“See this smile! It’s real! She’s the REAL DEAL. Turbulence, delays, getting sick and having EVERY reason to lose composure, but through it ALL she was still the example of grace and elegance.”
OH MAN did this trip EVER have a rocky start. Yes there was turbulence and delays, and to make matters worse, I actually got left on the aircraft when everyone else got off. YUP! They forgot me.
When the cleaning crew were cleaning up all the… Well, I won’t get into that right now, but let’s just say I have been advised to write a letter. And I probably will. Not only for me, but to potentially help someone else, but not before I’m all rested and refreshed.
In the midst of all these additional challenges, I have NEVER had MORE of an opportunity to speak love into a situation. And not necessarily by what I said, but more because of what I didn’t say. In times where I should have been upset at staff or lose it, God enabled me to have peace and stay calm. That’s another full blog in itself, but I will show you this…
A message I received on social media from one of the airport staff in Halifax…
“You are now a new favorite human of mine. As you can imagine, this day has been very hard for all of us! I just happened to be in your path today and glad I was! Thank you for being you. I appreciate it! Xx”
Then my friend who was with me made this comment,
“See this smile! It’s real! She’s the REAL DEAL! Turbulence, delay, getting sick and having EVERY reason to lose composure, but through it ALL she still was the example of grace and elegance.”
And THAT’S just the FIRST 24 hours…
This trip was FILLED with so many AMAZING experiences, that included MANY late nights, LOTS of food and SO MUCH FUN with family and friends. That could be a whole blog in itself. You can only imagine what I have experienced over this last month, and I won’t even attempt to unpack it all here. But trust me when I say, you WILL be hearing more about other partnerships and exciting things that are ahead for a return trip. I CAN’T WAIT to share. But for now, I do want to give you a few highlights and insights in the form of some feedback I have received, along with a short video recap with my brother who works in mental health and addictions, that will answer the question – IS IT WORTH IT?
“I was visiting when you did your talk today at the mental health unit, so inspiring. You had an amazing talk with those patients. I could see faces lighting up, with the hope you were instilling with your words. I am a teacher in a school with a population of 500+ that struggle in many different ways. They would get so much out of a talk with you. It was a pleasure to meet you.”
“You were asked a very tough question today about self image and loving yourself even when…and I was actually nervous for you. I had no idea how you were going to tackle it, but tackle it you did. With grace and love.”
- Due to the graphic nature of the question I’ll refrain from sharing it, but in that moment, this young man was my focus, and I knew that I needed to “go there” with him and speak love into his pain.
“Another staff at the hospital had this to say. “Vahen, What you did by coming here was nothing short of amazing. She said, “NO ONE comes here! No one comes to share hope or inspiration, these are people who are just there, and very few people care about. So by coming here today, doing what you did, you have no idea how much that was noticed, and received.”
“Loved listening to you today! Very powerful, impacting and inspiring!!! Your words touched my soul to help me face my own 30+ year fear and my massive Goliath.”
“Vahen, thank you again for a wonderful message to or ladies. It was heartfelt and provoking. I especially appreciated your sensitivity to the spirit in leading the ladies in prayer. I Believe that seeds of truth and hope were definitely planted.”
I had someone message me while I was away, asking how things were going. My response was this… “There’s no surprise that on these trips, God uses opportunities and situations to grow ME to GO FARTHER.
My prayer continues to be, God I want my life to point to YOU! And my trip to Newfoundland did that in ways I was not expecting. Seeds of truth, hope and love WHERE planted in the hearts of the people I encountered, and that meant more to me than ANY amount of money or comfort.
This week I had someone say to me, “it must be so amazing to travel like you do, you must love it, you’re so lucky.
I immediately thought about this quote.
“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness AND on your heart. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain
Yes, I feel SO blessed, but honestly traveling is really hard on me physically and emotionally. It takes a long time to recover, and it’s not fun being away from my hubby for these long trips. But honestly, if you think about it, it’s actually parallel to growing or going farther in life. But, IS IT WORTH IT?
Moving forward and going farther with God means you are constantly being refined and challenged to let go and let God EVEN MORE. For example, there are times I think I’m fully surrendered, yet God shows me more areas to let go and surrender. And in this season of my life where I’m reaping the fruits of the crop I’ve sown in tears, I’ve been letting go EVEN MORE.
People see the “glamour” of my life with the crown and the titles, and not see how hard it is. There’s the obvious struggles with the physical and emotional challenges that I have to push through, but then there’s the element of…
In order to receive much, you actually have to learn HOW to receive much. Let me explain by asking this question… How many of us know how hard to receive if you don’t TRULY believe you’re worth it?
I have come ALONG way with walking in the confidence and authority God has given me, but to be honest, I was ok to stop at writing my book and speaking in a few places. BUT A NON PROFIT? etc.. etc.. You see I knew God was taking me FARTHER, but when He started exceeding the expectations of what I thought my dreams would turn out like, I actually had to ask God to grow my heart to be able to receive and walk out my wildest dreams. I have definitely accomplished more than I feel equipped to handle, and because I’m often tempted to look at MY abilities and not HIS, I would be afraid I would mess up. I am not the sharpest tool in the shed, and sometimes my insecurities get the best of me.
Each time I push forward to GO FARTHER, I DO face fear. I think about a quote from one of my favorite books “The Dream Giver” by Bruce Wilkinson.
“What had he been thinking? He didn’t even have enough talent or skill to succeed at his dream. He clearly was unable to accomplish great things. What if he failed right in front of the others? Maybe the dream giver meant to give his dream to someone more noble than him?”
My success has not been because I’m the most skilled or talented, but because I am open and honest and willing to let God use me, IN SPITE OF what I am not…I tell people I am CONFIDENTLY IMPERFECT.
God is calling me EVEN FARTHER. To TRULY believe in who I am, and He’s asking the same of you. He’s saying, trust me, surrender even more of your self doubt and feelings of inadequacy, so you CAN continue to walk in MORE confidence and GO FARTHER.
Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors.
So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely.
Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way. – James 1:2-8
I am learning to be REALLY comfortable with being uncomfortable, because when I have the courage to push past MY fears and insecurities to walk in MY FREEDOM, I see how it empowers others to walk in theirs. And if the things I go through, will help others find hope and courage to GO FARTHER, then yes IT’S TOTALLY WORTH IT!
ONE FINAL quote, that I HAVE to share. I literally JUST I hit save on my blog when I received this message.
“Love you and appreciate what you do! You might not realize it, but by living a courageous life you are giving permission for people like me to keep going farther no matter what!“
I told them how their words were definitely confirmation that, IT IS WORTH IT!
Worth It All - Meredith Andrews
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