Following The Direction Least Comfortable

I recently posted a response to a blog that I follow called,  “Where Living Begins” by Richard L. Rice. (   This particular blog post of his was titled, “Manly Handsome” and it discussed his recent choice to have his hair “shaved close to the scalp”.  My response to his choice was to acknowledge his courage in doing so.

From him, I received this reply:

“I’ve learned that every single step forward is one of courage.  I think it also takes courage to step backward from something.  Even standing your ground can be courageous in the midst of turmoil. 

Maybe courage isn’t so much the direction you take, but that you are following the direction least comfortable for you.   Hmmmm.  Another blog post?  I know you’re courageous enough to write it!” 

I took his reply to be a challenge of sorts.  And I’ve accepted that challenge.

* * * * * *

While walking with a friend this evening, I heard the words “You told me you weren’t afraid.” We were discussing some of my life changes over the past few months.  I responded that I wasn’t afraid of making the choices to change my life.  Because the scary part doesn’t come until after you’ve made the choice.

The scary parts come when people react to the choices that you’ve made.  Sometimes they react with excitement, support and encouragement.  Other times they react with fear, anger or sadness because they are realizing how your choices will affect them.  They begin to see what your choice either adds to or detracts from themselves or the relationship you share.  Or even the beliefs that they’ve come to accept about you.

When we choose to follow the direction least comfortable for ourselves, it stretches our faith muscles. The faith we have in ourselves.  The faith we have in our closest relationships.  Following the least comfortable direction tests those relationships.  Some relationships will stand and face the strain and become even stronger for the challenge.  Sadly some relationships may fade away, just as other new ones are born of the changes made.

As September draws to a close I reflect on the past five months of changes I’ve made in my life.  Big changes that have created equally big reactions from those closest to me.  Growing pains that are leaving some stretch marks of faith as we all transition to what has been the least comfortable direction.

It would have been easier if I had chosen to remain where I was.  Doing as I had always done.  Being where I had always been.  It felt safe.  It felt normal.  It had become what others expected of me.  And what I had accepted as my life.

But… life doesn’t stand still.  The only certain thing we have in life is that everything changes.  Even if we choose to stand still, life around us is always changing.  And we are forced to change right along with it. Whether we’re ready for it or not.

Rather than be forced into change by the bumps in the road that life presents, I gradually learned to become an active participant in my own life.  It’s the ‘impact statement’ I chose for my blog… 1smiles: Actively participating in my own life!

I don’t have any idea where my new choices are taking me or what life has in store for me.  My guess is that there will be a mixture of successes and failures.  Trials and errors.  Lessons learned.  And joys and happiness.  I know that in the past five months, I’ve experienced all of these and more.

Even though I get scared sometimes.  And even though life is stretching faith muscles, I look at all I’m learning from it and how I’m growing.  I’m finding out that even though we might not all make the same choices, whether we stand still or step forward, we all still face the same things in life.


10 thoughts on “Following The Direction Least Comfortable

  1. 🙂 I knew you would be up to the challenge. God has led you in a direction that few are willing – or ever attempt – to take.

    My prayer is that as the Spirit continues to lead you “from faith to faith”, that He also gives you a special companion and helpmate whose heart is bound to your own. No one should ever take the Great Adventure alone.

    • Richard,
      Thank you for presenting the challenge. (I guess that’s a little peek into my adventurous spirit.)
      Thank you also for your prayers. Although there are supportive people along the way, sometimes the journey is difficult. Your words, “whose heart is bound to your own” brought tears to my eyes. Maybe one day that will be a part of my faith journey too.

    • Richard,
      I don’t think it’s rare at all that you make a difference in people’s lives. I think you touch many, many people. What is rare, is that someone told you. Most people will never let you know how you’ve affected them.
      In college, my Religion and Career Ethics professor completely rocked my world. He set about a course of faith events in my life. At the end of the term, I purchased a book that I knew he would enjoy and left a note inside thanking him for the way he had impacted my life. He was stunned. I was only one of many students he’d had over the years. I was just the student who uses her voice.

      Your blog posts have touched me and inspired me and brought me to places of thought I never would have reached on my own.

      As writers or bloggers, we sit alone at our computer screen and tap out a story that resonnates with us. Next we spell check and click the ‘POST” icon. Then we go about our day, not realizing that anyone is really paying attention, much less being affected by or making life changes according to something that we’ve written.
      Words and the way in which we use them are very powerful.

      Blessings to you,

  2. Jeannie, what a cracking post and beautifully written to. You have made a series of brave choices in your life and you will continue to do so. I think every day requires us to summon courage and flex the faith muscle that al is exactly as it is meant to be…you are shining a special light my friend. I love you xxxx (and it goes without saying that I there holding your hand).

    • Ah Jane,
      Holding your hand tightly! You and I are fellows in courage my dear friend. You inspire me to keep putting one foot in front of the other even when I can’t see the ground beneath my feet.
      Loving you from here!
      Jeannie xxxxx

  3. You put it all out there with this post, Jeannie. It is an inspiration to anyone who teeters on the edge of change.

    Life is a steady stream of choices. We can stay where we are, or face new challenges that take us ’round the bend.

    So far, so good.
    Blessings ~ Maxi

    • Maxi,
      I always feel honored when I hear from you. I have decided that if I’m going to take the time to write, I might as well be putting my best effort into it. I just share the experiences and lessons I’ve managed through. Maybe it will help someone else on their journey.
      You’re right, So far, so good!
      Love & Blessings,

  4. Bless you Jeannie as you travel His path of change and unknown. His mysteries unfold in beautiful ways – even though it’s not all easy – it is worth it!
    (thanks Richard for sharing!)

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