“Courage sounds great, but we need to talk about how it requires us to let go of what other people think, and for most of us, that’s scary.” - Brene Brown
This quote really stood out to me the other day, because I have always had a fear of what others thought of me. It’s ALWAYS been a hindrance, and something that has plagued me… probably since I was really little, to be honest. I always wanted to fit in…. I wanted to be “liked”… I didn’t want to be the girl everyone was talking about behind their back…. and because of that “fear”, it’s affected me my entire life.
It’s just been recently that I’m learning to let go of that fear and to have “courage”. I need to be me, and not allow what others think, to affect my life. It’s not healthy, and it’s hard living that way. It’s not easy to make that change when you’ve been dealing with it for 38 years… but it’s necessary.
When I read the quote above, I thought back to the day that we decided to sell our dream home. I loved that home, and honestly, I had told Jamie MANY times that I would not sell it… I thought we were going to raise our kids there and grow old in that house, but that’s not the plan God had for us.
The day that we made the decision is so engrained into my head. We were laying in bed at my parents house. We had gone up for a family fun weekend and it was just us and the kids. That night Jamie told me that he had just lost his job. I was in SHOCK… complete shock. We didn’t see it coming at all and I remember my heart stopping for a bit. Just 2 weeks earlier we had both made the decision that God wanted me to take a break from photography… something that I struggled with for the longest time, but had finally come to grips with. I had finally taken the courage to commit, and we had a plan in place, and then Jamie lost his job.
That night Jamie said, “I think we need to sell the house.” And without hesitation, I told him he was right. It was one of those total peace decisions… God had prepared me for this moment and I knew that it was the right time.
Next though, we had to decide WHERE to live. The market was such that if we sold the house we could pay off ALL of our debt… like in, every single penny… but if we bought again, we would be spending the same amount of money we owed, on a smaller house… I didn’t want to do that.
So, we sat and brainstormed ideas. We could do anything, we had nothing holding us down. Neither of us had a job, we could start over from scratch if we wanted to. To be honest, part of me wanted to run… to run far away. I wanted to start over because part of me thought that people would think of us as failures. Going from a great successful photography business, a successful career as a CPA, a gorgeous home, and within a blink… having NOTHING.
One option came up that we would move into my parents doublewide that my sister and brother in law had been living in, but I wanted nothing to do with that because I was fearful of what people would think. My pride was in the way and I was struggling. So I continued to push just leaving… moving to Oregon, Michigan, heck even to Pinetop and living in my parents home. I wanted to RUN away from the problems.
But within a very short amount of time, God stirred something in my heart. I knew that we weren’t supposed to run away. I knew that HE wanted to do something HUGE in our lives and if we ran away we wouldn’t learn what we needed to learn. We needed to trust in HIM… trust that he had it all together and had a plan. We needed to let go of the fear of people and trust the plan that was laid out in front of us.
We called my parents and told them what was going on and that we would like to move into the doublewide. WHEW - let me tell you how hard that was.
I had to push all of those thoughts and fears away and realize that there was a bigger plan, and if we trusted the plan, HUGE things would happen. We needed to have COURAGE and not worry about what others thought of us.
So we did. We sold our 4000 square foot house, got rid of 2/3rd’s of our belongings and downsized to 1200 square feet. The entire time I had peace… a peace I couldn’t understand.
Today, we are living in a home that I honestly didn’t think we would live in, and I am the happiest I’ve ever been before. Our family is super close, as we have nowhere to go and run away from each other - we are forced to spend time together and it’s amazing. We have less things to think about. I don’t have to clean 4000 square feet of house. We have NO debt at all - which is freeing like nothing else. Jamie has a job he loves and I have a job that makes me so happy and very fulfilled. We have freedom to do the things we want to do and we finally see a future in front of us that is attainable. I used to NEVER think we would be able to live our dreams because of the burden of debt on us, but we aren’t held down by that anymore. We are able to dream big and we see an amazing future ahead of us. And truly, i'm happy in my tiny home!
We had to make HARD choices, and it wasn’t easy. It took courage I didn’t think I had, but I am so thankful that I found it deep down inside. I still struggle with what people think… my life is super different from what it was, and people might feel “sorry” for me, but they shouldn’t. My life is fuller than it has ever been and I am so thankful for this opportunity we have.
Each day I have to choose Courage. I have to choose to not worry about what people will think… because when we have courage BIG things happen. When we worry about what people think… that’s when we hold ourselves back, and that’s not the life we want to live.
So today, no matter what you are dealing with, try to focus on the COURAGEOUS thing… don’t worry about what others will think… it’s not worth it. Take control and create the life you want. Yes, you might have to make drastic changes, but in the end, it will be worth it. Trust me!