Have you had times in your life when you felt lost?
Have you ever felt like you were floating and not so sure footed? Of course there are plenty people out there who are going hell for leather at life, achieving and doing remarkable things. They inspire me and I genuinely am happy for them.
But in a way, it also exacerbates my plight.
This time a year ago, I was living my best life. I had started a marketing consultancy for safari lodges. I was helping design lodges, coming up with camp names, creating brand identities and devising all the marketing materials that launch brands and put them on the map.
Then came Covid and international tourism was decimated. I lost all my clients. Suddenly my living the dream was reduced to the cold, hard reality that my income had dried up and along with it, the fire in my belly that roared when I was doing work I loved.
Luckily the void was filled with home schooling which kept me super busy but now that kids are back at the school campus, I have had some time to pause and reflect.
Exercising alone in nature often gets my mind working and it was on one of my runs that I was suddenly struck with the horror that I don’t know what my next set of dreams or goals are.
I don’t know my next step.
Forget the Big Hairy Audacious Goals
Okay to be fair, if I can make it to 8pm having survived the day without forgetting anything or losing my sense of humour, then that is a MASSIVE achievement and I am pretty stoked. But when I encourage my soul to think bigger, to be brave, to put myself out there……..it’s blank. Eskom is load shedding and the lights are well and truly out.
Of course there are the usual small goals I set for myself like: lose the stubborn python around my belly, get rid of my adult acne, make some friends (always a challenge when you move to a new city during Covid) and get involved at an awesome church. All noble goals, but those aren’t the ones I am talking about.
I am talking about listening to the tugging that pulls on your heart. The whisper in the wind. The gentle voice that urges you not to forget your gifting. It reminds you to follow that one passion on your heart that has been placed there since you can remember. I am talking about answering the calling that has been placed on your life.
Why Do We Lose Our Ability To Dream?
What happened to that 20-year-old version of me who had more MASSIVE dreams than water gushing out of a broken pipe? As the nurturer of my family have I been so immersed in raising my family and putting their needs first, that I have forgotten who I am? Or have I experienced enough hardships and setbacks to understand the fragility of life so I have chosen to live small, focusing instead on raising the family and just going with the flow. Have I settled for thinking that if my husband and kids are happy, well then of course they are my priority so that should make me happy too.
But something in my soul is whispering for more…..
How Do We Find Our Way Back?
To remember who we are, we need to remember whose we are. We need to turn to the One who made us. The Bible reinforces over and over how much God loves us and that He made each of us with a specific purpose in mind. He tells us over and over not to worry or to be afraid (which I forget about multiple times a day). He tells us that each and every person is different and that is exactly how he wants it. He says we are one body many parts and each of us has our role to play in society. He reminds us that we are making a difference when we serve others. Which gets me thinking that maybe our goals need to be less about ourselves and the pythons around our bellies and more about helping others.
My absolute best verse though is this one: “For I have not given you a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.” This verse reminds me that for us to do God’s work in this world, He needs us to focus on the positive and not on the negative. Instead of worrying what could go wrong, maybe we should try focus on what could go right.
Start With What Is In Your Hand
I recall a sermon in which the preacher told us to always start with what’s in your hand. Start with the values, beliefs, talents and gifts God has given you. Is there something that bothers you in this world? Ahhhh there’s a good place to start. This planet that is in dire need of people willing to step out of the boat and make a difference – no matter how big or small.
Moses was irked by the way the Israelites were being treated. When God used Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt, He told him to start with what was in his hand. Moses had a staff. Using his staff Moses produced water from a rock, he transformed the staff into a snake and back, and he used the staff to part The Red Sea.
Start with what is in your hand and on your heart. Start with what irks you about this world. Dare yourself to dust off the cupboard housing your dreams. Open those cupboard doors. Ask the One who made you to help you as you take the first step.
So where does that leave me?
I have always had a love for people and for truth. I believe that positivity inspires and negativity stifles. I am irked by the fact that we are bombarded by negativity day in and out. Negativity sells. But negativity also keeps us in a state of fear. How can we live powerfully and with impact if we all live small, safe lives.
In my hand I am holding a pen. I can write. I am no means a brilliant writer but I can write well enough to get my point across. Writing what is on my heart gets my heart racing with fire.
So I have decided to start a blog and write from my heart to yours. If it speaks to just one person, it’s worth it. Gosh, if I can do it then you can do it too. Go ahead: dare yourself to dream and then for goodness sake, take your first step no matter how small it is.