It’s late as I am writing this, but I have been inspired. What you have to understand is once I am inspired it puts me in a crazy state where I won’t be able to concentrate on anything else until I have the words out of my head. That includes not being able to focus on sleeping. Therefore I have decided to write what is in my heart and mind, and I will ask your forgiveness (all like 6 of you who have read or will read this blog) if there is anything misspelled or if my grammar is not what it ought to be.
Now what inspired this post is in part to the fact that I wear an eight year old hoodie. More like I wore an eight year old hoodie when it was all raining and cold outside. This sweater is from high school, more specifically it is from Shakespeare team my junior year. No I wasn’t on the team, but I did go to support them. After all who doesn’t like to get out of school? Now on the back of this sweatshirt there is a quote from one of Shakespeare’s plays. The play is Measure for Measure and the quote comes from act 1 scene 4.
“Our doubts are traitors and makes us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
I’ve thought this quote through a lot over the past few days. As a back story I suppose I should tell you about the last few months since getting my mission call. I got my call in March, but I wasn’t to leave until August. Which will have left me to waiting about five and a half months. These past few months have been rife with trials, and a lot of them come from within. Granted there were a few hard things that were out of my control that came from outside sources, but those aren’t the ones I am focusing on in this blog tonight. Right now I want to talk about the challenges I have created in my own mind.
I feel woefully unprepared to do this work that I have been called to do as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only last year I was changing my entire lifestyle as I was coming back to the church. Everyone says that I will do great, but in my head I wonder if it is true. How can they possibly know that I will be able to preach about Jesus Christ? I get nervous in crowds of strange people. I am not great at talking and sometimes I am not nice. These things and many more have been weighing on my heart. The weight seems, sometimes, too much to take. There have been times where I have considered giving up, and not going. There are times that I get scared to leave what I know to venture into the unknown. It scares me that in just a little over six weeks I will be going to the Missionary Training Center, and from there going to Canada.
Granted I know that it is just Canada, but it will be the first time that I have left the United States. I have been pushing it out of my mind as the time seems to whoosh by so fast. I hope that ignoring it will make my nerves go away or perhaps I ignore it because I am unsure how to deal with my insecurities. It really doesn’t matter why I have been ignoring it. Now, though, you are all caught up. Let’s refocus on that quote that I brought up before.
“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”
I bet you can see where this post is going now, but before you decide you’re done with it please finish reading. These past few months have been filled with doubts ranging from different things to others. In those moments I allowed my fear of being inadequate (or whatever it was at that time whether it was failing to make a difference or just plain failing) to overcome what I knew I was supposed to do. I allowed my fear to overcome my faith. I let it overcome the faith I should have in myself, but more I allowed it to over come the faith that I have in my God. You see I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go on a mission, but I just kept feeling like it was the place that Heavenly Father wanted me to be. In these moments of fear and anguish I lost sight of what was really important. This work isn’t about what I can do, and it isn’t about what I can say. It is about what the Spirit can teach people about Jesus Christ.
Now let’s talk a little about how I allowed my doubts to almost make me lose the the good. In my life I have seen a pattern where I almost don’t do something because I don’t believe I can. How many times have I lost out on something amazing just because I didn’t try? I can’t tell you, but I am sure you all have had a number of times in your own life like that. There’s a quote that goes something like this: “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Who am I to meet in Canada? And if I don’t go how would that change my life? I think that it would seriously diminish it and I would lose out on the opportunity to help and to serve, therefore losing out on so much good and great things.
Can you understand what I am getting at? In the end will you be a person of regrets because your doubts held you back? Or are you going to be the person that looks back on their life and says “Look at what I have done. It wasn’t easy, and yes I failed many times, but look at what I HAVE done!”? In closing I will just let you know that no matter what fears of being a missionary I have it will not keep me from reporting to the MTC on Aug 6th. Whatever fears I have about the future will not hold me back from running towards my goals. I hope that you will do the same. Run at whatever you want, and put all you have into it. And if you fail, which you are apt to do at times, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going for it. Remember “Doubt your boubts, before you doubt your faith.” Do not doubt your faith in yourself, your fellow man, or your God, but rather doubt that voice that is telling you that you cannot do something.