New experiences can be very tough.
Ever since I was a kid, I’ve always been slightly afraid of meeting strangers. I’m constantly worried that I wouldn’t know how to introduce myself or I’d run out of things to say.
People who know me say that they can’t imagine that I’m like that, especially since I used to work in a field that required me to meet and interact with a lot of people on a daily basis. But trust me, I didn’t just cruise into that type of work easily. Maybe I was good at putting up a strong front, but deep inside, I had to summon up a lot of courage to be able to get by. Thankfully, after some time, things got easier.
However, I still go through the same scenario all the time. Every time I meet a new group of people or I face a new experience, I’m still as nervous as a little girl on her first day of school. I have to constantly pray for courage to show up, and most of all, courage to stick around.
We often associate courage with a bold act like starting a business, moving to a different country, taking a new job, or even getting married. But courage comes in different forms, and sometimes–as Andy Stanley put it–what we need is “the courage to stay, when it would be easier to go.”
I’ve been learning that in a lot of cases, that’s precisely how things change for the better: you have to stay. You have to stick it out, put both of your feet in, and allow yourself to be immersed in the experience. When you’ve got one foot out the door, you miss out on the chance to discover the many beautiful and life-changing things around you that are waiting to be unveiled. When you’re too busy looking for the exit signs, you miss out on seeing all the possibilities, opportunities, and solutions that are right in front of you.
I find myself writing this today because I need a reminder, and I’m sharing it here because maybe you or someone you know could use this reminder, too.
I need to remember to give these new things some time, but I also need to stop checking my watch. I need to suppress the urge to run away, and instead run to God, my faithful source of strength and courage.
Can you relate to this? Do you ever find the need for courage to stay?