In the beginning, she simply said yes.
I know a lot of people who have a problem with saying no to people. But I am not one of them. Instead of being a “yes man,” I feel I am a “no man.” I have no problem saying no to any social engagement, commitment, God, boys. But you see, there is a huge problem with saying no, especially to God. You sell yourself out of an opportunity of a lifetime simply because you didn’t want to do what God was asking of you. And that’s really selfish. (Note: I am preaching to myself on this one. *hangs head in shame at this revelation.*) It’s as if you checked out of rehab before your addiction was under control simply because you were tired of being in rehab and wanted to rejoin the world and relapse into the same stuff you were trying to rid yourself of. It’s not smart, dangerous, and most importantly, outrageously stupid.
Today I bought Lets All Be Brave by Annie F Downs. Normally, it takes me six years, three twenty-year old life crises, and resolution of a toddler to actually finish a Christian living book. Meaning it rarely happens. If ever.
But Lets All Be Brave is a different story. I started the book around 4 pm this afternoon and at the present time, 6:02 pm, I have made it half way through the entire book with the resolution to finish it within the next twelve hours. Annie, I feel I must call her that because her writing makes you feel like you are talking with an old friend, talks extensively about being brave and making the decisions in which God has graced you with. For the longest time, I spent so much of my energy saying “No, God, I can’t do it. Go ask someone else,” that it veiled my eyes from seeing that He simply wants me to say “Okay God, I don’t know what’ll happen, I don’t even know if these deep buried dreams can even come into fruition. But I am going to change (and note I am a severe creature of habit. Change is the equivalent of going to the dentist for me), I am simply going to say yes, even if it fails and I screw up.”
I have not written about Germany because I quite honestly couldn’t write what happened over there. But looking retrospectively at the trip He just made me realize a HUGE aspect of why He wanted me to go. Going to Germany was simply a step in becoming more brave and courageous because I just said
“Yes.” I got on the plane for the first time even though I wanted to run out of the terminal and call my parents to come get me. It’s the fact that I faced my worst fears over there, I was forced to confront my fears and have the privilege to say that I got sick (I have a huge fear of getting sick in public) and I survived. Thousands of miles away from home. On my own. In a country where the only things I had to placate my anxiety was God, a kind-hearted roommate, and somehow being blessed to be rooming with the team leader.
My campus pastor and I had a talk while we were there. He was asking how I was doing because a concerned friend had mentioned that I was struggling while I was there. (And if I said I didn’t, you have permission to slap me because it’s all lies. Lies I tell you.) The truth of it all, if we’re being honest with one another, going to Germany was the hardest thing I had ever done. Sure, I didn’t experience it in the ways that I think others might’ve expected me to experience it, I went to Germany. I took a step in faith, prayed for peace the entire flight from Dallas to Frankfurt, met people who are my people, my tribe, conquered about a hundred of my fears by simply getting on the plane.
And it’s all because I finally said yes to God. It’s all because I got on my knees in early October of last year and told God that “Hell or high water, I wasn’t going to cop-out on him again. I was going to make this trip a reality because He wanted me to be there.” Guys, God wanted me in Germany because in so many ways it broke me. It pushed me. It caused me to get so far out of my comfort zone that I could no longer see it. It taught me that even though I may say or do things that are the exact opposite of what He told me to do, His will and plan is always greater and more magnificent than trying to get a boyfriend two days before I went on the trip that He told me to be single for. (Note: Said man got a girl while I was gone. I think it was divine intervention in its finest, just saying)
If anything, Germany made me brave. Or rather it launched me on the journey of becoming the brave beast that he wanted me to be all along, from the day I was born. It broke away any characteristics of myself until all that was left was the crap I had created for myself that just needed to be thrown away. It was as if a clean slate was dropped in my lap and he just said, “Quit running, Daughter, be brave, say yes, dream my crazy dreams, and let’s make them happen. Because this world will only leave you broken and trashed. Empty and still seeking at the end of it all.” I just needed to rid myself of failed relationships, worldly beliefs, selfishness, and simply go running full speed (think of monsters chasing you kind of speed) back into the arms that had been guiding me the entire time.
Just say yes, just take the first step into being brave. You’ll never be the same again.