Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Fear of Exposure

Waiting for my domain name to be established so I could officially launch my blog, a long held fear of exposure set it. It’s a familiar insecurity. I love to write, especially about my faith. The process brings me joy. I don’t know how else to describe it. That joy usually lasts while I’m preparing my work for publication, no matter how limited or intimate my circulation might be. Until now, it has been by letter. Letters meant endless checking for typos and finding just the right stationary. Now with the advent of the blog finally arriving in my outdated universe, it's stressed phone messages to my blog designer, who I gave birth to, and discovering how many other women share my name and coined my blog title. Who knew there were so many “Anne Kinskey”s out there?
I feel great as I put the letters in the mail. It's a sense of accomplishment, that I am somehow answering a call to share my faith with others. For a few minutes, I feel like a confident disciple. Then doubt creeps in: what if it’s really stupid? What if I’m a mediocre writer and no one has the courage to tell me? Similar “what if’s” creep in after I prepare a meal for a family in need in our community. “What if they don’t like it? What if the chicken isn’t cooked all the way?” “What if I give an already ailing family food poisoning?” Thoughts like these have a hey day in my insecure little psyche, running wild, laughing all the way down the slide of my low self esteem. Eventually I take a deep breath and blow them off because the chicken’s been delivered or the letter’s in the mail: it’s too late to retract anyway.
So today, waiting for the blog to come up and having to prepare dinner for my sweet friend Mary, my insecurities were looking forward to an afternoon at a full service play park, possibly Disneyworld! I decided to have my nails done, as I’m off to a Christian Writer’s Conference tomorrow - another opportunity for fear and doubt to wreak havoc on my confidence. Nicole, who could possibly be an angel, began to work on my really tragic finger nails. As we talked we discovered we were both mother’s of four. My four were just a few years older than hers. We were both raising young twenties and teens. No wonder my nails look so bad.
Nicole’s eyes lit up when I said I was a Christian Writer. I no longer say “I’m hoping to be a Christian Writer”. See, I did pick up something from the last seminar.  Nicole loves Christian blogs and Facebook groups. She was so excited to listen to my ideas for the blog, I felt enthusiastic and uplifted. In the time it took to cut a few cuticles, okay they were really bad so it wasn’t that quick, I had a new friend and a new network of potential Christian readers and sources to encourage me – pack it up fear and doubt, the play park closed early today.
Leaving the salon with my nails looking significantly better and my spirits much improved, I headed home to finish preparing dinner for my friend. My usual dinner delivery panic set it when I asked my oldest son Andrew to try the roast. At 16 he pulls no punches, “Well, I liked the last one better.” That was it. No, “but this is good too Mom”. So I resorted to Peter, my youngest, my angel, who at 14 is usually wise enough to forgo “blatantly honest” and settle for “whatever Mom wants to hear”. Tonight all I got was, “Well, I never really liked roast anyway.” Confidence back in the skids, I loaded up the meal and set off for Mary’s.
Mary has been battling cancer since her surgery last October. Her chemo has been brutal. In all the nights I've delivered dinner, I’ve never seen her, she’s been too weak to socialize and sometimes even to sick to get out of bed. Tonight much to my surprise, Mary answered the door. She admitted she didn’t plan on answering the door; she hasn’t wanted anyone to see her. She has been extremely gracious in sharing this experience with us through emails. She is a gifted author. But to be with Mary for even a minute is like soaking up the sun; she is so full of genuine affection for others, that knowing she is suffering has been a heartbreak for all who know her and miss her warmth.
We were both shocked to see one another. In that moment when she threw her arms around me, it was just joy. That was it - just a wonderful, joy filled moment. Mary was still Mary, the warm-hearted, exuberant, out going person who always had a hug for you. I don’t think until that moment she realized it, even though not one of her friends ever doubted.  No matter how many body parts cancer got, it couldn’t get Mary. Mary had felt so sick for so long, I don’t think she recognized how beautiful she is to all of us, full of energy or not. We talked a few minutes and laughed and hugged and it was a gift that is difficult to explain.
I headed home to eat what was admittedly “not my best” roast with my family; and then back up to church for another commitment. Tuesdays are always long days, and I'm away from home most of the day and evening with meetings and classes. Trying to get a dinner ready for another family took some advance prep work and I was tired, but felt so very blest to have had the opportunity. Preparing for the conference has been intimidating: I even skipped my afternoon class on “Faith Foundations” so I could get my hair and nails done, which during Lent is rather ironic but probably fodder for a entirely new post. But through all of it, God was using those around me to gently, and joyfully encourage me along the way. No matter how hard fear and doubt try to coerce me into letting them out to play, God consistently heads them off at the pass; not with miracles - with ordinary, wonderful people who just go through life sharing His love with others.

The blog is launched; thanks to my wonderful daughter. The inspiration is there; thanks to God who surrounds me generously and abundantly with examples of His love and encouragement. As far as I know, both families survived the roast. Thank you all, for joining me on the journey. I look forward to seeing you again, along the way.

1 comment:

  1. Anne,

    This is great. Very real. Something that people can relate to. Well done!