When you let Jesus lead the way, He will take you to new heights (literally & not so literally), that is the theme that has been placed on my heart getting ready to walk into a new decade of life, “NEW HEIGHTS.”
I’m writing this blog post while sitting on a plane with happy, tear-filled eyes. I have always wanted to travel, experience new places and things, and meet new people while serving a purpose so much greater than myself, sharing the love of Jesus. For so long, my dreams felt so out of reach, though. About six months ago, I found myself stuck in a rut. I found myself stuck in a rut of comfortability. I found myself stuck in a rut of mediocre living. I found myself stuck in a rut of going through the motions every single day and feeling so empty inside. I would lay in bed every night staring at the ceiling just thinking about all the things I wished that I could do. I have learned when you let fear lead the way, that becomes a common theme in someone’s story – stuck in a rut & unsatisfied with the life they’re living.
One night, I had a conversation with an important person in my life. I remember sitting in the passenger seat of the car in my driveway weeping and frustrated when this person asked two things: “Maddie, are you happy and confident in who you are and what your life looks like right now? Are you living out the call placed before you and the dreams that have been placed on your heart?” I knew this person knew the answer to those questions, otherwise they wouldn’t have asked. I remember sitting there thinking “I can’t say yes to either.” I had been really good at hiding that reality from everyone else, slapping on the pretty and fake as heck “I have my life together” smile, but someone had seen right through it. *Surround yourself with people who see right through the mask you put on – the “I am going to tell you straight up because I really love you” kind of people. Be that kind of person.*
That conversation (and the many things that lead up to it) literally changed my life. I knew I had to make a change. I knew I didn’t want to remain stuck. I knew that I had to stop letting fear lead the way, that was the first step. From there, I began to just continue to step forward. It’s true what they say, the first step is always the hardest. It did, does, and will continue to take making sacrifices and walking through some pain, uncomfortability, and transformation, which I can assure you will be so worth it. I began to stare that fear that had consumed me and held me back for so long right in the face every day and do the things that terrified me (but that I knew were going to help me love life more in the long run) anyways.
Someone needs to hear this – celebrate every step forward, every victory (big and small). Celebrate your choice to read that book, write that post, forgive that person, walk into that church, run that mile, eat that salad instead of that chicken nugget meal, walk away from that friendship/relationship, hop on that plane… whatever it may be. Celebrate each choice that you make to stare fear in the face, fear that almost paralyzes you right in the face and do the hard things anyways. Every single time you do it, every single time you choose to let faith be louder than the lies of fear, the closer you get to abundant living.
I began to let Jesus lead the way. I began to let Him write my story…
One of my biggest fears? Flying, even more specificially flying alone. This week, I found myself alone on a plane, go figure. Don’t be surprised when you are stretched out of your comfort zone in order to step out into the call that God has placed so intentionally on your life. I’ve found that whats scares me even more than my biggest fears is neglecting the call on my life because of those fears. Say YES when you’re called to GO (even if it means crying like a baby saying bye to your mom at the security check point at the airport.) You don’t have to feel qualified or ready, you just have to be willing. God wants to take you to new heights, but that does require you stepping onto the plane and allowing Him to be the pilot.
I have a new found appreciation for flying since I’ve come to that realization. It’s not so bad after all – fear really is a liar.
When you let Jesus lead the way, you are going to find yourself in spaces and places that you never imagined possible. You are going to find yourself running through doors that no man can shut. You are going to find yourself on the most wild and beautiful adventure of a lifetime. You are going to find yourself absolutely overwhelmed with the opportunities presented before you. Those dreams that once felt so far from possible, so far out of reach… you are going to find yourself living those things out and SO.MUCH.MORE.
Everything didn’t just magically fall into place that day I decided to stop giving fear control – as a matter of fact, life is actually more of a great unknown than ever BUT here is what I can say with 100% honesty: I AM HAPPY AND CONFIDENT IN WHO I AM AND THE LIFE I AM LIVING. I AM LIVING OUT THE CALL SET BEFORE ME AND THE DREAMS THAT HAVE BEEN PLACED ON MY HEART.
and I hope that you can say the same, with confidence… if you can’t, I hope you’re encouraged to take some steps forward. Right now, through these words. I hope that you decide to make a change, I hope you decide to take the first step forward to new heights (whatever that may look like in your life).
I want to be the girl who says yes when Jesus says go. I want to be an unstoppable force for the kingdom. I want to be the girl who reflects HIS love in such a way that people can’t help but be drawn right to it. I want to be the girl who leaves every person and place she encounters better than she found it because of the one who lives within her. I want to be the girl who stares fear in the face and takes the leap anyway. I want to live a life that makes other people want to live theirs abundantly. I promise you, I promise you, I promise you – everything you dreamed of and more is on the other side of fear. This is JUST the beginning. New heights are waiting. Get on your way!
< 3 Maddie Joy
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” / Isaiah 55:9
Dont be afraid for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. / Isaiah 41:10