Do you ever think that dreams are better left as just that....dreams? I have had a few dreams in my life. I have had some that were even better than expected and some that seemed even more completely terrifying after they came true.
Seven months after moving far from everything and everyone I have ever know, I feel settled. I don't have anxiety attacks when driving down roads that have more cars than I am use to seeing when wanting to go to the grocery. I've learned that while the big beautiful mall is fun to walk around in, I'm still a Kohl's girl at heart. I've learned that some things are scarier in my head than they actually are. The bridge to take to St. Pete is overwhelming but the views are so beautiful it distracts from the fear.
I've learned that God sent people ahead of me to make this transition easier. When I first wanted to move here at least ten years ago, I wouldn't necessarily have ended up where I did with people who are some of the kindest I've ever met. I've learned that you can find doctors who are good and not abrupt even in a larger area and that is easier to find than finding a good haircut.
Most importantly though I've learned that even though moving was scary, I have the best people to go through it with. My family is far from perfect and sometimes we drive each other crazy but at the end of the day they are my favorite humans in all the world. I can mess up or just be stupid and they will still love me. I have the best partner in life I could ever dream up. I've learned that his calm is one of my greatest treasures. All in all moving has been one of the easier of dreams to follow.
Writing however, has been by far the hardest. The actual writing process is hard enough but throw in things that you never thought of as possibilities, and there have been points in my journey that have made me think more than once...that keeping that dream a dream may have been a better option. Two books in and I have spent two years not wanting to pull the trigger to attempt a third.
If you don't try you don't have to fail, right? I tend to think big in my what ifs. The big success though is something I only truly think I want to obtain in theory. As in, "Wouldn't it be cool to be like Adele?" or "Wouldn't it be cool to be like Jen Hatmaker or Beth Moore?" In theory, those things sound very cool but actually becoming someone like them requires something that I do not currently possess....Courage. Well that and an overabundance of talent and sheer determination. I'm not sure I'm so determined to excel at really anything. I don't just think big successes either in my what ifs. I equally thing big failures. What if I am a no talent hack? What if I have to speak and I projectile vomit all over the people there to hear me or wet my pants or faint?
Perhaps moving is the extent of bravery and courage I possess. In moving I didn't go alone and I absolutely know that I don't go alone in any endeavor, God goes with me. In my humanness I need someone else to go with me too. That would be the Moses in me. I don't want to go but if I do send someone with me. I am someone who lacks the particular gene that holds any bit of self confidence. Not a trait I was given in my upbringing.
The pastor at church as been (appropriately) doing a sermon series on courage. Abraham, Moses, Ruth, Joshua, David, and Daniel. And he isn't done. All of these people had struggles and in the end showed great courage. Abraham was hard to get through, Moses worse, but David about destroyed me. The struggle in finding my identity continues. The figuring out of who I am and who I am meant to be seems to be taking longer for me to figure out than most.
Perhaps it is my fault. By my own admission I have tried to surround myself with friends who are smarter than I am. People I can learn from and enjoy being around and people who aren't afraid to tell me when I am being an idiot. Those are the qualities I look for in a friend. How can you grow if you surround yourself with people who always agree with you? I have learned from my friends but I think to some extent I want them to figure me out. Tell me what I am supposed to do. I am not sure about a lot of things but I am certain that I have a lot of growing to do. More than most by my estimation.
Mostly I cannot imagine how God could ever use me or why He would ever pick me for anything. I am quite possibly the most exasperating person I know. I am much better at believing IN God than I am in BELIEVING God. I am well acquainted with my faults. The inventory is long and likes to be acknowledged with regularity. Old habits die hard don't they?
In church we are learning about courage than comes from God and stays with you for a lifetime. The thing is...I don't think it is something that one attains all at once. Or maybe it does and that just hasn't been my experience. I think it is a moment by moment thing. I think...and maybe I am off base here, but I think that we have to choose moment by moment what to believe, not only about God but about ourselves too. Some days are easier than others. Life is full of decisions. You make good ones, you make bad ones, but I think maybe not making a decision is worse. I tend to live there. On the island of indecision and self doubt and even doubting if God talks to me at all. Maybe I am just crazy and my what ifs take on a life of their own and I only think God is trying to tell me something.
At this point in my life I am content in my family. I love our little life with all of our ups and downs. We have eliminated all semblance of feeling stuck in the same ole same ole. I stay home and take care of my family now that we have moved just like I did before with the exception being that I no longer have a part time job at a school.
When the first book was coming out I was hoping that it would do well but not too well because I couldn't figure out the logistics of how my family would function if such things as book tours were to arise. Even now, I'm not sure how that would work. It isn't that I excel at being a mother. Probably the opposite as the only thing they really know how to feed themselves are frozen foods, sandwiches and cereal. I just cannot see how it could work even though two of my children are legal adults now. How many dreams do we get anyway? Aren't I too old for dreams now anyway? Are there age limits to these things? Are you seeing it? I am the consummate excuse maker. The struggle is very real. I fear things that haven't happened, probably wouldn't happen, and likely won't happen. I'm scared of the parts that I don't want to sign up for.
Moment by moment we decide. Moment by moment we believe or don't believe. What if it only took a single moments worth of courage? What if it only took one moment to become a 'David' or a 'Jonah'? It essentially did, didn't it? In my moments, I tend to spent them in the belly of the fish with the Jonahs. He is not the ideal when it comes to bravery and courage. The man chose to be thrown over a boat to possibly die in the ocean only to be swallowed by a fish than to go where God told him to go. I've been there. That is how my mind works. If only we could all be David and go with a sling and a stone knowing that God would bring the victory. Knowing that you wouldn't projectile vomit or pass out or wet yourself in front of a group of people because your fear is so great.
Every Sunday during this series we see the Cowardly Lion in The Wizard of Oz talk about all of the creatures that have courage and what they have that he doesn't have....courage. We see this then we get the lesson. I can't help but wonder if that will be my legacy? Two books in and scared to pull the trigger for number three because of what it might/will mean. Trilogies. I'm locked in, all in, with three. There is no turning back. I can't take it back and I'm not sure I would want to. It is a very personal thing to write what I write.
Staying true to who I am, a woman with little to no filter or restraint from keeping things real, I will say that I have stared at this page for the last four hours. Struggling even to publish a post, something I've done time and time before. Then one phone call from a friend who says just the right thing...because I have done this before. How can I fear something that I have done already? It's like riding a ride and knowing your stomach is going to drop but being surprised when it drops anyway. So after hours of looking at this rubbish here it goes in 3, 2, 1.....