My Gift to the World

by Merritt on October 15, 2013

Yesterday I started the 21-Day Momentum Challenge. I’ve had some things brewing in my head and heart for a while. And I mean a long while. The Momentum Challenge seemed like just the thing to kick-start my thoughts and turn them into action. So here goes…

I’ve struggled with insecurity my entire life. Some days it’s worse than others. Some days I feel really strong and confident in who I am—in who God made me to be. Some days I feel stuck listening to voices in my head that tell me I can’t measure up, don’t belong, am not enough.

21DayMC1 1024x571 My Gift to the WorldBut the older I get, the more I realize we all have those voices. For some, they are louder, more daunting. Others just push them aside and storm the castle. There’s a tension here, too. If you’re one who constantly witnesses those storm-the-castle peeps, it’s easy to think, “I’m not like that” or “I couldn’t do that.”

And, in that moment, the voices gain even more power over your heart.

Last night I’d volunteered to speak to a group of young college women, most of whom I didn’t know. I felt a little rusty, but I’ve done this a hundred times in the past. I knew what I wanted to say. I believed in the purpose of my talk. I had a heart to encourage them for good. And yet, an hour before I left the house I was overwhelmed with nervous feelings.

I’m getting used to *nervous.* In fact, just the other day it occurred to me that before every great thing—every great risk—comes nervousness. It ought to. If I wasn’t daring greatly why would I need to be nervous?

So, as I prayed in the car on the way to give my 3-minute talk, I talked to God about what I was feeling and asked Him to help me. But I didn’t ask Him to make me less nervous. I asked Him to help me let go of my desire to be liked or to not mess up. I asked Him to help me receive grace. To live in a way that accepts that the goal is NOT perfection. It was a beautiful thing. Why?

Because He did it. Just like that.

Once I realized it didn’t matter if they liked me, or if I said my words out of order, or I forgot entirely to say something really important, I was able to relax. What mattered was the doing. I was stepping out in courage to share my heart. I was doing what I thought was right. No one had asked me to come. I just knew I needed to. And once I connected to my heart in it—and His—I was able to let go.

In the end it wasn’t perfect. In fact, it was kinda messy. Or at least messier than I’d hoped. And I was okay with that.

So, this is my answer to Day One of the Momentum Challenge. My gift to the world. If I were to die in a year, what I’d want to give away to the women of the world is COURAGE.

And it’s not because I have a lot of it. It’s because I think we all could use a good dose of courage.

What does courage look like in your life? In your marriage? Where could you use a little more courage?

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Elizabeth December 21, 2013 at 9:35 am

Merritt, I’m very proud of you, what personal growth! I’m 57 and must still struggle at times against perfectionism and shyness.

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Merritt March 5, 2014 at 4:09 pm

Thanks Elizabeth. I think it’s a constant battle of continuing to put it in the Lord’s hands. Thanks for your encouragement!

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Erin October 15, 2013 at 2:34 pm

This brought life and breath to me. Thank you for sharing your heart and daring for the courage of others. Your courage inspires courage! Keep at it. What a grand journey.

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Merritt | LiveSimplyLove October 17, 2013 at 2:18 pm

Thank you dear friend. You are a great encouragement to me as well!

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Melissa @ Loving Here October 15, 2013 at 9:32 am

What a beautiful thought! You’ve certainly helped inspire me with the courage to pursue writing…so thanks for that, and more!

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Merritt | LiveSimplyLove October 15, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Awwww…that’s so encouraging! You’re doing it! And you’re doing a great job!

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