Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Guest Post: If God Be For Us, Who Can Be Against Us?



Have a guest post for Modern Mormon Men? Both modern mormon men and women can submit guest posts via email. In addition to your post, please include a post title and a paragraph of introduction (on yourself).

Laurie Stradling is a middling housekeeper, a good cook, a college grad and a recovered marching band nerd who is currently nursing a small nerd crush on Ken Jennings. She is wife to a superb husband and a son who makes her squeal-y with glee. See the last seven-ish years of her writing drivel here.

I am terrified of success.

This is the only reason I can give for mucking around in odd jobs instead of flexing my writing muscles and waving around my perfectly good BA in print journalism. Since our son was born in February, I have done the following to try to bring in the benjamins:

  • Started an Etsy shop called "Homemade Crap", which has sat empty since its inception when I realized I don't like crafting
  • Posted an ad to Craigslist titled "Résumé Ninja"
  • Posted an ad to Craigslist to give cooking lessons
  • Posted an ad to Craigslist for "Nanny Poppins" (I hardly need add those last three were done in rapid succession between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. and no, I didn't get one e-mail back)
  • Subscribed and paid for a medical transcription course, only to realize I'd been lightly scammed in the bargain and hustled to get my money and pride back at once

I haven't given my struggle against success much thought until the other morning when I walked in my housecleaning job to find three sizeable smears of poop on the carpet of the kids' closet.

I'm not going to lie, that ruined my whole day.

I will also not deny shedding a few tears of self-pity as I scrubbed it out on my hands and knees and thought, "What the crap am I doing here?!"

The answer? I am so afraid of failing at writing that I will mire myself in menial tasks just for the chance to consistently succeed. Can I impress how insane that is to you? I would rather succeed at poop-scrubbing than expose the quivering, whimpering, thin-skinned writer that lives deep inside. This also means I willingly stymie the chances at success by divvying my time between odd jobs, child-raising, wifey-ing, and occasionally wasting time online as fast as I can.

When I stared this reality full in the face, it made me want to go knock my head against a wall.

But for the last couple of days, a thought has been growing in my mind: something about light, power, personal glory. There's a quote by Marianne Williamson about being more afraid of our Light than our Darkness that touched a chord in me years ago, and I found it mirrored in the New Testament this morning:

"For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us...if God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8: 18, 31)

It is this sentiment that punted me here to MMM. I am literally calling down a measure of the Spirit to inspire me to fail over and over and over until I finally succeed. I have to take this a day at a time, flex the ol' writing muscles, make pitches that fall flat, submit manuscripts that are pure tommyrot and hit my knees asking for the strength to pick back up my withered ego and march it back into the parade another time.

The concept of my own matchless and eternal glory gave me the guts to bust on in to the Bloggernacle and throw down the gauntlet to myself and God both, though truthfully, it scares the poop out of me.

Line upon line, people. After all, if God be for us, who can be against us?

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