"Being brave and courageous isn’t the absence of fear, but as many have said, it’s the willingness to fight that fear head on. It wouldn’t be courageous if there wasn’t something a bit scary about it."I was just skimming over some of my old posts, since I haven't written anything on this blog in months and was in need of some inspiration. I found the above quote and it just struck me. Again.
Because when I wrote that post, I was smack dab in the throes of uncertainty and fear when I looked ahead to my future. A future that I was excited about, yet wasn't sure if I really wanted to do it. And the crazy-awesome thing is, here I am a year and three months later in the middle of that future that looked so scary!
And I am in awe. Sheer pleasure and awe at our Father God who nudges and encourages and nudges harder until we finally (hopefully!) get the picture and leap out. Because this trip to Thailand? It was a LEAP let me tell you! A scary and challenging leap that I wasn't certain I was capable of. But our Father...oh, friends, He has shown Himself SO incredibly faithful. Over and over and over and over again...
I am here, now in my fifth month in Thailand. FIVE MONTHS, PEOPLE. (Yes. That is still strange to my brain. And it feels normal? I never, ever thought I'd say that. I could not imagine ever feeling at home here. I really couldn't. But just go on a couple trips elsewhere a few times, trips where you're stuffed to overflowing with food and more food, trips where God challenges and stretched you through experiences that you don't know how to interpret or how to feel about them, trips where you and your team have to stumble your way through figuring out how to operate in a culture so vastly different than your own... Go on some of those kinds of trips and then just see if you won't cling to the familiar yourself.)
I am here and able to look back at the past five months and see actual growth. Growth! Things that took all the courage I had within me (like stepping onto a plane that was headed to the other side of the world, to a whole different country) back in August? After my third trip out of Thailand...it's a whole lot less scary.
I have been pushed so far out of my comfort zone, I'm not sure I even know where that zone is currently... (Except, nevermind. I totally know where it is. With a book in my hand! :) My mind and heart have stretched and I never knew I had such capacity for love. Also, pieces of my heart are now missing. They are left behind in places and with people I may never see again on this side of Heaven.
I have been challenged and encouraged and inspired. I have had to lose and let go of so much of what I thought I had to have to survive and turns out...I didn't actually need it after all! Go figure.
And most importantly... I am beginning to form a goal inside. A dream. One I hadn't expected. Not really. A surprising dream! Things that make me come alive inside are drawing clearer boundaries. Becoming more solidly certain. Refusing to let me forget them because they fill my mind constantly!
I am growing and learning and breaking and remaking and resting in the hands of the One, the Ever Faithful, Who is ultimately doing all of that for me. Because one thing is certainly clear after this many months and this many new experiences...
I am not capable of anything. But God is. And with His strength and power inside me? I can do anything.
So can you.
Trust me. No no no, actually trust HIM. He's worth it. :)