“It shouldn’t be hagiography,” I hear him say on the other end of the line, and I nod, replying, “Oh right, of course. Yeah, that totally makes sense.”
That’s what I say to my brand-new editor during our very first telephone conversation to discuss the 50 Women book. But what I’m thinking is this: “Hagi-wha-wha-what??!!! Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh I have no idea what he’s talking about. How in the world am I going to write a book when I can’t even understand the vocabulary my editor is using?! This is not going to work, this is totally not going to work, I’m not cut out for this. I can’t do this. I am. In. Over. My. Head.”
After we hang up I sit on the floor, staring at my notebook. I’d scrawled hageography in the middle of the white page (I spelled it wrong, of course), with about sixteen questions marks after it. Should I quit, I wonder? Should I email Rachelle and tell her they’d better find someone else to write the book, someone who knows what hagiography means for crying out loud? I mean clearly I’m not the right person to write this book. Clearly I’m not smart enough. I had to fake intelligence in my very first conversation with my editor for heaven’s sake. Surely that can’t be a good sign.
I didn’t email Rachelle that day. I didn’t quit the book before I’d even begun. Instead, I Googled hagiography (hagiography: biography of saints or venerated persons), and then I prayed desperately for wisdom and guidance and took a leap into a project I felt hugely unqualified to tackle.
I know I’ve said it here before, but it bears repeating: God expects us to leap – to step outside of our comfort zone, to get uncomfortable, unsure of ourselves, afraid.
Because you know what? When we leap, we trust.
When I’m all comfortable and cozy in my routine, I can tell you six ways to Sunday that I trust God, but that’s because it’s easy. Real trust happens when I take a leap of faith. When I’m insecure, doubtful, hesitant, afraid, awkward. When I don’t know what in the world I’m doing.
Real trust happens when we’re not in control.
That day on the phone, when my editor dropped the word hagiography into our conversation all casual like he was talking about the ham and cheese Subway sandwich he’d eaten for lunch, I was not in control. I had a decision to make right then and there. I could retreat into my comfortable status quo where nothing was threatening or foreign and I felt sufficiently smart. Or I could take a leap of faith into the uncomfortable unknown.
I leaped. And so far I have no regrets.
So what about you? When have you taken a leap of faith when you felt way out of your league?