096 || When Fear Tries to Tell You You're Not Enough || Merritt Onsa

96 - Solo Episode.png

In this week’s episode we’re talking about fear of failure, which feels ironic because even as I’m speaking on this topic, I’m wrestling with this very fear. Questions like: Am I making any sense? Is this episode even helpful? Or am I just rambling? What if my theology is off and someone calls me on it? Or, more importantly, what if something I say leads someone astray, and I can’t fix it?

The practical reason I started working on this solo episode was that I didn’t have an interview lined up this week. But, truth be told, I’ve been challenged to do more solo episodes, since it feels riskier to me than an interview. Yep. I have some insecurities around this. I fear failing at it. And it feels totally vulnerable to say that right now.


Sure, I wanted to do this solo episode. In fact, the first 10 minutes or so even felt inspired. I was on a roll. But then life happened, I had to hit pause, and a few days passed. When I sat down to wrap it up, anxiety crept in, and I wrestled over and over in my mind with what I wanted to say and whether I could really provide any value to this topic.

But the truth is, it’s not about me. It’s not about how I did creating this episode or talking about this topic. My value is in Christ and His finished work on the cross. He gives me value, even as I’m sitting here struggling with the very same things listeners told me when I asked what is it about failure that would keep them from their God-shaped dream.

Friends, we are on this road together. Fighting the enemy who wants us to believe we are not enough or that we have nothing to offer this world. I’m pushing back on his lies today. I’m repenting of my desire to operate my own self-salvation project because it *feels* less risky if I keep my hands on the wheel instead of letting go and letting Christ run the show.

My identity is in Christ. Yours is too. He gives us value and worth and the ability to speak truth into the world, to shine a light on Him, and to live out of the gifts and talents He’s given us. If you’ve been avoiding your dream because you fear you might fail; if you’ve stopped taking steps forward because you fear you are not enough; Sister in Christ, let me tell you, you aren’t enough. But He is. And He will bring His work to completion in you. Now, let’s praise His name and give Him all the glory because that truth brings so much more freedom to step forward without fear (or despite fear) knowing that He’s totally got this. No matter the outcome.


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Tim Keller Sermons

Cari Jenkins || Episode 51 || How to Trust God When Dreams Disappoint

Not mentioned, but this video was sent to me by a friend when she read my post about struggling with this episode: Sara Bareilles - Brave (And I bawled my eyes out!)


The Lord your God is with you,
    the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
    in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
    but will rejoice over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17 (NIV)


…and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:17 (ESV)

 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. 4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment—to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.

11 In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, 12 in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are
God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.
Ephesians 1:3-14 (NIV)


Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, 
he gave the right to become children of God—
John 1:12 (NIV)




Why a solo episode on fear of failure [2:40]
What happened on Instagram last week that motivated this topic [3:40]
Thomas Edison tried 1,000 times and failed [5:15]
What is behind fear of failure and what past guests have said about this topic [6:21]
What failure might have looked like for this podcast [7:08]
What happens when we try new things…and fail? [8:20]
Referencing the 10,000-hour rule [8:40]
Explaining my Instagram poll [9:45]
What five listeners had to say about their fear of failure [10:30]
When failure means “I’m not good enough” [13:00]
What we believe about God and how He sees us [13:33]
Jesus’ death on the cross frees us from bondage to fear of failure [14:08]
We’re not believing the gospel when we let this fear rule us [14:52]
Zephaniah 3:17, God rejoices over you [15:13]
He sees all of you and died for you anyway [15:39]
It was for your freedom that He set you free [15:50]
Ephesians 1 helps us see who we are in Christ [16:13]
Jesus’ baptism teaches us how God sees us [17:10]
He is already pleased with you [17:42]
His love isn’t the result of your efforts [17:58]
Our identity and wisdom from Cari Jenkins (ep. 51) on this topic [18:51]
If my identity is in what I do, and I fail, what happens to me? [19:32]
Where we find our identity matters [20:00]
How do we get the truth of who we are into our hearts? [20:23]
God gave us the right to be His children [22:22]
But what if you have a performance-oriented mindset (like me)? [23:00]
How repentance is the antidote to fear [24:50]
When fear of failure rises up in you, how to respond differently [26:58]
What it means to be a devoted dreamer [27:31]
Our value and worth is in Christ and everything we do flows from that [28:12]
Continue the conversation with us in the Facebook group [29:18]
A prayer for the fearful dreamer [30:41]


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The Devoted Dreamers Podcast is produced by Jonathan R. Clauson.
Theme music by Reaktor Productions.