Quiet Revolutionary Christan Causey’s Story
Have you ever had that horrible, awful dream where you are on stage or standing in the middle of a room when you look down and realize, “Dear God, help me—I forgot to put clothes on!”?
I liken my current state of existence to that dream.
Earlier this year, my husband and I took a leap of faith with declarations of dreams and calling. We are starting a nonprofit. We sold our home, resigned our current positions, and we our taking our three kids into the unknown.
This melancholy introvert is screaming inside, but I know this is what we are supposed to do. The risk of failure is worth doing what is in our hearts. But really, the pressure’s on.
And as excited as I was a few months back, whenever we sat in the stillness and chatted quietly of all the dreams, hopes, and what-ifs, as it has been taken from the quiet of our home and our hearts and made public for all the world to see, the predominant feeling now is that of being fully exposed.
Yeah, I know. I’m weird and too melancholy. And I wish I could say I feel giddy, excited. I mean, I am excited. But it’s a reserved, quiet excitement. The last 6 months have consisted of wrapping up jobs, moving to our new town, working on the foundations of this non-profit. Just yesterday we said final goodbyes to our friends and family, and to the tight knit community we have belonged to for 8 years. Up to this point, we have only scratched the surface of this adventure.
I found myself waking with tears behind my eyes and fresh feelings of panic. And sometimes, I want to run in the opposite direction, before everyone gets wind of impending failure. I’m just being real here.
I so wish my melancholy self could respond differently, and don’t get me wrong—I try. But I’m weak. Weak when it comes to change. Weak when it means being vulnerable to failure. Weak when others might get to see that potential failure. Weak in worry, concern, or fear. Weak because I am angry that I am weak.
BUT, then, so what if this new season holds a scary uncertainty—a complete unknown? I have faith (I say this with a bit of a queasy stomach).
I have learned much about vulnerability in the last 3-4 years. I have come to believe wholly and completely in living with vulnerability. And while I focused on living vulnerably in how I express myself, sharing my soul with others, and in how I allow myself to emotionally invest in community – I’ve recently discovered there is another level of vulnerability I have yet to live: vulnerability not just in expression, but in action.
Stepping out to follow a dream, taking that whisper of a hope in our soul and turning it into a loud shout off the rooftops—that’s a vulnerability I haven’t experienced. Taking risks and chances that might turn to failure. Naming a calling that others may not understand. These are it for me.
Maybe for you it’s doing something you have never done before, dealing with a relationship you have ignored, reaching out to build a friendship, starting a diet, etc. But it’s vulnerable, and it makes you feel exposed.
I love all things stable and safe, but I don’t actually want to live my life that way. I am willing to pursue the dreams in my heart wholeheartedly even if it means “standing in the arena naked” for all to see.
I am reading a book that is challenging and encouraging me on this right now. In Daring Greatly, Brene Brown states this:
Perfect and bulletproof are seductive but they don’t exist in the human experience. We must walk into the arena, whatever it may be—a new relationship, an important meeting, our creative process, or a difficult family conversation—with courage and the willingness to engage. Rather than sitting on the sidelines and hurling judgement and advice, we must dare to show up and let ourselves be seen. This is vulnerability.
Vulnerability may seem weak, but it’s boldness, courage, and strength all wrapped in an unexpected package.
Call me melancholy weird, but this is where I get excited. Acknowledging my weaknesses, boldly naming them, and then waiting to see how my faith proves itself true.
I am scared out of my mind as we step cautiously, yet boldly into a month that often signifies for many a fresh new start to the current year. September. New schedules, new schools, new community. All unknown. What will happen, what will change? There will be failures and disappointments along the way.
Yet, I know deep in my heart there will also be miraculous provisions along the way, deep abiding joy in doing what I’m called to do, and celebrations of dreams pursued. My confidence comes from my faith, my belief in my family and I, and the knowledge of a community in need of this calling we have been given.
Some of you know exactly what I am talking about as you stand on the precipice, waiting-deciding. Think about it. What if you jumped all in? What if you did all the things you thought you could never do, small and big? What causes you to fear? What quiet hope are you holding onto? Please don’t be afraid. No one likes fear, yet it’s part of living a real life in a real, big way: being all in and wholeheartedly committed. And, it’s always worth it! Have courage in the midst of the fear, and go for it!
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