I am so excited about this blog today. I’ve written at least four drafts of it trying to get my thoughts in order, and then, finally, this weekend it all clicked. The dots connected and I finally feel like I have something worth sharing regarding what I’ve experienced the past few weeks.
This past month has been filled with ups and downs. October has brought me my happiest days here in Myrtle Beach, but it also has brought me my loneliest nights. These feelings have left me wondering, why do I feel this way…? What in the world is God trying to teach me? How am I growing?
So, in order to hopefully help myself work through the highs and lows, I picked up Brene Brown’s book, Rising Strong, which speaks into the ability to reset after a fall. In it, she urges the reader to, recognize the power of emotion and to not be afraid to lean into the discomfort. Well, I’ve been striving to do just that. I want to recognize what I’m feeling and what’s contributing to all my emotions. I do not want to bury these feelings or pretend like I don’t struggle. I am determined to grow stronger. And to do so, I had to do a little digging.
Three words have struck me as I’ve woven together what I’ve discovered in this season of life: comfort, courage, and connection. For simple writing and reading purposes, I’ve broken the rest of this post up into these three sections. They all bleed into one another, but the best place for me to start is at the root of it all — losing my comfort.
Moving out here to Myrtle Beach to help start our newest Chi Omega chapter was definitely out of my comfort zone. There are moments when I doubt that I can do this. There are moments when I deeply miss my family and friends. And Texas…I miss Texas a lot. This shift in comfort, this lack of comfort, has put me in some difficult moments where I am forced to grow stronger and to overcome from within. I’ve been stripped of most comforts, making me lean on Jesus more than ever in this season, recognizing that He is the God of all comfort. I wouldn’t wish away this discomfort for anything though, for from it has emerged more courage than I ever thought I had.
It takes great courage to step out of our comfort zones, into the unknown. Sometimes we find ourselves in seasons that require more courage than we’d ever thought we’d need before. Right now I am discovering I am stronger than I ever thought I could be. And it’s quite the paradox because I grow stronger every day that I admit that I’m weak and I can’t do this alone. Each day I choose to find my strength in God’s never-failing love and power, I gain more courage than I had the day before. Brown writes in Rising Strong,
We can choose courage or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.
I may not be able to experience comfort and courage at the same time, but I take great comfort in knowing that I am becoming more courageous every day.
It takes courage to put yourself out there in the hopes of making a new connection. Brown always speaks of how we are neurotically hard-wired for connection. We long to be connected physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Being over 1,000 miles away from any sense of natural connection has made me feel more disjointed than ever before. My connections don’t come as easy as they once did. They take work and patience and prayer.
As my connections with familiar family and friends feel weaker, my connection with God grows stronger. He is here with me in every lonely moment when I feel disconnected. And He has blessed me with new connections.
When I have a moment of connection with one of my members, it fills me with joy knowing that I am serving my purpose. When they find me in Starbucks (which they all know is my on-campus office) and give me a big hug, I feel connected. When they tell me about a difficulty going on in their personal lives that I’ve also been through myself, I feel connected. But the biggest way I’ve stayed connected throughout all the change, the way I have discovered more courage and capability than I ever thought possible, is through Chi Omega.
Chi Omega has blessed me with an unshakable connection to our newest members here at Coastal Carolina and to my closest sisters who are thousands of miles away. No matter how different we may be, we share this sisterhood that immediately connects us. It draws us in and creates an almost instant atmosphere of love and care.
Connection gets us through the toughest of times. We are made for it. We need it. And knowing that I get to play a small role in giving these women at Coastal a life-changing source of connection for the rest of their lives brings me great joy in the midst of the discomfort. These connections will carry them through college and the rest of their lives. It has carried me through my happiest moments and my darkest of days because I have been blessed with sisters who will always be by my side. Chi Omega gives us the gift of connection, and this gift has granted me the courage to lean into the discomfort to discover my purpose.
Thanks, October, for some crazy life lessons there.