By Cynthia Ruchti
A recent magazine article removed all my Writer Guilt. Well, not all of it, but a good portion. It’s not my fault. (Is anything? Don’t answer that.) I simply suffer from medically defined phobias of which I was unaware.
“I’m sorry. You’re writing doesn’t utilize enough of the five senses.” (geuma·pho·bia, n. fear of taste)
When my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth when asked, “So, what is it you write?” (deipno·pho·bia, n. fear of dinner conversation)
When I’ve been glued to my office chair too long. (ambulo·pho·bia, n. fear of walking)
When I haven’t exercised for weeks because of a deadline. (cyclo·pho·bia, n. fear of bikes)
When I delete half of the metaphors and alliteration in my chapter. (metro·pho·bia, n. fear of poetry)
When I can’t leave myself a note without my iPhone. (papyro·pho·bia, n. fear of paper)
When I resist editorial notes. (sopho·pho·bia, n. fear of learning)
When I stay in my yoga pants and t-shirt all day rather than putting on real clothes. (textophobia, It’s not what you think. n. fear of fabrics)
There’s a phobia for that, whatever it is. Without minimizing the agonies of genuine phobias and the mental anguish they produce, I can’t help but wonder if the Lord sometimes shakes His head over the ones we invent for ourselves.
“I know what You said, Lord. I’m going to obey. Any day now.” (blessingo·pho·bia, n. fear of the joy of instant obedience)
“Pray for my enemies? You’re kidding, right?” (shalomo·pho·bia, n. fear of peace)
“Spend time alone with You, Lord? I’m a little busy here, serving You, writing for You.” (growth-and-successo·pho·bia, n. fear of the obvious)
"Not ready to submit. One more edit. One more look. Send? No. Not yet. Maybe I can make that opening line stronger." (submit-o-phobia, n. fear of rejection)
"That takes a courage I don't have, Lord." (Same word: submit-o-phobia, n. fearing failure more than disappointing God)
To how many of our phobias, real or imagined, does God speak His directive, “Don’t be afraid”?
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand,” Isaiah 41:10, NIV.
What fear is keeping you from something you KNOW God is calling you to do this week? If you express it, it will lose some of its influence. And you'll gain at least one new prayer partner about that issue.
Cynthia Ruchti tells stories of Hope-that-glows-that-in-the-dark through her novels, novellas, devotions, nonfiction, and through speaking events for women and writers. Her recent release is All My Belongings, a novel from Abingdon Press. Cynthia's novel When the Morning Glory Blooms took top honors in Women's Contemporary Fiction in the Selah Awards. www.cynthiaruchti.com