Around December, I started thinking about what 2010 had looked like for me. In spite of the lack of resolutions (or forgetting the presence of resolutions, if I made any), I'd noticed a pattern in the days and seasons and happenings of my year. The theme that kept appearing was the idea of saying yes. And now that I've been pondering it for a while, I can almost imagine God writing the resolutions list for me. Right at the top of it: This the year that Danielle will learn to say yes. I think of it as 'The Year I Said Yes When I Wanted to Say No'.
You should know that I'm pretty much a total wimp. While I am usually composed during more traditional high-pressure situations, I am a complete fraidy-cat about some of the most simple things. Most of all (it would appear), I'm afraid of the unfamiliar, of being placed outside my comfort zone.
Usually, I've been able to get by with avoiding the comfortless zone as much as possible, but in 2010 I began to get the message loud and clear that being scared of something is never enough of a reason to say no. While wisdom may dictate something is dangerous or unhealthy and should be avoided, simple fear is not a legitimate motivation for taking a step back. With that sad discovery, my whole argument for avoiding many terrifying things was pulled out from under me.
This meant that I lived alone. I travelled insterstate by myself. I drove to unfamiliar places armed only with my totally incompetent map-reading skills. I killed spiders and cockroaches. I went to conferences without a pal for support. I called tradesmen and talked to them about stupid things of which I know nothing, things like pool pumps and stuff. I accepted favours even when I had nothing to give in return. I made sudden u-turns into strange territory. I answered the phone when I didn't recognise the number (we have already established I'm a baby, yes). I had to sew my mouth shut to avoid making disclaimers or explaining away just for the sake of feeling secure. I was sometimes even -- wait for it -- spontaneous.
Of course, these are all things most normal grown ups do every day of their lives without batting an eyelid. But in the past, I've mostly wanted to say no. For 2010, God decided this was no longer acceptable and -- you know what? -- most of that stuff turned out to be incredibly less scary than I'd imagined. Turns out it's actually fun looking after a house all by yourself. And travelling alone means you meet the people around you instead of just spending all the time chatting to your companions. You can fake that you know what you're talking about when it comes to tradesmen. As for map-reading, practice doesn't necessarily make perfect but it does make passable. And I might even like driving a little bit. Of course, killing spiders is still icky and disgusting and terrifying and sickening but -- I do know that I can actually do it without throwing up.
So in 2010 I learnt to say yes, if not always then certainly more than I have done in the past. God had a better resolution in mind than any I could have come up with, and I'm so thankful. I've got no clue what's going to happen in 2011 (my friend Anastasia predicted that 2011 will be the year of saying no, which made me think about the principle of saying no to good things so you can say yes to the best ones). It'll be exciting to see what unfolds.
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Amanda (1) -- thank you! It's good to be back, and dry.
Samantha R -- let's hope your rain isn't as epic as that here!
Amanda (2) -- thanks for your prayers. This state needs them. x
Katie -- love! I hope your own road trip was wonderful.