but until today, something has stopped me. silenced me. almost. every. time.
fear has been my companion for quite a while. i don't know if it took root as a child, the unsettledness of multiple moves, growing in strength as i became a young single mom, carrying the burden of another human's life fully dependent on me, alone and uncertain.
perhaps fear's roots crept deeper as i watched the man i loved succumb to a devastating stroke, forever altering the course of our marriage, our family, our lives. or maybe its grasp clutched tight as i stood on our driveway one cool march morning and watched fire destroy our home, snatching away the life of our littlest, gaining in strength through the years that followed her death, as life unraveled into heartbreak, sorrow, and seemingly irreparable brokenness. shame. failure. emptiness. all unwelcomed companions of fear, well equipped to silence any voice.
i've come to a conclusion - almost 40 years in the making.
i will no longer be silenced by the threat of fear. no more. i am done. i am done playing games. "what if..." "if only..." "i should have..."
ever been there? ever done that? ever played those games? they haven't gotten you very far, have they? you're in good company. me, either.
let's start with the game of "what if". i've become quite the expert these past many years. what would happen if instead of wondering "what if" we had done something different in our past, we shifted our gaze towards the future? what might happen if that same game that brought sadness and regret offered something more, something lighter, something, dare i say, hopeful?
what if i opened my heart, my soul, took a risk and jumped out in the open? what if you did the same?
what if i shared what's been floating about my mind, stirring in my soul?
what if i stood, bravely trembling, and invited others to join the conversation?
would they come?
i may not be the most eloquent of writers, but I will be honest. some of my word choices and sentence structures may frustrate you, but i will be authentic. i'll talk a lot about the bible and my relationship with jesus because, without either, i would not have survived. i'll raise issues regarding how we care for ourselves and others, especially those in pain because, quite frankly, we do a crappy job of it. i'm sure there will be many things we disagree upon, but my hope is to get you thinking.
and so...here we go...
"a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step." - lao tzu
i am ready to change the game of "what if" even as my hands shake, my soul quakes, and fear whispers every reason to remain silent. but if you're reading these words, you know i've done it. the journey has begun with that first. single. step.
how about you? what step do you need to take to move through your fear?