Brave Souls

Have you ever been called crazy for believing that a dream could become a reality? Or had someone look you in the eye and tell you that your vision was impossible or not practical? Maybe you’re one of the brave souls that stepped out into faith and were left feeling overwhelmed by circumstances and life events rendering you into a state of panic and anxiety. If this resonates then this blog is written to you, brave soul. As a faith-filled entrepreneur I have learned that believing requires you to weather the storms of self-doubt, and face your fears head on. I have also come to realize that this thing called faith is a partnership between you and the maker who gave you the dream. Listening, trusting and believing in him and not just your own abilities are the biggest hurtles to master. I’m a firm believer that strategic thoughtful action coupled with a healthy prayer walk is what shifts our faith into reality. Once we let these truths settle into our hearts we can let faith be the difference between being a doer and being an achiever. Doers tend to lose sight of the end goal or dream because they fixate on the "what ifs" or internal insecurities they may have left unresolved. As a recovering perfectionistic, self-doubting doer learning to listen, believe and trust has been a life long lesson.

When I was 18 sitting in my freshman English class at Williams Baptist College there was a group of young leaders that were going to China to build greenhouses. They had come to solicit volunteers. In that moment as I listen to their spill the little country girl from Arkansas felt in her heart a spark of desire. But just as quickly as I felt the spark it was quenched by my thoughts around the impossible. A few months later there was a freshman mixer that I normally never went to due to commuting back and forth from the city that my school was in and my hometown, but this mixer happen to be held in Jonesboro where I lived. I showed up and didn’t realize the theme of the evening was geared around the trip to China. As I heard of the stories from others who had been and were going back my heart was filled with hope and desire to get the chance to go. I was sitting next to one of the participants an overheard him say to someone else that all the slots had been filled for this trip. My stomach dropped and I was devastated. But it’s not over till it’s over, or so I’ve learned.

At the end the freshmen mixer one of the guides for the trip came over and introduced himself to me. He then asked me “Have you ever considered going on the trip to Asia with our team?”  I paused. And the word yes fell out of my mouth betraying my fears and doubt. He then replied then “Why don’t you join us? We just had someone drop out a few days ago due to a scheduling conflict. So there is a slot that has just opened if you are interested.” My mouth fell open I certain. I was stunned, excited and overwhelmed with joy all at the same time. In that moment I took action with my heart and words while I had a grip on my faith. I said “yes”. Then came the real test. I had 4 weeks to get my shots, passport, and raise $2500. The funny thing about faith in action is that you believe with a sort of reckless abandon. I didn’t care. I was going to China! I called my mother to share the news. As you might expect her response was not that of elation but rather worry, fear and doubt. Her only child was going to travel to the other side of the world to build a greenhouse of all things. She exclaimed over the phone “GIRL ARE YOU CRAZY? As a matter of fact I was.

Four weeks later I was sitting on the backside of a mountain over looking the rolling hills of a small province outside of Lei Jong China. We had just finished building a greenhouse for villagers that had never seen Americans nor spoke a common language. The experience was both surreal and humbling. In that paused moment as I looked out over those hills and mountains it dawned on me… It took a little spark of desire, some crazy faith and hard work to make what was deemed impossible, possible. In that same moment I thanked God for the opportunity to flex my faith. Too often we stand in the way of seeing the possible as a reality because we believe faith is a trick. We allow ourselves to get stuck in a cycle of believing our fears. This was the first of many stories that would teach me over and over to listen, trust and believe. The journey has lent me harder trials and even greater obstacles along the way but what I have grown to realize now is that God was taking a little “doer” and allowing her to be baptized as an “achiever” through experience.

Sometimes in order to achieve what you feel is impossible you have to act on it as if it was the only thing possible. And be ready to hear panic and anxiety knocking on your door. But here is the secret you don’t have to answer to it. You have a choice. And yes, be ready for well meaning others to see you as impractical, unrealistic or flat out crazy. And who knows maybe their right. Remember the desire and dream isn’t between you and them its between you and your maker and if you lovingly listen and trust him he will move mountains when the time is right. Not everyone will get it and I’ve learned that’s okay. There is an old quote that I love that says “ Those that dance are thought mad by those who do not hear the music.” So here are my questions to you brave souls: Are you the one who thinks this idea of a faith filled achiever is madness? Or per chance are you the one who hears the music?