"You don't climb mountains without a team, you don't climb mountains without being fit, you don't climb mountains without being prepared and you don't climb mountains without balancing the risks and rewards. And you never climb a mountain on accident - it has to be intentional."
I really just want to talk frankly today. I think I'm pretty vulnerable, and I'd like to keep it that way. Its good to be honest with each other. Anywho, this post is mainly for women-especially single women-and the benefits of independence. How it plays into our role as Christians, and how we can apply it practically and responsibly. Girls, I'm writing this from one feminine heart to another! For many years I begged God for a change, until one day I "woke up," for lack of a better metaphor, and realized that most of the changes I wanted. . .needed to come from me. I mentioned this a bit in a previous post, but its so important to me that other young people understand that waiting isn't always the key. YES, good things come to those who wait. And YES, we are supposed to wait on God. But when there are practical changes that need to be made in your life, like getting a new job, taking a chance, or going out on a limb, (more on that in a minute,) God is often stepping back so we can grow. Lightening bolts will not (unfortunately,) fall from the sky. In most cases, there will be no dramatic sign. Someone told me, and I think I've already said it once, that many Christians use God as a shield to hide behind. Its true. We use our doubt and insecurity about life decisions as an excuse: "there just hasn't been an open door." Now don't get me wrong; in many instances its very true. Sometimes the "door" is flung so wide or closed so hard, there is no doubt about what God has planned. Other times the waiting becomes suffocating and the urge turns from restlessness to total discontentment and sometimes depression. Sometimes, taking the first step, even if the way is unclear, is actually God's answer. Think of Abraham or even the Israelite's in search of The Promise Land. God didn't give them specific directions. They blindly obeyed because He assured them: I will provide. Follow me, and I will give you everything your heart desires. They did, walking for years and years in a desert, of all places. . .until finally they reached the goal. The Promise. The Reward. What an incredible picture of the Christian life, huh?
"The choices we make lead up to actual experiences. It is one thing to decide to climb a mountain. It is quite another to be on top of it."
When I've told people, like my hairdresser last week, all the things I'll be doing next year, they are amazed. I'm moving to KY to start a new job. . .I'll be living there for over half a year. . .then I'm headed back to Colorado for a bit, working at the ranch. . .then I'm going to Thailand. If something drastically changes or happens to convince me that this isn't God's plan, I'll cut back. But right now I'm so sick of just talking about everything I'd like to do. I'm just doing it. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." 2 Timothy 1:7 It's crazy how my goals have changed since my work at Wind River. I still want to go to Europe and maybe even go to cosmetology school. But that isn't the path I'm supposed to tread at this time. I took a leap. . .and now everything, things I didn't plan or could even imagine, are falling into place. Isn't it funny how that works? Our plans are rarely ever God's. But waiting around for direction isn't always the answer either. Keep walking through doors until they are shut. Trust me, if they aren't within His Will, He'll close them. Hard.“When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Find someone to pray with you-this could be a parent, a sibling, a best friend, a mentor. Ask them to dedicate themselves to supporting you through prayer, and talk with them often about your fears, plans, and course of action. Make lists of what you want to tackle in the next 12 months. As you do them, mark them off your list. Never let this list just sit gathering dust in a closet. Keep it tacked on your wall, in the creases of your Bible, on the bathroom mirror. Journal every day. A record of your journey is the best thing for motivation. Plus its so cool to track your growth. Stop feeling like you have to conform. Its ok to be intimidated, but what does 2 Timothy say about fear, again? Start targeting your comfort zones, and purposely walk into situations that make you feel uncomfortable. Me, I used to hate making business phone calls. Now I've worked with the public so much, talking with strangers and making a fool out of myself isn't really that bad. You are only limited by your insecurities. Insufficient finances held me back for as long as I let them control me. Then I realized-and this was scary-that God is in control. It changed my whole perspective. Budgeting and saving money is crucial, as always, but if it's meant to be, He will provide.
Most importantly, ask a lot of questions. Don't be afraid of sounding (or being!) dumb. We are all dumb without experience. I think it is so important, especially as women, to find independence while still single. Travel as often as possible. Airports can be super intimidating, especially international ones. Don't spend money on things you really don't need. I went shopping yesterday for moving-out-essentials. . .at Target. Now, I simply cannot go to Target, especially at this time of year, without wanting to buy everything. But I stuck to my list, and saved a lot of money in the end. Thinking about paying my landlord and buying food for the week was an incentive, obviously. ;)
"He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying."
Dress according to age. I've been learning a lot about this one. Right now I'm all about neutrals, and find a basic, classic wardrobe to be the most versatile. This cuts down on the inevitable, "I have nothing to wear!" crisis and maintains a professional, effortless, clean-cut look. Neutrals are perfect for mixing. You can wear the same piece over and over again in almost limitless ways. Budget saving, as always!
Lastly, listen to what your heart is telling you. You might be surprised. . .it could be God. I don't want to make anyone feel like they haven't done enough or are unworthy. If your still living at home and are happy, if you've never left your State because God wants you right where you are. If you don't really have special ambition or dreams. If your perfectly content doing what you do. My charge is to those who are called to something, but are looking back. Those who know what God wants, but are waiting for a sign that its ok. Those who may be missing a blessing because of comfort zones. Get off of Instagram and GO visit the destinations you drool over. Want to be a photographer? Buy a camera. Be creative, find your niche. You may not have special talents, you may be shy, you may have horrible communication skills. With enough determination, you can make a name for yourself. Even if that name is just between you and God. “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.”