Wednesday, July 15, 2015


I remember that moment, about 20 years ago, when I first hiked myself up onto the brand new shiny two-wheeler, eyes sheer with excitement, feet anxiously grasping the pedals, hands a bit unsteady. Feeling my dad's hands over mine, I pushed off. And probably would have fallen, if it hadn't been for the confidence that I had in him. Over time the trust I had in my father to protect me became self-confidence, knowing that I could ride without falling off. As I became more practiced, I trusted myself to keep my balance while pedaling.  

Confidence is something that is built over time. It comes with discovering and embracing your true self, just as you were perfectly created in God, with an intentionality like none other. Confidence is a river consisting of vulnerability, genuineness, and a stubborn devotion to stand up for oneself. Three years ago, at the beginning of my missionary service, I can honestly say I felt God calling me, but wasn't entirely sure what, where, or with whom that calling meant for my life. Now, looking back on some of the wild, frustrating, hilarious, nerve-wracking, and sacred moments, I find myself confident in who I am and the woman God has called me to be.

These past few years comprised of some very "character-building" (read: tough) circumstances along with huge lifestyle changes. If not moving to the South where it's War Eagle (or Roll Tide), sweltering heat, and way too many fried everything's, y'all...then the cow's stomach soup, sleeping with 7 blankets, buying all my weekly groceries at the local market, and the daily mile walk to the highway to catch my bus in Ecuador. But in adapting to these new environments, I developed confidence in who I am. Thanks to many supportive friends and guiding mentors along the way, this confidence led the way to resilience and a deep sense of community.

God was at work the whole time, along this journey in missions, molding and shaping me to gain confidence....
  1. Confidence in public speaking, especially in churches
  2. Confidence in traveling alone, anywhere, anytime. As Ellie Roscher so elegantly puts it: "The fact that no travel situation henceforth will ever be daunting to me is a gift."
  3. Confidence in maintaining control of a room of energetic third graders
  4. Confidence in teaching in a second language
  5. Confidence in articulating my faith and passion for ending injustice
  6. Confidence in leading workshops and continuing conversations around important issues
  7. Confidence in planning and coordinating events
  8. Confidence in living in a town where I am the stranger, the newbie
  9. Confidence in advocating for others
  10. Confidence in being myself, and no one else
Building confidence in oneself and in one's faith is a lifelong process. I encourage you, reader, to take some time to recognize and rejoice in new confidences in your life, and anticipate those to come.