Writing contribution by Andrea Crisp
It was a bitterly cold day, as was usual in northern Ontario. Snow covered the ground, and the thaw still weeks away. Not accustomed to coming in early on a Friday morning, I drove the 45 minute commute to the church. It was coming on my two year anniversary as worship and student ministries pastor. The meeting had not been planned, and for some reason I felt an uneasy feeling as I pulled into the church parking lot. I still remember that feeling to this day.
What I did not know then, but do now — was that my life course was about to change in a blink of an eye (whether I was ready or not). The months following would mark a journey in my life that would either cause me to grow, or sink deep into despair.
I sat across the desk from two board members that had called the meeting. One had become a very close friend (and mentor of sorts). This would make the news I was about to hear, even more soul crushing. Within minutes of the meeting getting underway, I realized that this would be my last day. I sat sober faced, and in complete shock as to what was happening. I heard them speaking, but for some reason had a tough time processing what they were saying. The next 48 hours came and went in a blur, as I moved everything out of my office, without so much as a farewell to the students that I had invested in for two years.
What happens to your confidence when everything has been taken out of your control?
The sadness soon descended, and I had a choice to make whether or not this perceived failure would define me as a woman, a professional, and someone who had chosen ‘ministry’ as a calling. I’m not gonna lie, the next few months were hell on earth, going back and forth with feelings of anger and disillusionment. Forgiveness was a long way away at that time.
Have you ever felt the pain of rejection so strong that it stopped you dead in your tracks? The kind that has your mind reeling with thoughts and emotions you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy? Maybe you can relate to my story, or perhaps you have a story of your own. A tragedy — a wounding that has kept you bound up in hurt and sadness for far too long.
It’s funny to say this now, but I can honestly admit that this life event turned out to be one of the best things to ever happen to me. Crazy, right? If forced me to face parts of myself that were particularly ugly, and revealed mindsets that I needed to change in order for my life to be used to draw others closer to God, and towards their purpose.
The path has not always been easy or perfect. In fact it has been full of obstacles and potholes. But it was the journey to my personal healing that caused me to realize that as women our stories matter. We have something unique to offer to the world, and that it must come alive in our hearts before the world will ever see it.
You might be facing a crisis right now, or be at a crossroads in your life wondering if you have the courage to step into your purpose. Yes, it is scary. And, sorry to say… the fear never goes away. This could be the moment in time when you stand up for what you believe in, when you take ownership of what has been placed in your hands. Wherever you find yourself today, I want to encourage you that the world needs you to be healed, and for your purpose to come brimming to the surface.
As a coach, it is the conversations and the growth that these women experience, that have solidified my own journey to healing. I know God has used my life to bring encouragement to theirs, and to give them a safe place to move past their fears and insecurities.
So let me ask you…what is going on in your life that you need to face head on?
If you are alive and breathing, it’s likely that you have one or more challenges that you are trying to navigate. Will you surrender your pride on the proverbial alter and walk headlong into your dreams? Yeah, you may face things you never thought you would, but you will never regret the moment you said yes.
My name is Andrea Crisp and I’m a life coach, author and speaker. You will find me most days working from home on the 25th floor of a high-rise condo in downtown Toronto. I’m drawn to life in the city, but am equally excited to get away to cottage country where the only lights are that of the stars. I am passionate about empowering creative women to discover and live their God given purpose; to grow in their confidence so they can share their unique story with the world.
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