The fear of connection and risking it anyway

The minute I walked through the market area, just outside of doors for the main session of the conference, I knew I was out-of-place. I was use to youth leader events  where we all wore jeans and Chuck Taylor’s or Catalyst where the hipsters are and the men far out number the women. I found myself with a group of mostly women, most the age of my daughter, wearing flowy skirts, big earrings and boots. Boots! I mean so. many. boots.

It’s just external. But it made me shrink back into the doubts I had.

The leaders were telling us to sit at a different table for each main session to get to know people. How do you get to know someone over one meal? That’s small talk. That’s not getting to know anyone.

It was agonizing. The common bond of writing seemed absent to me. Or maybe it was just me, my childhood fears of being the new girl. Again.

typewriter key type

It would be out of my comfort zone. I knew that. I also knew I had to go. I had to go to a blogger conference and just see.

I like having a place to spill these words that are too many to contain inside and I needed to see what this looks like in a bigger context. This whole blogging community and how could I grow and, yes, I just needed to take this risk.

***

If you saw me in my place you’d never guess the insecurities I have in new places. If you saw me with our employees or the men living in the residence, you’d think me a happy extrovert holding the confidence of a mature, strong person. You would be wrong.

Awards night

Awards night  sobriety awards

 

IMG_3371

It’s hard enough to muster the courage to say I’m a writer. I’ve known only one version of me and this new thing that isn’t so new….confuses me. I find myself wanting to grow in this craft, to see if there’s something there others will connect with but……the reaching out?

Can’t I just reach out in words, behind the security of the screen? If I can’t see you, you can’t see me, right? Except these words reveal what I carefully try to hide.

I say I’m determined this time. To submit articles to other sites, to engage in groups like this one and engage more with others. I even responded to being part of Sarah Bessey’s launch team for her new book.

(Big breath here.) One day, I’m certain this is the path I should follow. To see what might be the next chapter in life. And the next day, I’m just as certain it’s folly.

Today’s sermon preparation was about start. I thought it was for them, the ones in the chapel seats, not me. The last story was about a prophet telling King Ahab  that God was going to give the army of the opposition over to him. The King asked, “but who will do this?” The prophet replied, “Tis is what the Lord says: ‘The young officer of the provincial commander will do it.”

And then Ahab asked the real question on his mind: “And who will start the battle?” The prophet said, “You will!”

Maybe this is the start. Show me Lord Jesus. Calm the shifting tide inside me. Make firm your foundation, make clear your path.

Linking up with Kate Motaung as we work through a group discussion of the book, On Being a Writer. 

55 Comments

    • Debby said:

      I’m think some things we just don’t grow out of Patrick. Glad I’m not alone.

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
    • Debby said:

      I’m think some things we just don’t grow out of Patrick. Glad I’m not alone.

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  1. iwillbloom said:

    Very powerful post, Debby. I totally know where you’re coming from and can empathise with all of your thoughts and fears, especially the ‘chop and change-y mindset about having the gall to do this. I think maybe we have to be gentle on ourselves, as we forge through this pathway that doesn’t seem so easy to navigate but which will, I’m sure, expand out before us once we manage to get a foothold. [Loved, absolutely loved, the photo of where you write with the text overlay: so so beautiful, so poetic].

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Thank you for your gentle words Helen. Yes, we can be hard on ourselves. The photo – I love photo apps so I edit a lot on my iPad. This was done with an app called rdmagic. Love things that you only have to click to add layers and filters. Thanks!

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
      • iwillbloom said:

        Off to check out rdmagic….(I’m another who loves ‘one click’ layers and filters!!)….thanks for the recommendation (I absolutely loved that photo of yours!). Helen xx

        September 15, 2015
        Reply
        • Debby said:

          Helen, share some pics when you get the app. Are you on Instagram? I’m on there as Living In Graceland.

          September 15, 2015
          Reply
          • iwillbloom said:

            Hia….yes…I’m “iwillbloom” – will find you later tonight!!!

