But then there's that moment when you know what you want. Or you know what to do. Or you finally accomplish that thing that's been hovering over you for years.
And for just a moment, you're free.
You wake up one morning and you decide, I'm going to lose weight. I'll do what I have to. I can do this.
You look at your kids and say, I'm going to quit smoking. This is my year to get healthy. I will do this. It matters to me.
You look at your spouse, even when you're heart is aching, and you decide, I'm going to stay. It's worth it. This family needs me. I'm. Staying. I'm all in.
Or maybe you dig deep and you pack your bags and say goodbye to that guy who won't ever change. You load up the kids in the car and you don't even look in the rearview mirror. You think, Now or never has arrived. I'm taking my babies and we're moving on.
You finish writing that book. You save up the money for studio time to record. You take that trip you've dreamed of. You apply for a new job. You organize your closet. You host that dinner party. You call a counselor for help. You wake up on Sunday morning and go back to church. You refuse to live in that rut you fell into.
Big decisions. Small decisions. Once they're made, it's like releasing a breath you've been holding.
I'm going to say yes. Whew.
I'm going to say no. Okay.
It's not time yet.
I was at the bridal dress shop the other day, trying on bridesmaids dresses for my sister's wedding. I was feeling a bit crazy, to be honest. Trying on dresses while you scramble to take care of a fussy baby is not that pleasant. Suddenly, all these bells started ringing and people started cheering. I popped out of the dressing room to see what was going on. There was this beautiful girl standing in front of the mirrors, wearing a gorgeous dress.
"She said 'yes' to the dress!" someone explained. She'd made her decision. And the room cheered for her. I did too. She looked amazing.
For a writer like myself, there's this sigh of relief when typing The End at the close of a novel. You finished what you started. It's time to let it go. Release it into the hands of an editor, then into the hands of readers. That's daunting, to be honest. When you give the manuscript to your editor, there will no doubt be changes made. Some readers will like what you've written, some won't. This is all part of the process and experience.
But you finished, and that's something.
I always feel good once I've settled a decision in my heart. We make decisions all day long, really. I decided on having cream in my coffee this morning (I decide that every day, lovey). But sometimes we need to make decisions that result in change. And we need to follow through. We need to be purposeful women. We're all a little wobbly when it comes to decision-making sometimes, but that's not where I want to live.
Do the research. Make the decision. Done.
Take a deep breath. Follow your heart. Follow God. Have faith.
Know your limits. Know your strengths. Trust yourself.
Step outside your comfort zone. Be brave. Reach out.
Be the first to say, "I'm sorry."
Persuasion is one of my favorite Jane Austen novels. In her youth, Anne (the heroine) struggles to make decisions. She's persuaded one way or another. But as she's grown older, she doesn't want to live that way anymore. She wants to own her own decisions. She's gotten to know herself a little better and she knows what she wants. She doesn't need to wobble back and forth anymore. She needs to make her own decision and stick with it. And she's learned the valuable lesson that time keeps turning and you don't want to waste it.
I love Anne. I love that Austen gives her a second chance at happiness and she takes it. I love that she's a woman of integrity, she just needed a little time to know herself.
I'm far enough down the road to know that time is the one thing we can't get back. I know that relationships take a lot of work. I know that "hope deferred makes the heart sick, but longing fulfilled is a tree of life." (Proverbs 13:12)
I know dreams can come true, but sometimes we have to make that happen ourselves. I know that God meets us when we feel alone.
I know I want cream in my coffee.
What decision are you struggling with today, lovey? What do you need to say yes to, or no to? What do you need to buckle down and finish? What dream do you need to go after? What project do you need to tackle? What needs to be checked off your list before summer ends?
Let's do this.