Today, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Please, let’s just keep this between us. It’s something I don’t like to talk about, but I had to come clean. Maybe by being honest, I can help someone in a similar situation.
I suffer from FOCO. Technically, there shouldn’t be an extra “O” in the acronym for Fear of Commitment, but when this becomes the new, hip acronym on the block, “FOC” could be misconstrued.
I also deal daily with another condition: FOFA. Fear of Failure. Again, an added vowel, but “I have FOF” sounds like what I actually have is a speech impediment.
My life looks different than the lives of most women my age. My best girlfriends are super-women: juggling families, husbands, careers, friendships and volunteer work with a smile. And you’d better believe they made time for a 6 a.m. devotional this morning.
I, on the other hand, am still in bed a couple hours after I wake up. Bible reading and sunrise prayer happen around 10:30. I putter around online, watch a video about teenage girls being set up by their parents to see if they’ll meet a stranger in the park, laugh at my bank account balance, and then check E-Harmony to see if any hot Australian missionaries have messaged me. At some point I will go downstairs, wander outside to see how my cucumbers are doing, and eat a hearty breakfast of applesauce out of the jar. Later I may paint or play guitar, and then I’ll take a bath and listen to the “Soul Surfer” audio book I borrowed from the library.
Sounds nice, right? It is, but there’s always that underlying nagging sensation that this isn’t enough. Though I’m satisfied and comfortable with many aspects of my care-free life, I know that God has called me to more.
Other than work, I don’t have many (ok, any) commitments. I am writing daily, and that’s been great. I volunteered at the nursing home three times but I always got Ca-ca duty, which entailed pushing a non-verbal resident around the parking lot for 20 minutes (they call her Ca-ca because that’s all she says) and then visiting with those who weren’t asleep or engrossed in “Live! With Kelly and Michael!”. Mondays with Ca-ca was no “Tuesdays with Morrie”. I didn’t feel I was making a difference.
I don’t have a husband or kids to take care of (thank you, FOCO). I would go back to school if I thought it would move me in the right direction, but being creative means I don’t necessarily need a degree. I have always excelled at and enjoyed writing. I think I need to be true to that. I feel lazy and unaccomplished because I am pursuing my passion while reclining on a cozy pile of pillows, but at least I’m not watching “Live! With Kelly and Michael!”.
Here’s why progress is hard for me:
FOFA , ever the playground bully, takes my lunch money and tells me that there’s no way I’m going to succeed as a writer. Or in relationships. Or life. FOCO whispers that it’s not worth all the hard work and it’s easier to stay where responsibilities and pressure are at a 2 on a scale of 1 to 100. They bring up valid arguments and it’s hard not to agree with them, but I have a confession to make: FOCO and FOFA are codenames, cop-outs, and lame excuses for what is actually a lack of faith and a lack of faithfulness in my life.
My lack of faith in God’s faithfulness and provision keep me from stepping out of my comfort zone. My lack of faith in his calling on my life keeps me doubting that he hasn’t forgotten me and tells me that I’m unable to grow into a woman who makes a difference in the world around her.
My lack of faithfulness can be called “laziness” if we are being totally transparent. I have a history of letting things (and, sadly, sometimes relationships) go because they require too much effort, or they make me uncomfortable, or I don’t get immediate gratification from them. Obviously, I’m not proud of this, and I need to make some changes if I want to achieve great things personally and professionally.
This past year has been good for me. I have made strides towards my goals, discovered the career path I want to pursue, and gotten closer to Jesus than I’ve been in years. Now is the time when introspection needs to be translated into outward, measurable progress. I want to be full of faith and I want to be faithful. Jesus kind of commands both these things from his followers.
I’ll start right after my nap.