The other day I was doing this writing exercise (why I was doing a writing exercise is another story for another day, but anyway…) where I had to write my stream of consciousness starting with “I don’t remember”. It was a little weird because how are you supposed to write about something you don’t remember? But it’s amazing what can happen when the only rule is to keep writing for five minutes.
After I finished my five minutes I read back through what I wrote and noticed a trend. “I don’t remember why I decided to do this…I don’t remember why I decided to do that…” filled the page. Many of the biggest decisions I have made in my life and that have created the greatest impact on my journey stem from an “I don’t really remember why I decided to do that”.
These decisions or actions I made had other things in common too…they put me out of my comfort zone, they seemed like big deals and looking back they seemed out of character.
Even though I couldn’t remember why I decided to do some of these things, something else all these decisive moments in my life had in common was someone there helping me, not making the decision for me, but reminding me of who I am so I could make a decision or take the step in the direction that aligns with who I am. Sometimes in those moments when the risk and unknown seemed like too much, there were people there encouraging me and reminding me what I am about when I seemed to forget.
I moved to Nashville to attend a college where I knew no one. I had family, friends, and youth group leaders encouraging me to decide on a school because I knew what I wanted to do even if it meant I would go alone.
I went to Zambia with three strangers. I almost choose to go somewhere more “safe” and “comfortable”, but my brother reminded me of the dream I had since I was little to go to Africa some day and I couldn’t back out because of fear.
The examples could go on and on. I don’t remember the moment I decided to move to Nashville or go to Zambia, I don’t remember why I decided to do those things, but I remember the people that were there alongside me with those moments and decisions. They were “risky” and uncomfortable steps to take and for someone who always leans toward the comfortable, seemingly out of character, but on that “I don’t remember” list were some of the most important, shaping and life-changing events in my life.
So, if you’re like me and lean towards the comfortable and the safe option most of the time, maybe it’s time to take a leap. Take that trip you can’t decide on, reach out to that person you’re not sure about, send in that application, try something you don’t think you’re good at, listen to those people around you who speak truth in your life and remind you of who you are, it may seem scary, your hands may shake, you’ll probably look back and not be able to remember why you said yes in the first place, but it’s worth it.