My heart is literally beating out of my chest right now. Maybe I need more coffee, or maybe less. I’m not sure. I’m wild with anticipation, and stupid excited right now. And, nervous. Not nervous in the sense that I am going to fail or fall, more like I have something that I want to share with you. And, I’m not sure about the words. So… I’ll start with a story. My story.
“You make me brave.”
These words have been my anchor, and over the past three years have rolled through my mind during immense periods of discouragement and frustration. They have have literally lifted me out of sadness on days when I wondered if I was doing the right thing. To me they are more than just words or lyrics to an amazing song. My heart sings them because they have been a guidepost and catalyst to one of the greatest adventures I have ever embarked upon.
So here is my story. Three years ago I walked away from my calling. I had been deeply hurt as a woman (pastor) in church leadership, and found myself in a place where I questioned everything about what God had spoken over my life. My heart was deeply wounded, and I was experiencing emotions stronger than I had ever felt before. So I ran. I ran as far away as I could from my calling. Sure that there was something else better. Less hurtful.
I’ve always had a deep desire to connect others to God, to help them move towards Him and experience His love. But in my own pain, I struggled to find my own healing and purpose He had created me for. That purpose of relationship and knowing Him.
So I took a trip to other side of the world, hoping that I would finally get some clarity. And God met me in the most amazing way. I would like to share it with you.
The day started like a dream, boarding a large boat headed to middle of the ocean bound for the Great Barrier Reef. It was something I had always wanted to do, snorkel in one of the most spectacular places on earth. Unfortunately, the weather conditions were not all that cooperative, and huge waves made snorkeling difficult.
I would classify myself as a pretty good swimmer, but once in the water the waves battered me something fierce. As I tried to stay afloat among the crashing waves, I began to experience sheer panic. I was terrified to continue, unable to breathe, and worried that I had made the worst decision of my life.
There was rope attached to the boat and I clung to it for dear life. Fear had overtaken me, and I was rendered immobilized. In more ways than one. In that moment I had a decision to make, either swim back to the boat and admit defeat, or launch myself back into the terrifying ocean.
My trip to Australia had been to run from the purpose in which God had called me, and in that moment I was facing my own fears of failure. I was so afraid of what I did not know as well as the possibilities for my life if I surrendered my calling back to Him. What would He ask me to do? Would I be hurt again?
God spoke to me that day. Very clearly. It was not an audible voice, but my spirit knew. He told me that my journey would take me places that required courage. That going out into the ocean was not ever meant to be peaceful, it was for the brave. But, He told me that he would give me the courage if I asked.
I took the biggest leap of faith that day and continued to swim. In those crazy waters, I saw the most magnificent sights that I never would have seen if I had climbed back on the boat. It was a huge lesson. One that has changed my life. Not only did I choose to face my fear, but to push through it with relentless pursuit.
So, here I am three years later, sharing my own personal journey. The journey that has led me to be fiercely passionate about empowering other women to be brave. To step out of their ordinary life and into the extraordinary calling and purpose that God has so beautifully created them for.
My own journey has been challenging, and at times discouraging. But, I have held tight to those words and to my relationship with God. Maybe you feel like He is calling you out on the water. And, you are wondering if you are strong enough to brave the waves. You are! I’ve been there, and I know you will get there too. Step out of the boat!
We are better together!