Posted by: Kara Luker | October 12, 2010

A holy smackdown

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.” Ephesians 6:20

I have been a coward. Despite my roaring, growling attempts to prove otherwise, there has been fear at my core. Fear of failure, fear of inadequacy, fear of rejection, fear of anything and everything. Which, in turn, creates a wad of self pity leading me to grieve my difficult temperament and lack of talents, as well as to envy preferable traits in others.  A tar pit mentality of hopelessness sets in, rendering me paralyzed and useless.

When challenges come my way, this little voice inside cries out, “Run away! Run away!” The urgency and conviction in this voice compels me to run fast and hard. So I hightail it with my hair flying behind me and the contents of my hands tumbling to the ground. I gain a safe distance and feel an immediate sense of relief, quickly followed by a gnawing sense of shame. Nobody likes being a scaredy cat. But more than that, I just know it isn’t who I am.

At work last week, my failures shamelessly exposed themselves, parading around like drunken teens.  There was just no way to silence them. And I knew it wasn’t going to stop there. With events to plan, countless details to manage, and social awkwardness to face – all on display for a visiting executive – I was certain that more failure would follow. It became very clear that I was in the wrong job.

To justify my impending dash, I expressed to God that I simply couldn’t do what He was asking of me. That I just wasn’t made for this sort of work and certainly wasn’t graced with the mind or talents for it. And – hello! – didn’t He ever stop to notice I’m shy and insecure? Is it really necessary to put me in all these required social settings where I can’t hide in a corner? It ended with a desperate, “Please, God, you’ve got to get me out of here.”

Following that pitiful, escapist prayer, I once again felt the Holy Spirit stilling my internal chaos. I mustered up the courage to tell Him that I would like to stay at my job and do it well, but it seemed impossible. I sat quietly and expectantly, waiting for His warm, comforting sentiments to fill my soul and make it all better.

That is when I got a holy smackdown. The Spirit of God said something like this: “Quit whining. Get over it, and move on.” It was like ice water hitting my face, which was exactly what I needed to snap out of my stupor. I didn’t feel condemned, and I didn’t feel coddled. I felt loved and challenged. I was being called out by my Dad to something greater. And, in the process, the impossible got flipped on its head.

Running didn’t seem so desirable anymore. And continuing haphazardly with a pocketful of excuses didn’t seem too appealing either. So I set out to do a good job with who I am and what I have. I have been working from a new place of authority – one of belonging. And, to my surprise, I am cranking it out and doing a mighty fine job. Of course I will fail again, but that was never the problem. Fear was the problem. But I am seeing that in Christ, I’m not the coward I thought.


  1. You, my dear, are truely a gifted writer!!! Being so raw and real helps people know they are not alone in their struggles. Don’t you love how God works all things together for good no matter what!!!
    Love you!

    • Thank you Sarah! We’re all working it out, aren’t we? I absolutely love how God works everything together for good and how he transforms the awful, terrible things into beautiful ones. See you soon!

  2. Kara- You are an amazing beautiful person. I love to see this gift of writing and your sense of humor with the photos is great. I think you are doing a faboo job at HOPE. Keep it up!

  3. I would love to be your friend, Kara.

    • Well, a friend you’ll be then!

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