When you eventually land the job, they don’t often tell you that along with the excitement comes an overpowering sense of dread.
The funny thing is this: I prayed so hard for this job, and I thought that this was something that I absolutely needed. Practically, it probably was – I really, really wanted the chance to grow, expand my capabilities and (obvz) earn some more money. But not long after I received the offer letter, I was riddled with tummy knots and questions of whether I was good enough to get the job in the first place.
What a liar the enemy is! Even right within the confirmation that I was good enough (the email read, “I’m delighted to tell you that we’re offering you the job!“), I could not actually focus on the joy and gratitude I should have felt in that moment. Instead, I dwelled on the possibility that I would fail and lose the position. And from these thoughts, the nerves came. The nerves of starting all over in a new work environment, learning new skills, being stretched and flung out of my comfort zone… it all came from this belief that I was not good enough, that I could not do it, and that I could not live up to the job description.
My nervousness stemmed from my fear of failure.
And here’s another harsh but crucial truth bomb: just because I’m a follower of Jesus, it doesn’t mean that my life is going to be free from failure or making mistakes or falling short. There will indeed be times where I get a task wrong, irritate my boss, or produce work that isn’t 100 percent perfect (and all the perfectionists gasp!). But as a follower of Jesus, there are powerful words and truths I can claim the authority of so that the place from which I operate is not from my own personal strength, but from God’s promises.
Isaiah 41:10 in the Message version says, “Don’t panic. I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you.” And as I write this, I’m literally emosh, and flooded with peace, thankfulness and a sense that, yes, I actually can do this. Not because I have the strength to (we’ve already established, I clearly don’t). But because God promises to give it to me: to help me, to hold me steady and keep a firm grip on me.
Right now, I’m picturing Him standing behind me with his hands fixed tightly on my shoulders as he encourages me and steers me along the path that leads to abundance in my life. He’s rooting for me. And with that truth now planted in my heart, I have a safe place to dig down deep and be anchored, and I have the freedom to burst from the ground and grow.