            September 16, 2015
  2. iwillbloom said:

    Very powerful post, Debby. I totally know where you’re coming from and can empathise with all of your thoughts and fears, especially the ‘chop and change-y mindset about having the gall to do this. I think maybe we have to be gentle on ourselves, as we forge through this pathway that doesn’t seem so easy to navigate but which will, I’m sure, expand out before us once we manage to get a foothold. [Loved, absolutely loved, the photo of where you write with the text overlay: so so beautiful, so poetic].

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Thank you for your gentle words Helen. Yes, we can be hard on ourselves. The photo – I love photo apps so I edit a lot on my iPad. This was done with an app called rdmagic. Love things that you only have to click to add layers and filters. Thanks!

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
      • iwillbloom said:

        Off to check out rdmagic….(I’m another who loves ‘one click’ layers and filters!!)….thanks for the recommendation (I absolutely loved that photo of yours!). Helen xx

        September 15, 2015
        Reply
        • Debby said:

          Helen, share some pics when you get the app. Are you on Instagram? I’m on there as Living In Graceland.

          September 15, 2015
          Reply
          • iwillbloom said:

            Hia….yes…I’m “iwillbloom” – will find you later tonight!!!

            September 16, 2015
  3. Annie Rim said:

    First, love “so.many.boots”!! My biggest anxiety when going to new places (from conferences to coffee with new friends) is what to wear. 😉 Second, I love watching you claim the title of writer and stepping out into that role. You are incredibly talented and encouraging. Thankful for your risk to share words that I need to hear!

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Oh, Annie, I grew up in the blue jean generation and seemed to forget that casual doesn’t always mean jeans! I went to a bridal shower for a girl who was in our youth group years ago. I wore nice jeans 😉 and a jacket and all the girls (who’d grown to women in their 30’s) were in dresses! And you know this FL girl doesn’t have BOOTS! 😉 I’m quite uncertain with this season of life. We are in a time of preparing for the next season. I want that billboard from God but he rarely speaks that way. Or when he does, I miss it anyway. Thanks for your encouragement. I do take it heart.

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  4. Annie Rim said:

    First, love “so.many.boots”!! My biggest anxiety when going to new places (from conferences to coffee with new friends) is what to wear. 😉 Second, I love watching you claim the title of writer and stepping out into that role. You are incredibly talented and encouraging. Thankful for your risk to share words that I need to hear!

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Oh, Annie, I grew up in the blue jean generation and seemed to forget that casual doesn’t always mean jeans! I went to a bridal shower for a girl who was in our youth group years ago. I wore nice jeans 😉 and a jacket and all the girls (who’d grown to women in their 30’s) were in dresses! And you know this FL girl doesn’t have BOOTS! 😉 I’m quite uncertain with this season of life. We are in a time of preparing for the next season. I want that billboard from God but he rarely speaks that way. Or when he does, I miss it anyway. Thanks for your encouragement. I do take it heart.

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  5. This is one of the big paradigm shifts for me in writing. Like plastering writing is all about community. I thought when I started it was all about me and what I had to share. How wrong I was. Thank you for adding your voice to this community.

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Joseph, you always make me feel welcome and valued here. I know what you mean about things turning on us. God is so good at that. great auto correct – “plaster” Joseph 😉

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  6. This is one of the big paradigm shifts for me in writing. Like plastering writing is all about community. I thought when I started it was all about me and what I had to share. How wrong I was. Thank you for adding your voice to this community.

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Joseph, you always make me feel welcome and valued here. I know what you mean about things turning on us. God is so good at that. great auto correct – “plaster” Joseph 😉

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  7. Pastoring…not plastering! Auto correct May just be the end of me.

