sabotaging behavior and a spirit of defeat.
“I’m just not good enough.”
“Things never go right for me.”
“I can’t get too excited. Something is bound to get messed up.”
“Someone else will do it better, faster, smarter, etc. Why should I bother trying?”
“I don’t want to get my hopes up. It never works out well for me.”
“I just don’t deserve it.”
We undermine our joy by allowing Satan’s nasty lies to have a stronghold on our lives.
But we know better.
Our hearts and heads are filled with messages of God’s redeeming hope and love. His Word is true and we know He always has our best interests at heart. He adores us in spite of our imperfections and desires us to live lives filled with joy and goodness.
Yet, instinctively, we still allow our own spirit of fear to overtake the Spirit of God, which we know is the way and the truth and the light.
Chasing Those Dark Clouds Away
My Dark Clouds disappeared when I met my husband, Lindon. I want to tell you that it was just his overwhelming charm which made all the difference in my fearful world, but fortunately, I can’t tell a lie. In looking back on the transition, Lindon simply taught me, by way of our relationship, God’s truth for my own life.
I think I believed in Lindon, perhaps, more than I believed in myself. To allow the Dark Clouds to loom when he was around would have been to insinuate doubt about Lindon’s ability. Now I realize no one is perfect, but in my over-the-top honeymoon state, there was NOTHING my hubby couldn’t do well. It was easy to expect success from him. And even easier to reassure myself that if Plan A didn’t work out, we would work on Plan B together. Heck, even if we fell flat on our faces, we would have each other. There was no fear, no insecurity, no worry. Just incredible optimism and enthusiasm for all that was to come.
Then it hit me.
I truly wanted things to go great, but as soon as it got close, I became paralyzed by the possibility that this would preempt a ‘fall’.
The higher you climb, the further you can fall. Clearly I’m afraid of falling. Or heights. Or both!
I decided the possibility of failure needed to be an option in my life. No, I certainly wasn’t striving for it, nor did I desire it, but should it happen, it wouldn’t be the end of the world. I needed to get comfortable with taking a calculated risk, giving it my best shot, and dealing with whatever the outcome may be.
Even if that meant falling. And failing.
Look at the stories of those who failed in the bible:
- Peter failed Jesus by denying him three times. (Luke 22:54-62)
- David committed adultery with Bathsheba and then plotted to kill her husband. (2 Samuel 11)
- Joseph’s brothers sold him. (Genesis 37)
- Sarah doubted God’s promise and ability. (Genesis 18:1-15)
- Eve succumbed to temptation. (Genesis 3:6)
There are more. Many more.
Take Paul for instance. He KNEW what he was up against, for he had lived the very life of those he was witnessing to. If Paul had succumbed to the fear of failure, if he allowed anxiety to paralyze him, most would have understood. He had a legitimate excuse to be afraid.
But he wasn’t.
You see, Paul had God on his side. So did Peter, David, Joseph, Sarah, and Eve.
And WE have God on our side as well.
So how far can we really fall? I would argue, not far enough to excuse a lack of effort or warrant excuses. Not far enough to justify hopelessness or a lack of confidence. Not far enough to be afraid.
God has this big safety net ALL around us. Sure, within the net we’ll experience triumphs and defeat, but His glorious net is ever present, guarding us with His mighty protection and covering.
I don’t believe one MUST fail to find success, but I believe that failure can provide an important stepping stone TO achieving success.
Don’t let the Dark Clouds of doubt engulf your spirit. Don’t be deterred by anxiety or fear. Don’t fall short of the glorious life that God has in store for you. Step out in faith and embrace opportunity. Free yourself from the chains that bind. Make the most of each and every day and walk fearlessly in the Lord. Look up to the heavens. Do you see that ray of sun shining down? Are you soaking up its warmth while it penetrates your skin? Don’t miss out!
I challenge you today to make your own weather forecast, regardless of what the meteorologist has to say. Predict that the dark and gloomy clouds in your life will fade, and there’ll be nothing but sunny skies ahead, and then see that it happens!
You can do this!