What if You Just Start?

January 6, 2017

I spend a lot of my writing time staring at a blank white screen with a blinking cursor. 


That cursor.  


It’s surprisingly intimidating.  The constant blinking reminds me with each passing moment that I’ve not put a single word down.  Which for a writer, isn’t too great.  We’re sort of required to put words on a page. 


It’s always the first sentence that makes me clam up, makes me hesitate.  Part of my COMPEL training was centered on nailing the first sentence in a post.  Grab their attention.  Make them want to read more.  Draw people in.  Every time I start a new post I have that in the back of my mind.  I just have to make it through that first sentence.  


In these last years of writing, I've realized that I have let that first sentence have way too much power over the rest of my post, even over my confidence as a writer. 


As I sat down to write this week I had a thought. 


What if I just started and didn’t obsess over that first sentence?  What if I simply poured out my heart and didn’t worry about whether it was perfect or whether it would get likes or comments?  What if I just wrote and didn’t look back?


It may sound like a silly thought, but I’m wondering how many of you are hung up on your own first sentence.  Now it may not be actual writing that’s got you hung up, but nevertheless, you’ve got your own battle with your “first sentence," whatever it is. 


Maybe you want to start your own business but you’re afraid to take the plunge.  Or you’re worried about chasing your dreams, because what if you fail?  What will your family and friends think?  There are so many things that can be “first sentences” for us. 


They symbolize the fear that runs deep in us.  It’s not the actual first sentence (whatever it is-the dream, ministry, idea, etc.) that has us fearful.  It’s what they represent.  Change.  Challenges.  Possible rejection.


But what if we didn’t worry about the big picture of things for once and we simply just started




   

Years ago before I started blogging, I was at a conference with our Acteens group and recognized a writer and blogger whom I knew in the crowd.  I debated whether or not to talk to her.  I certainly didn’t want to bother her but I was also intrigued by her story of how God had stirred up in her the calling to write. 


As the conference ended I found myself standing near her and decided to go up and introduce myself.  I had long felt the stirring in my own heart to write and start blogging and so I asked for her best piece of advice for a new comer like me. 


“Girl, just start. Just go for it!” were the words she said to me.  About a month later I did just that.  I simply started.  It hasn’t been a perfect journey.  When I go back now and read some of my first posts as a blogger I actually cringe.  {I wouldn’t recommend you go back and read them either! } But it’s all part of the journey.  Not only has my writing changed but my relationship with God has drastically changed as I’ve gotten closer to Him.


I’ve been writing and blogging now for five years.  It's hard to believe it's been that long already.  Over the years the focus of my blog ministry has shifted, my calling is now a bit more within reach and I truly know in my soul that no matter what the lifelong outcome of this is, I have to write.  I have to.  It is ingrained in my soul. 


But it didn’t just happen.  I had to start. I had to lay it all down at the foot of the cross and be obedient to what God was calling me to do.  It was scary.  It still is. 


The hard truth is this: 

If we let fear grip us and we never start, then we’ll never know what God can truly do in us and through us. 







Author Annie Downs says this in her book, Let's All Be Brave:

"You just have to start, my friend.  That thing that is whispering on your insides?  That conversation you need to have or that place you need to go?  That job you want to try or that ministry you want to attempt?  That major you want to pick at college or that mission trip you want to go on?  You've got to start somewhere.  So do.  Tell somebody you want to be brave."



Five years ago I was just a girl at a conference with a big dream but a slight hesitancy to obey what God was calling her to do.  Thankfully a fellow sister stepped in and offered me the encouragement I needed to start. 


Today, I want to give that same encouragement to you sweet friend. 


Just start.


Stop worrying about failing.  Stop trying to make everything perfect before you even begin.  Stop thinking that you’ve heard God wrong.  Stop ignoring that tug in your heart that He’s placed there that maybe, just maybe, you were designed to do more. 


It doesn't matter where you begin.  Just take a small step towards that dream you've got tucked away in your heart.  Just start. Achieve that goal you have.  Do the thing you have always wanted to do.  Leave behind the what-if's and let God open the doors that are in His will for you to be opened.  


Just think: what if you left behind all those “first sentences” and all the other hang ups that leave you feeling unqualified and unworthy?  What if now is the time you bravely step over the line and lay it all down for Him? 


"You know the thing God is doing in your life better than I do.  It's time to get quiet before the Lord and ask him what it looks like for you to live a life of courage today.  To start."

Annie Downs, Let's All Be Brave




Friend, what might happen if you just start?

4 comments :

  1. oh goodness. Have you secretly been watching me? I just started blogging again after a very long hiatus called fear. It had taken control of my life in so many ways that I won't list here, but thanks for the encouragement to just get going. I tend to overthink it!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm so glad it encouraged you Cherie! I tend to be an over-thinker too!

      Delete
  2. Amanda, this is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Love the quotes and images you shared in this post! Blessings to you in 2017!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Stacey! Blessings to you as well!

      Delete

Made With Love By The Dutch Lady Designs