it's more than you can see

Yesterday a friend of mine posed a question on her blog. The question was what would you do if you knew you could not fail. The blog post and subsequent responses can be found here.

The question is one I have asked myself in the past. I even have a decorative plaque in my house with the same question. But for some reason, it fully resonated with me yesterday and settled into the depths of my heart. I've re-asked myself the question and re-answered it as well over the past twenty-four hours.

There are several things I would do. Some are silly, some are serious, and some I am not quite sure what to think.

I would love to: dye my hair pink (at least some streaks), pierce my nose, drive to Michigan this weekend, jump in the freezing cold ocean, get another tattoo, wrestle with the dogs on the floor, paint, take more pictures, and it goes on and on. Those are things I would love to do, things that wouldn't result in failure, but things I want to do but don't.

If failure were not an option, I would play the lottery for one. If I knew I couldn't fail, then I would win. And I wouldn't necessarily need to win the entire lottery. $200,000 (minus the taxes) would be enough for me. It would provide me the money to fix our house, to pay off our debts, to give generously to those in need, and to have an extra cushion wherein we would not have to worry about money. It's strange to say all that since living in US puts us within the most rich out of the entire world, but there it is all the same.

I would also stop making excuses. I would live recklessly and stop holding myself back. This would spill into all aspect of my life including my walk with Jesus, caring for others, working with the youth group at our church, and my friendships. So often, I keep myself at bay and try to quiet my desires because of fear that things would not work out the way I hoped they would.

I would also let go. I would stop feeling as though I needed to be in control. This is such a struggle for me. I want to control every aspect of the life I live and the aspects of life around me. And it's tiring. It is also the exact opposite of what God calls us to be. He's slowly teaching me (and also forcing me) to relinquish control. But, still, there are times when the panic rises up and I grab back onto the control rather than allowing God to guide me through life, my hands open to receive His blessings rather than closed around the things I feel need attention.

I would laugh more. And smile more. Maybe even dance more. And sing more loudly. I don't dance or sing as often/ as loudly as I would like because I am afraid. Afraid of failure silly enough. I'm not as talented in the dancing and singing department as some, and I worry others are judging my lack of talent. So I don't dance or sing. How lovely it would be to no longer care what others thought and just let go! This would open up a whole new world for me and for my walk with Jesus. If I stopped caring about what others thought, my life would blossom like a flower after a fresh spring rain.

And I would write. Preferably full-time but most certainly part-time. Writing is in my blood. I can quiet it sometimes, but the urge and desire to spill words and stories across the page still exists. I think it always has. Even before I would type or write out the letters, I spun stories and tales. I wrote (and illustrated) my first book at a young age about a skunk who gets stuck in a high school and then has adventures in said high school. I spent my adolescent years and well into my college years writing fan fiction and then also writing true fiction. I even took extra English and writing classes in college. And I ultimately graduated with a degree in writing.

But I don't do these things. Instead, I let the fear of failure and of the unknown and of what other people might think grip me. And I think that's why this question resonates so much - especially now.

I desperately want the life I am meant to live. This could be it, my life right now, but it could also be so much more than my human mind can imagine. I fully believe God has a purpose for every life, and I fully believe that the purpose for my life is much more than what I give it credit for.

My husband and I both feel this way. We both feel like there is more out there, but we don't know what. We both desire to not feel stuck (as we often do) in this life, in this house, in this state, and in our jobs. We want freedom, and I think much of our freedom (and the freedom for others) could very well come from no longer being afraid and acting as though we can not fail.

It doesn't mean that we quit our jobs and stop paying our bills or that we run from responsibility. It simply means we figure out our true hopes and dreams and desires and pursue them fully - not in a way that looks like pursual but still leaves us feeling stuck.

I know not all things will happen. It's unlikely that I will win even $100 in the lottery let alone $200,000. But I can do my best to stop making excuses. I can smile more. I can laugh more. I can sing and dance like there is no one else and then not apologize for making anyone feel uncomfortable. And I can write.

I just wish it all weren't so frightening.

(title from "i said" by michelle featherstone)

And now, I pass the question onto all of you. What would you do if you knew you could not fail?


  1. i will. in fact, this weekend when my husband is at the church retreat, i plan on writing. all the cleaning and folding of laundry that didn't happen last weekend (or any of this week) is going to happen tonight and maybe tomorrow morning. then it is all about me!



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