OK guys, today I’m introducing you to Lexie. She is 24 years old and oh so much more brave than me. Her motto for life is this – “great things are on the other side of fear and comfort zones only cage you”. I want to be more like you, Lexie, but…
Sometimes I find myself not moving forward because I don’t know what’s ahead. Even if I feel confident in the direction, my feet and my mind won’t budge because the fear and apprehension grip me. Even me proclaiming my trust in the Lord sometimes is not enough to go and do.
Why do we act like that? Because we actually DO trust Jesus and know His history of bringing us through things before. Think about this: We barrel down an interstate highway at night doing 75 miles an hour and even with the high beams on, we can only see 200 yards in front of us. How do we know there is not a huge wall in the middle of the road 400 yards down that interstate? Because we know the nature of the interstate is to be open and there has never been one before. Do we not have that same history with God and know that His nature is to clear the path before us and bring us through adversity?
So what if my voice shakes? So what if I screw it up? So what if I’m scared? If God impresses me to do it, He will have prepared the way and will honor my boldness in doing it.
So again, I introduce you to Lexie, who, with this piece, inspired me to not be such a chicken!
I was sitting here this morning thinking about the past 24 years of my life and all the plot twists and adventures that I was sure were going to ruin my life and “my plan”.
I grew up all over the country and “adventure” was a normal part of my family’s vocabulary. If we got lost on a road trip it was an adventure. Trip to Target= adventure. If we had to move again for dad’s job it was an adventure. If we were driving me back to college and we were the only car on a mountain covered in ice (which we had no business doing) it was just an adventure that we would survive…probably.
You get the point.
Adventure is a word that has defined my life for the past 24 years. I love adventures. But, there is something similar with every season…the fear of the unknown that creeps in.
I was just thinking about milestones and adventures and realized mine all have one thing in common…
I survived the adventure and thrived.
100% survival rate….that’s a win.
When I was almost 2 we moved from Michigan to Georgia….I was a baby and didn’t know any better so that didn’t count. Not even sure why I am putting that in there.
When I was five we moved to California from Georgia. I had best friends at this point. I was in gymnastics and had such stability at church. I mean, I was only 5, but I still remember my older brother crying when they told us we were moving, quite literally, across the country. I thought I would never make friends. I thought my life was over.
But it wasn’t. It was an adventure.
I fell in love with California. I fell in love with the people, the beach, the food [realizing this is why I am a Mexican food snob and proud of it], and I settled in.
Then we moved back to Georgia. Talk about pulling the rug out from under an elementary schooler. I was 8 and now I was the one crying that we had to move again. How would I go on without my best friends? The world was ending [never quite grew out of the over dramatic moments I guess].
If only I knew then what I knew now. I survived. I made new friends. I survived. I thrived.
I survived depression and suicidal thoughts as a middle schooler where God clearly told me “just give me one more day, I promise it will get better”. I survived dating people, who were not bad guys for the record, but who I should have dated in high school and giving pieces of my heart away over and over when I should have been focusing on me and figuring out who I was. I survived moving 15 hours from home for college not knowing anyone there and finding a home with the best people you will ever meet…and also learning that not all women tear each other down, but that real strong women build each other up.
I survived moving to Tennessee for another college with other people and learning that I can pretty much make a life for myself anywhere because it is not about the location but about my attitude. I survived going to Kenya for the first time and not only found family in my teammates, but found out my heart was made to help the broken and lost be seen…even if it is just the little girl in the corner with HIV who doesn’t trust easily. I have survived a yearlong internship that scared me when I first started and in that I found such joy in building something with a staff while also learning so much about who I was in Christ as the leadership poured into me day after day.
I survived my first job in ministry and the countless growing moments that came with it. I survived leading worship on three continents where I battled every bit of insecurity that could be thrown at me…and I have seen Heaven touch earth. I survived international trips, leading teams, and learning that my heart is for the forgotten college generation…without those trips I never would have realized that I wanted to start my own ministry someday (because honestly if you always call this generation “millennials” in a negative way, that is all we will ever be and the mantle that should be being passed on to the 18-28 year old “Elisha’s” to help raise up the next generation of ministers will be lost with us…side rant over). I have played pool with prostitutes, seen miracles in the middle of slums, seen lions close up in the wild, and prayed with single moms, pregnant teens, and homeless people randomly all over the world. I have had a lot of really cool moments…but everything scared me at first.
Let the record show I was shaking and had panic attacks over the majority of that.
By the time that I was 12 I had lived in 9 different houses in three different states. I had traveled all over the country with my dad for business. I have been to almost every major city in the United States and can say that I have ridden horses in Hawaii, dirt bikes on El Mirage, driven cross country on multiple occasions, and have been confident enough to jump on a plane to Cambodia on two weeks notice.
Why I write this today is more to remind myself that I think the key to life is knowing that God has us in his hand, so instead of ordeals dripping in fear we can stand and face everything with expectancy and call it an adventure. Every great thing is on the other side of fear and thinking “this is crazy, what if I fail?”.
I have learned, so far in my very VERY short life, that I should do things IN SPITE of the fear. If it scares me, it’s probably worth it. I think this is a lesson I will learn over and over again.
So today, I am chasing adventures and praying for open doors that scare me and shake me to my very core, because that it where I will grow and where I will become someone that can truly say I did not waste this time on earth. I want to be someone who loves radically, chases adventure, and steps forward to speak the truth even if my voice shakes.
So what do you need to do that scares you today? Is it asking the homeless guy that you pass every day his story? (Do that, it is always so worth it) Is it saying yes to a new adventure, not knowing how it will work out? Is it braving the grocery store with your kids in tow or parenting your children even though you don’t know how? (Parents are my heroes, I do not know how you do it). Is it saying yes to the coffee date despite the walls you’ve built up or putting yourself out there? Starting to work out again even though you do not look like the people on the exercise video?
Great things are on the other side of fear and comfort zones only cage you.
(If you made it this far, way to go. I am honestly just rambling for myself today and do not expect anyone on a crazy Monday to actually read this hah)
I read it, Lexie. Thank you for showing a woman twice your age what it means to truly live for Christ.
You can find more of Lexie’s posts on her website The Not-So Strawberry Blonde