Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Joy and 5 Fears of a Life of Mission

Nate Mundell Photography
The mission on your heart, the mission on my heart, the goals and the visions that we dream of carry with them all the possible joy you could imagine to have in a single life time.

The 5 fears I have experienced along the way have been great opponents.
  1. The fear of going broke.
  2. The fear of looking stupid.
  3. The fear of not having a sense of control.
  4. The fear of making the wrong decision (temporally and eternally.)
  5. The fear of succeeding.
The first 4 fears above strangled my heart and lungs for the two months preceding our departure to Hispaniola. They plagued me so much that I would dream about looking in bank account and finding it empty or about going back to my old jobs and people making fun of me.

They were tangible, aggressive, ominous fears that have been very real to me. The last one is devious though. The last fear on the list we hear about in success books and teachings. But it is very different to experience than to read about it.

A Most Subtle Fear

The fear of succeeding does not show up when you are worrying. I figure I thought-worried for at least 80% of the time leading up to our departure. With no guarantees, no clarity, and no income, this is easy to do. The other 20% of the time I dreamed about it succeeding, we talked about how good it could go, and planned-planned-planned.

It is during that happy, positive 20% of the time that the fear of succeeding subtly causes you to quake. Because, after all, what will you do if the mission board says "yes", of if that email you sent to the Haitian Ministry of Tourism says "let's do it," or if that big potential client that you took a complete risk in pitching says "ok, now deliver." That's the scary part. 

What if you have to deliver? I mean, you have planned for it. You have the skills and certifications for it. Shoot, you have done it many times before so you know how to do it.

But that is the nature of the fear of succeeding. It takes all the (good) emotion you have tied into accomplishing your dream and twists it ever so slightly to trick you into thinking that, just because you want it so much, it is something you are actually unprepared for, have never done and, likely (it tries to convince you) you could never really do.

Defeat it quickly with joy. Joy defeats any fear, especially the subtle fears, quickly.

The joy we have felt in our time here so far is abundantly clear. Sowing the seed of joy looks like burying fears, alive and kicking and screaming, deep into the soil of your soul. Bury them. They will spring up into fruit-bearing sprouts.

The Sprout of Joy

In the last week we have, finally after dozens of emails and phone calls, heard back from several organizations. The connections look promising. Even some of them may have work for us! 

Think about this for a second: In the States people said we were crazy for leaving our jobs, which was probably true in the middle of the economic crisis. What's more, the idea that we could find a place to serve was small. I mean, most organizations give their work to insiders, right? One step further, the idea of actually getting paid to maintain a mission center, or serve in an orphanage, or set up the tent and solar bag shower, and serve whatever needs they have, is ludicrous, right?

Wrong: We have begun conversations with several passionate people and organizations that would welcome us. (There were those dozens of unanswered emails, but I digress.)

Simply put, our seed is budding. We are experiencing the fading of fear, the beginning of work, and full experience of joy.

What's your mission being obscured by fears? Bury them. Bury them quickly. Because the season to harvest joy is assuredly coming.


Grant and Marissa Nieddu


photo: Haitian girl in red velvelt by Nate Mundell
photo: sprout from Learn English blog

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