This is such an exciting time for C2BU! I just returned from Tanzania, Africa and announced by faith that we opening our doors at Courage House Nor Cal and Tanzania on August 1st. Kids will come call Courage House home and we will call them family! In addition, we are also embarking on some new ventures here at C2BU that I’m excited to tell you about. As you know, C2BU is self-funded for all of its administrative overhead so that nearly 100% of all donations go directly to building homes for children rescued out of trafficking. One of the ways we intend to continue to support our administrative costs is through a variety of avenues that will provide funding, such as our Courage merchandise and through Courage publications. As part of this, I’ve been writing a book about courage and purpose. It is a story about how God still uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things, how everyone was created on purpose for a purpose™. I’m excited to share more about the book here on my blog and get input from you as well! Today, I’ll tell you about how the book got started, and for the next few months, I’ll be sharing excerpts here. Be sure to stop by and share your thoughts. I’d love to hear from you!
For a very long time I believed courage was a personality trait and one that I was not born with. I do not have, nor have I ever had, a desire to pursue adrenalin producing adventures and activities . My preferences are activities that produce feelings of comfort, safety and security. Sunday afternoon naps are high on that list as is reading a good book, taking a hot bath and enjoying a glass of California produced red wine made by a winemaker I know who creates award winning wines year after year. I am an expert at avoiding surprises and anything that could possibly invoke fear or uncertainly like trading stocks, 100% commission sales jobs, vacations with strangers, new restaurants or starting a non-profit organization! I like my feet to be on solid ground at all times and I like to know exactly what is about to happen at least five years in advance.
As you can imagine, flying through the jungle on a zip line, bungee jumping off a bridge or parachuting from an small twin engine airplane are not on my bucket list. For those of you who do these things on a regular basis and enjoy them, you may not need to read my book. If courage is naturally in your DNA, you are probably already living a courageous, purpose-filled life, changing the world one individual at a time. But if you are like me–bravery challenged–I pray you will be equipped, encouraged and empowered as you read this book. For I believe before time began, God imagined us, planned us and created us on purpose for a purpose ™. I believe we all want to change the world, to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and to have people say it matters that we live. Those things, as opposed to extreme sports, are what caused me to begin a journey of purpose … though I was told upfront it would require courage!
Growing up in the bible belt (aka Mississippi) we were taught two very important things at a very young age: go to church on Sunday and go to football games any chance you got. Now, football required courage if you played or admitted you were an Ole Miss Rebel or New Orleans Saints fan in the 1970s and 80s… but faith requiring courage? No, I was not taught that living a life of faith or following God would require courage, unless you were one of those “foreign missionaries” who went to faraway places to teach the natives about God. I personally did not know anyone who was courageously pursuing their destiny; I don’t know that I even heard that word used in the company I kept. Everyone I knew was just trying to pay their bills, keep their kids safe, go on vacation once a year and retire at the age allowed. Please hear my heart; there is absolutely nothing wrong with that way of life except it is not what we were created for! The message, whether covert or overt, when I was growing up was don’t do anything risky. Based on the frequency I heard, “Go to college, get a job and get married,” (in that order) I assumed that was what I was born to do. Thus, I hope you can appreciate my reaction when at the ripe old age of forty-something (when I had accomplished two out of the three destiny choices –the job and marriage), I believe I heard God ask me–rather challenge me–with the question that changed the entire trajectory of my life:
“Do you have the courage to be you – the you I created?”
“Heck no!” was my reaction.
I didn’t even hesitate with my answer or contemplate the mystery of being addressed directly by the God of the universe. As a mere afterthought, after a nano-second of reflection , I added incredulously, “I don’t do scared,” for it was obvious that question had huge overtones and implications of fear-producing activities. But … I also remember secretly thinking to myself, certainly God couldn’t read my mind… “Why is it going to take courage to be me?” I have to admit, God had my attention and I was intrigued. When I later felt the whispered words, “You were created on purpose for a purpose,” He had me! Afraid or not, God had successfully planted an urgency and passion in me to know why I was created and what was I created to do.
Courage and purpose are two of my favorite words now and the topic of my book. With the announcement this week of the opening of Courage House Nor Cal and Courage House Tanzania on August 1st of this year, I shudder to think what might have happened if I had said no to God. It is overwhelming to realize that your destiny and your purpose may be the answer to someone’s prayers.
Are you on your own journey of purpose or, like me several years ago, do you have no idea how to start? No matter where you are in the process, I’d love to hear your story!