“Well, that was dumb.”

“Do you know what that sounded like?”

And my very favorite, “You have removed all doubt that you don’t know anything.”

That little voice that tries to make you doubt yourself. This journey into blogging has been one of hearing it, then following through anyway.

Hitting “Publish” feels dangerous every single time I do it. Actually it feels ridiculous. Like I’m five again, in my parent’s room, clomping back and forth in my mom’s high heels. Acting like I’m something I’m not.

And most times, it doesn’t make me feel brave, it makes me want to jump up, run from my desk and hide in the back of my closet.

Jeff Goins calls it shipping. He tells us despite what we feel, there comes a time when we must ship. We must take our hands off what we’ve created and send it out for others to see.

This runs contrary to my own belief of, “Don’t ship until you’ve made yourself crazy, rereading it and changing it and rarely feeling satisfied. Then? Then, maybe you ship. And after you’ve shipped, continue to panic.”

It’s in talking to a friend, that I see the same thing. That fear of shipping. Only we’re not talking about writing, but about creating something else. (Re)creating her life. Trusting God. About finding the blessings in what looks like an ash heap.

It’s hard for her to let go. To let go of the project called “Life”, and to ship, knowing it’s not the way she’d like it.

Right now it’s filled with fear and doubt. And the enemy is oh-so-quietly whispering his seemingly helpful advice of, “Best to carry this yourself … just in case … after all, how do we know God is really there?”

I can see those dreaded “what ifs” pop into her mind.

What if this overtakes me?

What if I’m not enough?

What if He doesn’t show up?

You could hold on to this writing, this project, this life forever, tweaking, making changes, waiting for the moment it is just right. When you’re ready to let go and turn it all over to Him.

But it might never happen. You might never feel ready. It’s likely your story will never feel complete. On every single read-through of your writing you will find a little something else to change. And on and on and on it will go.

You might be waiting until you have less to lose or until you’re out of the valley, and in that space of waiting, you will be living a half-life. Knowing Jesus, but never getting out of the boat.

If we were sitting together this morning, I would lean in and whisper the words I do not take lightly. Or as something to fill the air.

“Please, ship.”

I waited for so long to ship. Years ago, I’d been feeling like it was time, but there was always something. At one point I was pregnant, and that was way too scary to put in His hands, because what if His lessons came through that (I was good at ignoring the fact the whole pregnancy was in His hands anyway)? In retrospect though, there would have never, never been a good time for what came after I finally shipped.

Within three months, life took such a nose-dive, I could almost feel a door to the wilderness open.

I was in shock. And I was mad. Mad I’d finally shipped and that was the result. Mad at our pastor even, whose bright idea it was to turn it all over. Mad at God.

But God …

… brought life back at just the right time. More beautifully and with more depth than I thought possible. Slowly, a life defined by struggle, while not perfect, turned into joy. Something I’d only heard about. Only quickly catch glimpses of here and there … but never thought possible to live in day-to-day.

I didn’t know all life could be, but it took letting it go to find out. Trusting, if it is His plan, it is good.

{And even as I type that, still that little voice pipes up, “What if …” Does it ever quit?}

What do you say? Are you ready to head to the post office? I’ll keep you company while you wait in line. *grin*

Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.Proverbs 19:21, NIV

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