I’ve been thinking about courage a lot lately. Especially this month, which is the anniversary of my big move to New York City. The snow billowing outside my window reminds me of my first few weeks here – cold and alone, trudging through the slush and mud, trying to find my way. In my head it was going to be so much more glamorous than the reality I experienced, but isn’t that always the way?
Recently, I was sharing the story of how I came to live here. I love telling it because people always have such an interesting reaction when you say God told me to go, I said okay, sold nearly all of my stuff, and hit the road less than two months later. Invariably, they sit there for a moment and then decide I am either one of two things – crazy or brave.
Crazy? Definitely. Brave? Debatable. But the reality is neither drove my decision. I was finally just obedient. God said go, and I left.
Now I know for some of you that’s no big deal. You were in the good kid’s club, and had no problem following the rules. But I was a strong-willed girl, who delighted in doing things my way. I questioned everything, and thought I was so smart. So for me, simple obedience felt like reaching a mountain top. Getting there wasn’t easy – seeing as how I had to get over myself – but the excitement of being at the top was so worth the work.
At least, for a little while. Until my exuberance over the move waned, and I had to deal with the reality of being here. Cold, away from my family and friends, managing two households, and trying to find my new normal was challenging to say the least. For a while, my emotions were all over the place, as feelings of loneliness, boredom and confusion creeped in when I least expected.
On the days I was down, I dared not complain. I mean, honestly I had nothing to complain about. I asked God for an extraordinary life, and He gave me one, taking me on a grand adventure. What would I look like whining to him about minor things like not having any friends in town to go out to dinner with?
Years later this all sounds so silly, but the feelings were oh so real, and not so out of the ordinary. I hear it all the time from other women – in fact, many of you – who’ve made some pretty courageous life choices. You know, like when we quit working in our peak earning years to stay home with our kids, and then secretly get bored and miss working? Or when God blesses us with a business, but then entrepreneurship is not exactly what we imagined? Or when we take a new job in a new city, only to realize it’s not all together what was promised?
I could go on and on, but I know you know. We courageously make decisions based on where we believe God is leading us, and suddenly tiny seeds of doubt and frustration begin to sprout up, threatening to force us off the path. We want to stay strong, and not appear to be lacking in faith, or worse yet ungrateful. So rather than sharing our struggles, we stay silent, secretly wondering if we should stay the course.
Well I say, Foot on That! We don’t have to be embarrassed when doubts try to creep in, and we certainly don’t have to weather these storms alone. I think those bumps in the road are just a part of our journey. And as sisters we are called to encourage, uplift, and affirm each other so that no one has to walk alone.
That’s why I wanted to be honest about what these last few years have been like – the good and the bad. Truth is, it’s been amazing. I’ve gotten more done here than I would have ever accomplished in Texas. I needed the City’s energy and the alone time to make it happen, and I’m grateful for every minute of it.
I’m also thankful for the struggles. The lonely moments that make me appreciate my family and friends even more, and the realities that have caused me to question my expectations and the intentions behind my actions. Most of all, I’m grateful for the valuable lessons I’ve learned about love, faith and the courage to keep going.
…In the face of unmet expectations.
…In the midst of unrealized goals.
…In the wake of broken promises
…In the chaos of scattered plans.
Just keep going!
Maya Angelou has a quote that I love about courage…
Courage is the most important of all the virtues, because without courage you can’t practice any other virtue consistently. You can practice any virtue erratically, but nothing consistently without courage.
Practice courage. Keep the faith. Let God lead, and you follow, to wherever He thinks is best. Don’t let what you thought it was supposed to be keep you from experiencing everything your life was meant to be. Just keep going! The best part of your story is yet to be written!
Loving on Me as I Love You!
Hugs and Blessings ❤