I stepped from the airport into the afternoon air and was assaulted.
Assaulted by the unbelievable cold and darkness. Freezing arctic temperatures literally took my breath away, stunning my nasal and throat passages with each gasp. As I surveyed the scene, I wondered what in the world did I do to deserve this terrible fate?
2:00 p.m.-- December 26, 1989 -- Fairbanks, Alaska --- 60 degrees below zero -- NO sunlight
It was on this day that I questioned and feared my future.
I had no idea why I was there (other than at Uncle Sam's direction) and I couldn't see how anything good could come from these circumstances. I hated cold weather, and my soul shrivels in the darkness. How could I survive? I think this is the one place (next to Antarctica) that I never wanted to find myself.
Yet, there I stood.
What I didn’t know on that day was that God was going to take my circumstances, take my fear and give me my greatest blessings! God could see something I could not.
I spent over four years in Alaska. I learned to adapt and thrive. I learned that strength and resilience come from the hand of God. I learned that God is the only refuge that won't disappoint. I also learned that in my greatest time of trusting, God provided His best blessings- my loving husband (still with me after 29+ years) and my amazing, beautiful daughter (and now two awesome grandchildren!)
Blessings birthed during my darkest times. I gained so much and if given a second chance, I would embrace the cold, the loneliness, the dark and the uncertainties all over again.
The key to living life out loud is trusting in God’s faithfulness.
The Bible character, Caleb is an excellent example:
The story of Caleb begins in the book of Numbers found in the Old Testament. Caleb was Jewish and had just been delivered from bondage in Egypt. God had led the Jews to the border of the land of Canaan, (an area that God had promised they would inherit.) Caleb was one of twelve men chosen by Moses to scout out the land. The twelve spies surveyed the land for forty days and returned to Moses with their report. They described a bountiful land filled with terrifying giants and cautioned against entering the Land of Canaan. Only Joshua and Caleb encouraged Moses to take possession of the land immediately.
Caleb boldly voiced, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.” ~ Numbers 13:30
Despite the circumstances, Caleb had faith that God was capable of fulfilling His promises and Caleb banked on God's faithfulness. Giants? Please!
Sadly, the people of Israel allowed fear and hesitation to win the day. Their reward? Wandering in the wilderness for forty years until the entire generation died. Caleb and Joshua were the only exceptions.
Caleb trusted God and believed that God was bigger than the circumstances. Caleb knew that fear had no place when God is present. At the right time, God blessed Caleb's patience and trust and Caleb finally received the promised land.
Valuable lessons learned:
Don’t waste opportunities.
Trust in the God who loves you.
Seize the day.
Be like Caleb… look beyond what your eyes can see, remove the fear and hesitation and trust in God’s promises.
When you live life out loud fear has no place.
I know.... I'm still living it- just now from the Big Island of Hawaii.
We are all given just one life... make it count. Live out loud.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” ~ Ephesians 3:20-21