What The Hell am I Doing?

My battle with doubt and fear as a new idea emerges

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.