About a year and a half ago something began stirring within me, some desire I couldn’t describe or name. I became increasingly restless and bored with my life which was quickly followed by guilt because I have a great life and have been richly blessed. So, what the hell was wrong with me? Looking back now, it appears that God had plans for me and I had to be restless enough to accept the challenge. (Btw – I did say “God” for those who may be atheistic or skeptical. I will be talking about him every now and again because my faith is a big part of who I am. We can chat about that in another episode.) When I started my private practice, I prayed that my nets would be full to the point of tearing (reference to when Jesus told the disciples to go back out after a fruitless fishing expedition and their nets were inexplicably tearing with all the fish). Luke 5:1-11 So, I reached that point a couple years ago. I virtually always had a waiting list and periodically had to post messages on my voicemail announcement and website that I cannot accept any new referrals due to high volume. The waiting list was getting too long and I didn’t have time to continuously return all the phone calls. This sounds arrogant but it is simply fact. If I am good at my job I believe it is because God made me good. There is scripture that basically says I can’t do anything by myself but I can do great things with God (Matt 19:26, Mark 10:27). There are those, especially in my field of clinical psychology, that would balk at this statement. They would say if I have a thriving private practice it is due to my own expertise, that there is no supernatural being floating around in the sky dictating my life. Well, I respect their right to have that opinion. I have my own.
So, when God answered my prayer and my nets were indeed tearing with all the fish, I prayed another prayer. This one, I think, is called the prayer of Jabez. I asked for God to bless me and enlarge my territory. I had no idea what this would look like or what would be entailed. This podcast has been slowly coalescing for about the year and a half I mentioned earlier and I’m still flat on my back in the learning curve. I told someone recently that being 52 and trying to learn everything involved in starting a podcast sort of feels like being in one of those escape rooms except it’s filled with dense fog. I frequently feel like I’m bumbling around, feeling the walls for a door or anything that feels familiar. The insecurity, the doubt, the unknown, the confusion and feeling overwhelmed almost all the time. My conceptualization keeps shifting so that I never know what will finally gel. For all I know, this episode will end up on the cutting room floor as well. The only thing I do know is that I refuse to stop. At this point, I have no idea what will happen with this podcast. Will it resonate with people and maybe develop a following? Will it flounder, falter, and eventually flop? Will it become wildly successful so I have to wear a baseball hat and large sunglasses to the grocery store? Ha. I have no idea.
Here’s what I do know. Apparently, the type of podcast I’m going to generate requires no small amount of self-disclosure and blunt honesty on my part. This does not feel comfortable. I am an introvert by nature and am much more comfortable listening than speaking. However, when I do speak I can be labeled as rude or mean because I’m not particularly interested in beating around the bush or doing a tap dance rather than speaking the obvious. My head can be a pretty scary place to be and I feel God asking me to dump it out in these podcasts. I have been coming up with all these reasons why I don’t want to do that. In a nutshell, I’m not looking forward to being judged, criticized, and rejected. All of these will happen if I am honest. Hopefully, there will be many more who might see themselves in my podcasts and find a fellow sojourner, a few laughs, and maybe that doorknob in the escape room. I’m just saying it would have been much easier if God had asked me to do a podcast on the origins of chocolate or how to find the best parsley.