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
  8. blessings debby:) i love your post! even tho’ i am an extrovert, i function like an introvert at big blogging events. i get intimidated by all the people who know what they are doing technologically b/c i don’t. but for them, it is often a cover b/c they truly are introverts and don’t do conversation easily at all. i have discovered that most writers tend toward introversion. it is funny to watch at these conferences. we hand out our business cards, then talk in groups of 2 or 3:) very few are raging extroverts. if you think of them that way, then all you have to do is have some good questions to ask people 1 at a time and you are good to go:)

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      You’re quite right, Martha. Great observations. We do all have some kind of “cover” don’t we? I often use technology as mine too. Thanks so much for your wise words!

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  9. blessings debby:) i love your post! even tho’ i am an extrovert, i function like an introvert at big blogging events. i get intimidated by all the people who know what they are doing technologically b/c i don’t. but for them, it is often a cover b/c they truly are introverts and don’t do conversation easily at all. i have discovered that most writers tend toward introversion. it is funny to watch at these conferences. we hand out our business cards, then talk in groups of 2 or 3:) very few are raging extroverts. if you think of them that way, then all you have to do is have some good questions to ask people 1 at a time and you are good to go:)

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      You’re quite right, Martha. Great observations. We do all have some kind of “cover” don’t we? I often use technology as mine too. Thanks so much for your wise words!

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  10. Gabriele said:

    Your post sparked many questions in my mind. I admire your guts to go out there and find out what this blogging writers world is like. You inspire me.

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      I’m not sure if it’s inspiration or I’m just plain crazy sometimes. My poor husband is never surprised when I come back and tell him how out of place I felt. Now you have me wondering what questions got sparked. Thanks for your kind words, Gabriele. Always a pleasure to see you here.

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  11. Gabriele said:

    Your post sparked many questions in my mind. I admire your guts to go out there and find out what this blogging writers world is like. You inspire me.

    September 14, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      I’m not sure if it’s inspiration or I’m just plain crazy sometimes. My poor husband is never surprised when I come back and tell him how out of place I felt. Now you have me wondering what questions got sparked. Thanks for your kind words, Gabriele. Always a pleasure to see you here.

      September 14, 2015
      Reply
  12. Kristi said:

    I LOVE your honesty! Thank you so much for being brave and sharing this! You definitely have a gift for communication, Debby. It’s exciting that God is calling you forward into some unchartered territory.

    Gulp. 😉

    You’re going to be fine, Debby. Just keep following Your Leader. He’ll let you know when and where and with whom, etc. Deep breaths… Baby steps behind Your Maker…

    Bless you!

    -Kristi

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Kristi, I can only think it was God’s timing that I read your comment. Yesterday was a toss and turning kind of day (aided by getting through a head cold). I was up at 3:30 a.m. unable to sleep when I saw your comment. Now I’m wrestling with not “reading too much into it”. Oh me of little faith! 😉 I’ll be taking plenty of those deep breaths and remembering your words that my steps come BEHIND my Maker. Thank you!

      September 15, 2015
      Reply
  13. Kristi said:

    I LOVE your honesty! Thank you so much for being brave and sharing this! You definitely have a gift for communication, Debby. It’s exciting that God is calling you forward into some unchartered territory.

    Gulp. 😉

    You’re going to be fine, Debby. Just keep following Your Leader. He’ll let you know when and where and with whom, etc. Deep breaths… Baby steps behind Your Maker…

    Bless you!

    -Kristi

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Kristi, I can only think it was God’s timing that I read your comment. Yesterday was a toss and turning kind of day (aided by getting through a head cold). I was up at 3:30 a.m. unable to sleep when I saw your comment. Now I’m wrestling with not “reading too much into it”. Oh me of little faith! 😉 I’ll be taking plenty of those deep breaths and remembering your words that my steps come BEHIND my Maker. Thank you!

      September 15, 2015
      Reply
  14. Christy said:

    wonderful thoughts Debby. I’m usually quiet until I get warmed up, then I’m pretty loud. the uncertainties, the unknowing, that’s what gets me. We wrote in similar veins for this

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      The unknowing can surely be our undoing, Christy. I know this is true for most. Another reminder we need one another to walk this journey. Thank you.

