Last month, I underwent surgery to have a benign tumor removed from my lip. Eeeew gross, I know. A few days post-surgery, I found myself gently stuffing mashed potatoes into the corner of my mouth while whining to my husband that “if I knew exactly how much pain this surgery would cause, I would have lived with the stupid tumor.”
Change can be painful, unpredictable and downright scary. How many times have we been smack dab in the middle of a life change and thought to ourselves- OK, I give, this is too hard- I want my old life back?!?
Change can also be a fun adventure. It can be incredibly fulfilling and make our hearts thump with joy.
A few years ago, after rebounding from one of my most trying years battling my neurological illness which is nicknamed the suicide disease, I needed to take a hard look at my beliefs.
If I believed that God was truly in charge of my life, then why did I dread change so much? Why was I so resistant to what He had in store for me? I hated that I was living as a “what if” person letting the fear of the unknown take over my life. It was so contradictory to my faith.
I wanted to become a “why not” person. When God placed a situation in front of me, I wanted to be able to respond with “why not” instead of “what if” and that’s exactly what I set out to do.
It was during that time that I developed a mantra that I still live by today- I choose faith over fear.
I decided to become a yes person. In the words of Leonard Bernstein “I’m no longer quite sure what the question is, but I know that the answer is Yes.”
I am blown away by how this has changed my life.
This is a BIG deal. My extended family calls me a weanie. The phrase was coined during one of our family trips to the Outer Banks, “Tara’s a weanie.” It’s true. I like to live in my own comfort zone, it’s a mighty fine place to be. Stepping out of it makes me feel like I need to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head. What if I fail? What if I’m wrong? What if it hurts?
My first faith over fear moment was the decision to take our family on a mission trip to Guatemala. So many fears… Would our family be safe? Could I handle the physical labor of building a house? Would my neurological illness hold up? Could I trust God enough to go on this adventure?
Upon coming home from Guatemala, I was so pumped up about living in faith over fear that I decided to become a Weight Watchers leader. This is something I had been waffling over for 15 years! I’m terrified of public speaking. What if people didn’t like me? What if they weren’t receptive to what I had to say? What if I messed up? Well, I did mess up. At first I was a dreadful leader, my members lovingly told me so. Visibly nervous, lacking in confidence, yet week by week, I got better.
The changes kept coming. I lost 41 pounds and gained control of my health. I started a wellness blog and God set my soul on fire to help others. My boss asked me if I wanted to try a new role at work and I said YES even though I didn’t think I was good enough.
Here I am a few years later still living in faith over fear, honoring God with my choices, being open to the changes He sees in my life. I just started taking personal training sessions, getting over my self-imposed label that I am not strong, coordinated or athletic enough. Just recently, I began co-leading a weight loss group at my church. I am so incredulous at this journey that started with two words “why not?” A few years ago, I would have never EVER believed that I am here.
Yet I have no doubt that I am here because He was there. Whenever I stumble, feel anxious or get caught up in my fears, I take a deep breath and remind myself that God is cheering me on. He’s got my back. He wants me to step forward in faith. One small change at a time.