This is me leaving my comfort zone:
I cut off all my hair. I dropped out of school. I got married. I moved away from home. I’ve learned to navigate a brand new city. I sang at a wedding with my husband. I started a business, and I’m preparing to be a vendor at a huge festival. I started writing this blog. I started vlogging on YouTube. I created my first lettering video.
And I noticed all these actions revolved around pushing past a single barrier: the approval of people.
"You won’t be beautiful if you cut your hair. It’ll never grow back.
You’ll never get a job or have a good life if you don’t finish college.
You’re rushing into marriage. You need to be able to live on your own and be independent before you bind yourself to another person for the rest of your life. You’re too young and naïve.
What? You're moving and you don’t have a job yet? You don’t have a place to live? You’ll never make it.
You’re going to get lost. You should just stay in your apartment. Isolate yourself so you don’t end up on the wrong side of town.
Your voice is going to crack. You’ll be too shaky and hit the wrong chord and ruin Carrie’s wedding. It’ll be your fault.
No one will buy your art. Everyone will bypass your booth and shop somewhere else. You’re not good enough.
No one cares what you think.
No one cares what you’re doing. And even if they did, there will always be someone doing the same thing, only 100 times better."
These are the voices of reality in my life. These are what my own thoughts sound like. These are the things that hold me back, that prevent me from starting something new. And with every new adventure, there’s a new voice that shows up to tell me why I shouldn’t move forward. A new voice telling me why I should just stay in my cushy little bubble.
But with every person and thought that says, “No, that’s a bad idea,” or “No, that’s not something people actually need or care about," comes an opportunity to say, "I’m going to do it anyway.”
Ultimately, the only approval I need, the only approval that satisfies, is the kind that comes from my Father. His voice is gentle and sweet. He reminds me of His redemptive nature and restorative character. That I can take risks, knowing He sustains me. That nothing that I do for His glory ever goes to waste. He doesn’t leave things how they are. He hasn’t left things as they were.
“Nothing gets wasted that is offered up to God."