Last week I had three things happen, that completely rocked me. The fear that stayed bottled inside my soul, erupted yesterday and it wasn’t until I talked it out in detail with my husband that I realised what was really going on.
Last Monday on the way home from our Family Dinner, I had my Dad in my car with me (thankfully) and we were all chatting away, in the dark with rain pouring, I entered a round- a- bout, when a young guy on a scooter was coming out of it the wrong way, without a helmet on straight into my path. I slammed the brakes and just missed him but the darkness and the rain, meant that it was such a close call nearly hitting this young person.
The questions of what if? what could have been? flooded into my heart and mind.
Then on Friday morning bookending my week, as I was driving once again in the rain, someone turned straight into my lane, across it. I slammed on my brakes and my car skidded, writhing back and forward, nearly doughnut-ing into oncoming traffic.
I was shaken to my very core.
What if I was looking at my phone?
What if my kids were in the car?
Twice in one week, I had two very real frights in my car and the effect was lasting. After near miss number two, I become seriously lost. That lost feeling, really overwhelmed me, nailing the third vulnerability in the week. I was scared to look at my phone for my maps, I was late for a consult, my nerves were absolutely wrecked but a half an hour later, I found myself at my destination and didn’t think about it again. I threw myself into my work, raced off after to visit a friend and then recorded in the studio for Kinwomen.
For a few days I didn’t even think about what happened and then yesterday morning I started to unravel. I kept the wheels spinning, I kept on moving and when I stopped, I realised I had a flat tyre on the inside and it had leaked all my courage out.
The vulnerability of that place of anxiety, reminded me of all those years ago when I came close to having a breakdown. The panic attacks, the sleepless nights, crying so hard that I was unsure if I would ever stop.
Anxiety is real.
Yesterday was not a great day on many fronts, but I decided to get back up again, with some great friends who walked with me and listened. An amazing partner who talked till all hours of the night last night, until I found the words to voice where my fear was coming from.
I gave my anxiety and fear a voice and expression. I dug deep and allow safe people into that place of vulnerability.
The in-between places bring such anxiety, fear and real insecurity into our days.
I have been looking forward to the release of Brene Brown’s new offering Rising Strong which was released today. She calls these moments in our lives, face down moments. I have had many moments like this. Times when I dare greatly and life tries to take me out. I fail, I fall flat on my face, I am full of fear and then decide to have a go again.
When we deny the story, it defines us. When we own the story, we can write a brave new ending.
When we face our anxieties, when we share the load of what is happening for us with safe people, our story is faced and we own it.
Today is a great new day. One with a brave new ending.
The reason why I am sharing these tales of weakness and vulnerability, is even though I may sound like I have it together on these pages, I face weakness, fear and anxiety. I worry about what people think, I suffer from vulnerability hangovers, but I still decide to show up. I decide to process and face those places of pain.
I chose to replace them with moments of honesty and courage.
No matter what you are facing in your today, fear and anxiety is real and my prayer is that you would seek a brave new ending.
Own your story.
Find the grace in the midst of the dark places.
Philippians 4 is my go to chapter of scripture in these times of pressure.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
It goes on to talk about a peace that will surpass understanding that guards our hearts and minds.
Have you ever been so immersed in something, that you had no idea how far you had come, only because you forgot to look at the bigger picture?
That is what the in-between can be.
A frustrating place, where you feel like nothing is changing, but when you step back, you have a look, everything is different.
C.S Lewis says it like this;
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes but when you look back everything is different.”
As you wait in a hidden place, it is easy to feel the frustration rise saying “nothing is going to ever change”.
When we embrace the stretch of the in-between, suddenly we realise those dreams have begun to unlock, our hearts have shifted and changed.
Here are the two footnotes to this perspective.
Footnote number one: Embrace the stretch of the season.
If we allow the in-between, the disappointment, the misunderstanding to shrink us, no matter what has happened and what we are hoping for, the journey reduces us. Embrace the stretch my friend. The pain of patience, the wrestle with hope, the humility of letting people see that your faith has not defeated you. Take time to sit uncomfortably in that place of waiting and don’t let it take you out.
Footnote number two: Step back and look for the bigger picture.
I believe there is a bigger picture at play. Whether you believe in a higher power or not, I see that there is a greater work at play that will bring all things together for good. When the frustration takes over, look for those promises that excited you from long ago, chat with a friend that can assure you that things have changed, remind yourself of the dream.
When we step back there is a bigger call at play.
The detail in the in-between can rob us of hope, but keep walking, keep believing and take time to see that there is a greater plan in it all.
“A poem begins with a lump in the throat; a homesickness or a love sickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfilment. A complete poem is one where an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.”
Imagine if your life was a poem for one moment.
What words would flood its structure?
What themes parade its page?
In the in-between seasons we can lose our voice because of the ambiguity of the journey. We can feel unsure, we question, we over think and we doubt.
What if we unearth a voice in this ‘season of change’ that we never knew existed?
What if there was a song in your heart, that is desperate to be released and it just needed the space of your season to rise to your throat?
I love Robert’s strength in his thoughts above.
I remember someone amazing saying to me once, “whatever makes you angry Amanda, that is the thing you are called to change”.
What causes your emotion to rise,
A lump in your throat, causing words to spill into your subconscious,
What makes you mad?
Take time today to express that emotion. Draw, write, dream or speak up.
This could be your poem,
This could be your symphony,
It could be your legacy,
your gift to the world.
I am not afraid of my emotions any more, I know they have been gifted to help me communicate that which burdens my soul, but I have learnt to be the master of them.
I have learnt that the way I feel does not determine the theme of my day, it is just a vehicle to express my thoughts and voice, my emotions have become my muse.
Your new could be one expression away.
A release of what is deep within your soul, that you have been do scared to admit to anyone, someone, anything.
Say that dream you have been scared to express before.
Speak out that potential that is deep within your heart.
Let go of the “what if I fail?” and step into the “what was I designed to bring?”
You were created with purpose.
There is a song that only you can sing.
Bring it forth my wandering friend.
Let the poem rise from the depth of your heart.
Start with a whisper and let it develop into a roar.
The in-between is giving you space to find it.
Look for the lump in your throat.
The homesickness calling you home in your heart.
The love that compels you to action.
Your purpose is palpable in this place of expression.