|One of my Paintings - a Dream come true|
stood filled with excitement, awaiting her answer. She said, “I doubt it.” In my childhood ignorance, I began to dance from the room, filled with anticipation. Then, I stopped in my tracks and turned once more to my mother, and asked her what “doubt it” means. Her answer. “It means, probably
not.” My mood sank like a rock in water. I learned I did not like the word doubt. And, I likely remained in a bummed mood the rest of the day.
I also know, for as long as I can remember, that I have held two dreams within my heart. The dream to learn to paint and the dream to write and be published. As a child, I knew these dreams would most assuredly come true. I had not doubt. I even sent both, a sketch and a written piece to those schools that were advertised on the back of match books. You know the ones. Anyway, I received very positive letters from both companies, informing me that I did have talent, I however was too young. Please contact them again when I was older. That encouraged my childhood dreams. I was good! I was merely too young.
Unfortunately as I aged, my childhood certainty, was being quickly displaced by the negative voice of doubt. Add to that the very polite, rejection letters I received, the few times I did dare to submit a childrens' story to publishers, and my dreams became unreachable foolishness. I gave up. Doubt overtook my dreams, nearly stomping the life from them. But Doubt would not be the victor.
We’ve all seen the pictures of an angel standing on a person’s shoulder, while the devil stands on his other shoulder. The devil shouting, poking and goading, as the angel quietly tries to encourage, uplift and guide. Doubt, as with the devil, stands on our shoulder, with megaphone in hand, screaming and ranting in our ears. Doubt, disillusionment, discouragement, dread. While our dreams, light upon our other shoulder, as a seemingly fragile bird, quietly whispering in our ear, our dreams, delight, destiny. It reminds us that God gave us our dreams, and our talents, and that He will see us through. But doubt is relentless, and calls in reinforcements.
Doubt comes in many forms. Self-doubt is a loud enough, then add to the mix the doubt of others, and we can barely hear ourselves think over the din of their mega-roars. How do our fragile dreams stand a chance against the power of doubt?
Have you ever watched a hawk, or an eagle, as it is being bombarded by swarms of much smaller birds. The little birds have great agility, and are able to swoop and dive, attacking the larger bird from all sides. I have to admit, when I see this I am rooting for the little guys, they after all are defending themselves from becoming the larger birds dinner. But in this case, picture the little guys as doubt. The larger, less agile bird, (a beautiful eagle) being our seemingly fragile dreams. Doubt swoops and dives, bombarding our dreams, taunting them with each pass. “Who do you think you are? You’ll never succeed! Remember those rejection letters! People will laugh. You’ll look like a fool. What if you fail?” Doubt calls in his friends, fear, low self-esteem, memories of past failures, and continues its attack. Confident that our dreams will crumble under the assault.
But, just as with the mighty eagle, our dreams, though they may lack agility, do have the power to spread their wings and soar, higher and higher, upon the current. Here’s the amazing thing. An eagle must head into the brunt of the wind, in order to soar. It doesn’t reach the great heights, by flapping its wings. No, it is the oncoming wind flowing under the eagles wings, which lift it to heights the smaller birds (doubt) can only wish for. Doubt continues its assault, but as our dreams spread their wings, and catch the current, doubt’s mega-voice begins to fade in the distance. It still screams, but we no longer hear.
Facing our doubts, takes courage. But if we can allow our dreams to take wing and soar, I can only imagine how incredible the view must be. I have faced doubt head on, and in the process have in fact learned to paint. Most of my paintings have been given as gifts, one hangs in my house, and two have actually been sold. I am also facing down doubt, by living my dream to write. This blog is just one example of my dreams taking wing. But my biggest dream, lives within my brain and my computer. It is my novel. Whoa! I said it. Some of you have heard me say that I’m working on a story. That’s the safe thing to say. Saying that I’m working on a novel, is not only daunting to me, but opens me up to doubt from others. This has been a fear - until now.
I believe God has placed this story in my heart and it needs to be written. Will I face rejection? You bet your sweet bippy! Will doubt try to knock my dream out of the sky? Undoubtedly. Will I fail? Only if I give in or give up.