7 things I’ve learned from taking a big leap of faith

Most people take leaps of faith at one point or another in their lives, but how many of us take HUGE jumps of faith, the kind that change the course of your life, move you to a completely new part of the world where you don’t know anyone and you have to start from scratch? When I was really little (a year old), my parents left everything and everyone they had ever known and moved halfway around the world to live in Saudi Arabia.

That took a lot of courage, confidence, and faith; I’ve always admired anyone who’s able and willing to take that kind of risk and seize an opportunity like that, so when the opportunity came for us to move 150 miles north to somewhere we’d never even visited and didn’t know anyone, I was simultaneously excited and nervous.

Once my husband accepted his new job and put in his notice at his old job, we constantly wondered and worried whether we had made the right decision for our family, but we came back to the same conclusion time and again: we wanted a fresh start, and a new adventure. Even though we would miss our friends and the places that had become so comfortably familiar, this move would be what we made it – and we chose to make it fantastic.

We haven’t even moved into our new home yet, but already this decision has changed our lives for the better in so many ways, and I’ve already learned so much.

  • Taking chances can be exhilarating. If you stop to think about what could happen if you do or don’t do something – if you weigh the risks, I think you’ll discover a renewed zest for life. The boring everyday things feel more intentional and thoughtful.

  • You have to decide for yourself which you’ll allow to win: fear and doubt or desire, passion, and excitement. There were times that we weren’t sure this was the right decision, or the right time, or the right place, but we took that leap, and so far, we’re glad we said no to fear and doubt, because now, we’re excited to be right where we are (even though it meant leaving the world’s BEST daycare provider in all of history).

  • It’s important to run TOWARD rather than AWAY FROM something. I loved my job – for years, it was a dream come true. I’d worked at the same general employer for A DECADE (minus one pay period, but let’s not go there, mmkay?), with varying levels of satisfaction (generally dependent upon my immediate supervisor at the time; the decision to leave a great team, a great supervisor, and my dream job didn’t come easily, but I’m so glad we made that decision. Hamlet’s soliloquy kept popping into my mind during this process, especially the part where he says, “fly to others that we know not of” – I didn’t think I’d like staying at home, but I LOVE IT.

  • Safety and security are great, but that’s not what life is about. You know that quote, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for” (by John A. Shedd in Salt from My Attic)? The most interesting people don’t have easy lives; it’s the rough spots and challenges – trying to figure out how to make this or that work – that makes life interesting.

  • It takes hard work, dedication, and commitment to make it work. Even though this decision forced my husband to live apart from me and our girls for about two months (the two longest months in recorded history, thank you!), it was worth it. We didn’t get to talk much – maybe ten minutes a day, plus a max of five texts a day – but remember: “that’s not what ships are built for”! It wasn’t easy living separately, but it’s paying off; absence made the hearts grow fonder. (“Committment, Abby!”)
  • New experiences can give confidence. Did you ever participate in something in school or church or any other extracurricular activity that pushed you outside of your comfort zone? Those activities really help build character and confidence. How many times did you hear inexperienced individuals adults brag about being the best at something they’d never tried? Try looking for opportunities to expand your horizons, and try something you think you’ll fail at. It’s an experience, and it can only help you.

  • Visualize success. Imagine yourself failing miserably, and you’ll probably fail miserably. What do you have to lose by believing that you can succeed?

When have you taken a leap of faith? Tell me about it!

Do you have any tips for getting rid of ants?

The kitchen in the apartment is absolutely overrun with them, and I feel like I’m on an acid trip, with bugs crawling all over me. Please help. Or send the bomb squad. Either way, HELP! I’ve tried splashing the area with a mixture of equal parts of water and white vinegar.

Have you ever seen “1776”? Do you watch it every year religiously (like me)?

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