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Driving Into the Ditch
Music Note: The Collection - 10 of my most favorite contemporary Christian songs I’ve ever recorded releases this Friday on all digital music outlets! Check out it wherever you stream music!
I had a bit of a rough day last week. How to describe it? I felt a bit like I was stuck in a ditch in the dark, tires spinning, no other headlights in sight. This actually happened to me a while back! I was driving back to college after being home for the weekend. It wasn’t a long drive, but it was dark and very snowy. I wish I could remember exactly what happened, but I do know that I suddenly felt like I needed to turn left. But there was no street there! HA! A perfect left turn straight into the snowy ditch. Who knows how the brain works, but mine chose not to that night.
You know that feeling right after you’ve landed in the ditch? You can’t believe what just happened? Then there’s the silence. The nothingness. A strange peacefulness in the midst of the accident. Fortunately, I knew I wasn’t hurt, and I wasn’t sure of the extent of my car’s damage. But I was stuck.
One thing I know about country roads is that while it might appear completely desolate for a long time, trust me, a pickup truck will soon be coming by to see what’s up. A Good Samaritan in a Ford F-150.
I was rescued out of that ditch, and made it back to my dorm room intact, filled with an enormous sense of relief.
I was also rescued out of my funk last week, though there was no pickup truck this time. But help came when I realized what was the source of my uggh-liness.
As you’ve been reading in my posts here, I’ve been on a mission of bravery lately. Literally living my life as an answer to the question: “What would Mark Smeby do if he lived without fear?” And it’s been awesome. Honestly, I couldn’t be happier! But last week I got struck by a sour feeling that kinda surprised me.
I wrote in my journal: My courage is making me feel vulnerable.
And it all made sense.
A lot of people live their lives avoiding the feeling of vulnerability. It makes sense. It’s the feeling of being completely out of control and you have no idea what’s going to happen next. And it might be horrible. But you know what? It might be incredible!! To me, that’s what hope says.
If you get a second, look up Brené Brown for world-class insight into vulnerability and its incredible benefits. Here’s one favorite quote: “Vulnerability is not winning or losing; it's having the courage to show up and be seen when we have no control over the outcome. Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage.”
I’ve been putting myself and my big, audacious, new goal out there for everyone to see. That’s a choice I’ve made. But it also means I have to live with those feelings of vulnerability that are certain to creep in from time to time. Because of my courage.
My first reactions to this vulnerable feeling are, “What am I doing? What have I gotten myself into? I really am crazy.” But now, I can tell myself, “Hey maybe it’s time to take a break from thinking about the big, audacious, new goal! Maybe put down the laptop and go for a walk! Hey maybe it’s time for another nap! Or how about a sandwich?” I should keep a list handy.
I’m curious what is your relationship with vulnerability? I think our (conscious or subconscious) fear of being vulnerable holds us back from pursuing friends or a different job, asking for help or joining a new club, starting a new hobby or going after a crazy dream. (I hope you do!)
I’d love to encourage you that it’s perfectly normal to feel afraid. In fact…my friend Marcia wrote about this very thing in her post this week, where she shared this quote:
Please check out here awesome writing, especially the story about her fear of horses.
Is There Room For Me In the Pop World?
I found an older article in The Guardian (a British newspaper) that claimed “Men Can’t Do Pop Anymore.” And it made me chuckle. You can read it here if you want, but check out this quote:
“In fact, a male star would be welcomed, if he had big songs, a big presence, and a big heart that was open enough and genuine enough and contradictory enough for us to roll around in. Chaps, it's over to you.”
Thank you, The Guardian, I’m on it. ❤️
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For my new venture I’m needing to clean out my closet and I’d love your help! All books & tees are $5 and all CDs are only $2 (plus S&H). Please see if there’s anything you or a friend might like RIGHT HERE! Perhaps The Messenger book & CD combo? Or the beautiful gift book of the hardcover Live Hope Minute 365-day devotional? It’s all gotta go somewhere! ALSO! If you know someplace that would appreciate any donations of these sorts, please let me know! Thank you!