Yesterday I wrote a blog post titled “Will Someone Please Burn My Chicken” (https://angelamooreblog.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=1348&action=edit&message=1) that talked of my stagnation and hesitation to do some things that I would like to do or use to love doing because I was…well, chicken.
A dear friend read the blog post and sent me a text message asking when I became so timid. The question took me aback for a moment because I didn’t have an answer. I truly didn’t know. I’d never taken the time to find out. So I replied, “that’s a good question”, and simply left it at that. I wanted to know when, and why I’d become timid so I dug deep within, searching myself for those hidden little tidbits that no one knows of except God and me. I asked. He answered.
What I came to know around 7:03pm (CST) on Tuesday, February 11 was that I’d gotten the wind knocked out of me and didn’t know it was time to toss the inhaler, breathe and simply be. Many of the things I listed as victims of my chickenitis were things I’d already done, or am fully capable of doing. Broadcasting, writing a book, teaching others about media, even dancing are all things I know I can do, but the reason I hadn’t yet, or again tried to do it was the key behind my chickenitis. So before I submit my chicken for burning, I’ve decided to pull back to skin.
As I take a deep breath, and type at the same time, here it is…I was afraid of failing because I’d already done it. Whew! Woosah! Cluck! Cluck! Cluck!
There’s something about failing in something new that doesn’t seem to sting as badly as failing in something you’ve already done. When you’ve already done something, and if you were half-way decent at it there’s a level of expectation that makes failure an even more real and paralyzing threat. That is not of God!
I thought, as I drove home from an amazing retirement party of my former CEO who lead the YWCA for 34 years, that my problem isn’t my timidity of the future alone, it’s more rooted in not living up to the past. Now, I’m a Christian, and I totally thought I believed the Bible regarding my future being better than my past, God’s plans for me to give me hope and a future, and all of that good stuff. So why was I convinced that the way I’d done it before was as good as it was going to get. In pulling back the skin of my chickenitis, I realized that my divorce and direction of my career had a great deal to do with it.
During my nine-year marriage and the nine years I worked in Media/Marketing/PR I was able to do a lot of things that only God knew I was capable of doing, particularly in the areas of events, speaking, writing and teaching. I love planning and hosting amazing, life-changing events. I love exposing others and myself to new things. Even more I love being an avenue to bring different people together as I’m changed and God using me to help change them for the better. When my marriage ended, not only did my husband leave, but I was left without a church family, a network for resources that I’d cultivated for years, a physical building with which to operate, a covering and a job. To make the chickenitis more clucky I really think that my biggest issue wasn’t the divorce, but that at God’s urging I’d left my job/career in 2003 that I loved so much and really was able to do a lot of the things on my “list”, and now was left starting over, and that was scary. Thank God for Jesus, and His ability to heal me of the more acknowledged parts of divorce that can sometimes take people out. But subconsciously I must have thought that because I wasn’t married, because I didn’t have money, because I didn’t have a high-profile job or influence that I wouldn’t able to plan amazing women’s retreats, or do fabulous media or teach preachers how to speak, or publish for pay, or even learn to dance because. I must have believed that if I did try them and they did not turn out better than when I did them before it would be yet another failure tied to two other (perceived) failures…divorce and giving up my career. I didn’t realize until yesterday that those realities (and the “madeupness” I came up with in my own mind) punched me in my gizzards (as in chicken gizzards) and I hadn’t tended to it to get back up and fly.
Well, I’m ready for my chicken to fry because it’s finally time to fly…