Nobody Died and I Didn’t Cry

I love working with my husband. Like, for real. Not only do I keep up with his paperwork for him, but when he is shorthanded I work with him onsite doing septic installation.

One part of the job I’ve never been completely comfortable with, though, is pulling the trailer through town.

There was this one job last year, I don’t even remember where it was, just that we had to go through downtown Guntersville. Jeremy was ahead of me in the dump truck, hauling equipment. I was following along behind in the flatbed truck pulling the trailer carrying the product, not a clue where we were headed, just knowing I had to follow him. (There’s a whole ‘nother lesson there, about blind faith.) We were bebopping along in the right lane of the one way, two lane highway when out of nowhere, Jeremy swapped lanes to turn left. Internally, I panicked. I was already nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs pulling that trailer. And now I had to swap lanes on that buy highway?!? I felt my pulse start to race and my emotions rise. I kept waiting on that opportunity to get over, but it never came. What did come, was some jerk who stayed just far enough back behind me for me to not be able to get over and I missed my turn. As he came on around me, he threw his arms up like I was the idiot. Why was he so aggravated at me? I was patiently waiting with my blinker on trying to get over. Looking back, there was enough room to get over, he was staying back being nice trying to help me out, and I didn’t take him up on it. I was unsure and inexperienced and thought I needed a lot more room than I actually did. Long story short, I started crying – like sobbing uncontrollably to the point of incoherent speech – and called Jeremy, because I had no idea what to do now. Keep in mind, still driving this big ol’ trailer down the highway. He gave me reassurance and told me to just keep going until I found somewhere I was comfortable turning around and everything would be okay. I did eventually make it to the job site, but I told him I was never pulling that trailer again!

I went to work with him this past Thursday. Guess what I had to do? Yep. Drive the flatbed truck and pull the trailer. Jeremy assured me everything would be okay, despite the fact we had to stop at a supply store that I had to cross the state highway in the middle of town to get to, then pull back out across traffic again to head in the other direction. I was far from confident about this endeavor. I just knew it was going to end disastrously. But I took his word for it and took off after him. All the way to town, across the highway, stopping at the supply store…the closer we got, the more confident I felt. Maybe I can really do this! Picked up what we needed at the store, and pulled back across the highway to head toward the job site. Making turns, changing lanes, I felt like a pro! I was so excited to get to the job site, I sent a Snapchat to my dad and a couple of my friends who would understand and said:

We had made it and nobody died, and I didn’t cry! Honestly, it was just short of a miracle.

I’ve come to realize lately how much I have hindered myself by saying, “I can’t.” We have always told our kids that they aren’t allowed to say can’t. And maybe I wasn’t saying it out loud, but I was telling myself that about so many things. I could come up with all sorts of excuses. But most of the time, at the end of the day, it was fear stopping me. Fear of failure, usually. Fear of looking foolish in front of someone else. Maybe even fear of success and what would come with it. But what is the name of this blog?

Yep. Fearless and Joyful. How can I brand myself as fearless and joyful if I’m letting fear stop me? After all…

We usually think about self-discipline as stopping ourselves from doing things we don’t need to do. But often, self-discipline is making ourselves do the things we should, even if we don’t really want to, or at the very least are uncomfortable with it.

Where does that spirit of power and self-discipline come from?

It comes from Christ. From being confident in who you are in Him.

Here’s another example. I have never enjoyed speaking in front of people. Not gonna do it. Don’t even ask me. I have a hard time saying no, but not to that. Yet…

Here I am, just a few weeks ago, speaking at our annual company awards night. Did I die? Nope. Did I think I was going to? Possibly. But I did it. I’m sure it wasn’t the best speech ever given, but my audience and I both made it through it.

Then here’s me, right this very second, writing this blog post to send out to the World Wide Web, where just anyone who comes along can read what I have to say.

I could go on about the things I’ve done the past year or two I thought I never could/would, but you get the drift. Is fear holding you back? What is it you have been wishing you could do but just haven’t been able to take that first step? Go of it. Determine to live fearlessly. And do it with joy. I’m here to tell you, you can. If you need encouragement, give me a holler. I’ll be your cheerleader. And I promise, you might cry the first time, but it will get easier. And you won’t die. Probably.

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