Thursday, May 1, 2014

The Danger of "I'll Never _____ "

Never is a strong word.... about as strong if not equal to its friend, Forever.

When I was a teen in the youth group at church, one speaker once said, "Don't tell God you'll never do something, because chances are, he'll ask you to do it."

Secret: I was deathly afraid God would call me to be a missionary to a 3rd world country. Now, don't judge. The biggest reason for my fear was FOOD. I was a horribly picky eater, to the point that I'd throw up if something hit my stomach wrong. And the stories of what those people had to eat....

So.... from them on, I told God I would be SO VERY HAPPY if He called me to be a missionary to one of those places with no bathrooms or showers and where you had to eat bugs for dinner. BRING. IT. ON.

Well, for those who know me, you probably know that God never called me to that. I have no dillusions though that my fake happy entreaty to God did the trick. I'm fairly certain God rolled his eyes and was like, "Crazy girl, you just wait to see what I REALLY have in store for you."

While my motives weren't pure in that case, the experience did teach me a valuable lesson, one about the word "NEVER."

Pretty much... Never say Never.

As writers, self doubt is sure to come in at times. And that yucky word will rear its ugly head in our brains.

"I'll never get an agent."

"I'll never be published."

"I'll never be a best seller."

"I'll never get this stupid book ending right!"

"I'll never get enough blog viewers to have any size platform that publishers won't laugh at."

These words do NO good to use, except weaken our resolve. Our efforts are often in direct relation to our expecations. If we expect to fail, chances are, we probably win. If we expect to do our best and leave it up to God, well, I'd say that's just about right!

So I say--- abolish the "will never" and replace it with CAN!

"I CAN get an agent."
"I CAN be published"
"I CAN be a best seller"
"I CAN get this stupid book ending right!"
"I CAN get a fabulous blog following that publishers won't laugh at."

Notice... I didn't say to just delete never and keep the will.

GOD only knows the "will".

YOU can know the CAN though.

Another fun never I'm abolishing this year.

"I'll NEVER independently publish."

It was never a dream of mine. Never something I aspired to. But last year, an idea popped into my brain. God confirmed it on SO many levels, and it's shaping up to be a REALITY this year.

Am I nervous?


Could I fail?


WILL I fail?

Only God knows.

But CAN I do it?

YES, YES, YES! I can.

Discussion: What about you? Do you struggle with the evil never? How do you change your vocabulary?


Michelle said...

Never can sneak up on you when you least expect it. I guess we say it sometimes when we are distraught or fear that hope will turn out to hurt us.

The thoughts of a writer are so important to bringing about success. Positive thoughts and focus on my calling to write, help me to avoid the word never. Although, it creeps in from time to time.

Pepper said...

What a positive post, Krista!
Oh goodness, I need to stop saying 'never'.
"I'm NEVER going to marry a preacher"
"I'm NEVER going to write a contemporary"
"I'm NEVER....

Yeah...and God laughs :-)

Krista Phillips said...

Pepper... "I'm never going to write steam punk....." ;-)

Ashley Clark said...

Krista, I love, love, love this!!! What's funny is, I'm sitting here, reading and nodding my head because I had the EXACT same fear when I was a kid. I was also a picky eater and was so afraid God was going to send me to some country where I was going to have to eat exotic animals or starve! HA! You are right-- I think we underestimate the effect our self-talk really has! Great post today!

Casey said...

Okay, at the risk of copying Ashley's comment, I love this post too!! It hits right at home and I love your comments about saying "never", Krista. It's like what Beth Vogt says: God's best is often waiting behind the door marked "never". :)

Casey said...

Maybe *I* should say I am NEVER going to get married. Think I'd get some good results from that?? ;-) Hehe

Krista Phillips said...

Michelle, it absolutely sneaks up on us! That sneaky little word!!

Krista Phillips said...

LOL, Ashley!!!! Great minds... what a sense of humor if God told us to go together now, LOL.

Krista Phillips said...

Casey, yup, yup! That Beth is one smart lady!