Sounds strange right? To love the feeling of fear? But I’ve learned that fear isn’t always to be feared. Because maybe it’s not really “fear” but instead, maybe it’s the idea…the gift…the blessing of being given an opportunity to stretch beyond your comfort zone. And I’ve come to believe with all my heart that that’s where growth and change for the better really takes place. I’ve also come to believe that what’s on the other side, if you allow yourself to go there…is usually pretty cool.
“God doesn’t call the equipped, he equips the called.”
This was a quote I heard for the first time in Haiti, almost two years ago. I was gripping my husband’s hand, walking into the Port au Prince General Hospital taking in the situation around me…cold cement floors, garbage piles, rats running around, abandoned and deformed little bodies with their mouths gaping open for food. I’ve never felt so consumed with the feeling that I was NOT equipped to deal with where I was and what I was supposed to do. In fact, what WAS I supposed to do? How in the world could I possibly help these people? What the HELL was I doing there? The intensity of that feeling was like a weight on my chest. I could barely breathe and tears would.not.stop spilling over on to my cheeks. And all I could do was whisper…”I can not do this on my own…equip me, God…equip me.” I took a deep breath and slowly the tears let up. I took the first step…fueled only by faith…and continued to walk down the dark, narrow hallway. That faith led me through the next few hours of feeding babies, praying over dying children, singing to injured men and women…all who just needed to know that someone loved and cared for them. That’s what I was doing there and it made a difference, not only in their lives but in mine as well. The significance of that day and what I was doing there was revealed to me loud and clear as I trusted and followed His lead.
That experience, just like the rest of my time in Haiti and countless challenges that came before and after in my life have changed me – for the better – in so many ways. And what’s been proven to me time and time again as I walk through this life, is the absolute truth in that statement…that He will always equip those who take a true leap of faith. And I’m not just talking about just a easy little gamble…a well-calculated risk. Although there’s nothing wrong with those. But what I’m talking about is more than that. I’m talking about a serious, no holds barred, on-a-wing-and-a-prayer type deal.
An “I truly have no idea how this is going to work out, I just know I’m supposed to do it” leap.
A “there’s really no safety net for this” leap.
An “I am truly putting all my faith in what God has put on my heart” leap.
Taking a planned year-long leave of absence from my job, my friends and colleagues, a steady paycheck, great insurance and stability is soooooooooo outside my box, my comfort zone…it IS that leap. I’m type A. A planner. I like my i’s dotted and my t’s crossed. I like a clear budget and clear expectations. I like to know exactly…EXACTLY how we’re going to get from point A to point B.
But…life has a way of throwing curveballs…ones that don’t always fit into that neat little box of a plan. The last year or so has brought about some of the hardest and yet most revealing and beautiful moments of my life. It’s also brought about opportunities…opportunities that I just know are meant to be followed up on.
So in addition to pouring myself into my kids, my family, and helping Dani finish this cancer fight as strongly as she started it, I’m also dedicating myself to KICKcancER, our non-profit that’s gaining so much momentum, recognition, and is in desperate demand from other cancer parents who are searching for what we have to share. And this crazy doTERRA business that I never in a million years would have seen as “up my alley” but has developed into a passion that’s so flawlessly intertwined in our fight against cancer and overall health and wellness that I can’t ignore it as another opportunity that God has placed in my lap. Then there’s my blog and website…I’ve loved, loved, LOVED this therapy through writing but haven’t had the time to devote to it the way I want to. I can’t explain how uplifting it is to hear from people – both friends and complete strangers – who have been inspired by something I’ve written, who have changed their families eating habits because of a recipe or a post, who have found KICKcancER and are getting the help they need for their child because of something I’ve shared. There’s nothing more rewarding than that. To know that the trials and tribulations and ultimate rewards that you’ve experienced are somehow helping others.
Sitting here on my deck with the sun shining, the birds chirping, yummy bullet-proof coffee in my “Let your faith be bigger than your fears” coffee cup, and on the brink of a leap like that has so many dynamics. I’m excited, full of hope, and scared absolutely shitless. But I also have a strange overwhelming feeling that it’s what I’m supposed to do…and that what’s on the other side is where I’m supposed to be.
It’s the same feeling I had when Mark, my high school sweetheart and first love, came back into my life after an 8 year “break” and we decided to build a life together even with all the differences we had and “baggage” we now carried. The same feeling I got when I found out Sawyer would be our son and we would have to navigate the beautiful but intimidating life-long process of an adoption. The same feeling I had when we found out we were pregnant with both of our girls…neither planned (by us 😉 ) and having to deal with the constant concern that comes with pregnancies after devastating loss and infertility issues. The same feeling I had when we were invited to Haiti and had no money to pay for it, three young children, and no “plan” for how it was all going to come together. The same feeling as when Dani was diagnosed with cancer…and I called work to say I wouldn’t be back…with no plan, no savings, no idea how we would get through it all.
Since Dani’s diagnosis, we’ve been unable to attend our beloved home church as regularly as we like but whenever we do go, there’s something significant that hits me. Like it’s obvious that we’re there at the right time for the right reasons. It might be a hug from a friend that I’ve been missing, seeing Dani’s name on the prayer list in the bulletin as a reminder that so many are lifting us up, a song or bible verse with a perfectly timed message. A few weeks ago, on the brink of the end of the school year and this leap I’ve been so excitedly nervous about taking…after months and months of prayer for a “sign” that I was doing the right thing…the message of the day was about- get this – taking a leap of faith. And guess what quote was shared?
“God doesn’t call the equipped, He equips the called.”
How’s that for a “sign”?
So for now…I’ll take another sip from my coffee…say a prayer…take a deep, DEEP breath…and leap.