      September 15, 2015
      Reply
  15. Christy said:

    wonderful thoughts Debby. I’m usually quiet until I get warmed up, then I’m pretty loud. the uncertainties, the unknowing, that’s what gets me. We wrote in similar veins for this

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      The unknowing can surely be our undoing, Christy. I know this is true for most. Another reminder we need one another to walk this journey. Thank you.

      September 15, 2015
      Reply
  16. carlybenson said:

    Great post, Debby. I can totally relate to feeling and coming across as confident in some situations and not at all others. And well done for stepping out of your comfort zone and going to the conference and being willing to follow God’s leading.

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Thanks Carly. Sometimes I’d rather not take those steps – the ones out of the comfort zone. I tell myself even though our kids are grown, I want to continue to be an example in personal growth. It sure helps to have a supportive community and this book discussion is definitely that.

      September 15, 2015
      Reply
  17. carlybenson said:

    Great post, Debby. I can totally relate to feeling and coming across as confident in some situations and not at all others. And well done for stepping out of your comfort zone and going to the conference and being willing to follow God’s leading.

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Thanks Carly. Sometimes I’d rather not take those steps – the ones out of the comfort zone. I tell myself even though our kids are grown, I want to continue to be an example in personal growth. It sure helps to have a supportive community and this book discussion is definitely that.

      September 15, 2015
      Reply
  18. Kate Motaung said:

    So appreciate your honesty here, Debby! Love seeing how you’re wrestling through these thoughts and emotions. The fact that you’re here, writing, linking up and ENGAGING is huge. Keep pressing on, even when surrounded by a plethora of boots. 😉

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Thank you for the encouragement Kate. This group has been so helpful in all the right kind of ‘nudges’.

      September 16, 2015
      Reply
  19. Kate Motaung said:

    So appreciate your honesty here, Debby! Love seeing how you’re wrestling through these thoughts and emotions. The fact that you’re here, writing, linking up and ENGAGING is huge. Keep pressing on, even when surrounded by a plethora of boots. 😉

    September 15, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Thank you for the encouragement Kate. This group has been so helpful in all the right kind of ‘nudges’.

      September 16, 2015
      Reply
  20. judikruis said:

    “One day, I’m certain this is the path I should follow. To see what might be the next chapter in life. And the next day, I’m just as certain it’s folly.”
    A verse on my wall – “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
    I believe in you Debby – God has given you so many gifts in “communication” that are undeniable!!! I look forward to what more you will see as He reveals His plans for you!!

    September 16, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Your encouragement is a gift to me, Judi. I am thankful for God using you in my life.

      September 16, 2015
      Reply
  21. judikruis said:

    “One day, I’m certain this is the path I should follow. To see what might be the next chapter in life. And the next day, I’m just as certain it’s folly.”
    A verse on my wall – “I do believe; help my unbelief.”
    I believe in you Debby – God has given you so many gifts in “communication” that are undeniable!!! I look forward to what more you will see as He reveals His plans for you!!

    September 16, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Your encouragement is a gift to me, Judi. I am thankful for God using you in my life.

      September 16, 2015
      Reply
  22. Tara said:

    Some day I want to go to a blogging conference. You were so brave to go to one! Oh and so much THIS: “Can’t I just reach out in words, behind the security of the screen? If I can’t see you, you can’t see me, right? Except these words reveal what I carefully try to hide.” I so get that!

    September 16, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Tara, if at all possible for you, do go, do take the risk. Good or bad experience there is something to be learned and learning is growth. Glad we can connect even in our weaknesses!

      September 17, 2015
      Reply
  23. Tara said:

    Some day I want to go to a blogging conference. You were so brave to go to one! Oh and so much THIS: “Can’t I just reach out in words, behind the security of the screen? If I can’t see you, you can’t see me, right? Except these words reveal what I carefully try to hide.” I so get that!

    September 16, 2015
    Reply
    • Debby said:

      Tara, if at all possible for you, do go, do take the risk. Good or bad experience there is something to be learned and learning is growth. Glad we can connect even in our weaknesses!

      September 17, 2015
      Reply

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