Is there something you’re burning to do and you’re tired of letting reasons (or excuses) get in the way? From experience, God will keep placing that thing over and over on your heart until you say yes. Often, you’ll find it re-surface in those times when things are going pear-shaped, or when you’re questioning where to go from here. It’s important to take the first step.
When you read these words above, I hope you take it as a sign that you can do something about it now.
You don’t need to wait any longer, or wish or dream.
You can begin. Yes, right now.
There’s only one step between you and the path you want to journey on.
The beginning of my journey – discerning my calling
The year? Too long ago for me to remember exactly, but that’s when everything began.
Long before retreats became all the craze on social media, 22-year old me packed her suitcase to board a plane for France to a spiritual retreat ‘retraite de discernement d’appel’. Now, what’s that? It was a specific retreat to discern your calling, or find out your vocation. There’d be spiritual mentors and guides, prayer, worship, and thousands of Christians from all over the world.
I booked this retreat because I knew I was being called to something, except I didn’t know the whole plan. Regularly, I questioned: “What am I supposed to do with this life?” or ” What should I do?” “Where should I go, and how do I do this?”.
Let’s not forget another factor. I had soooo many distractions in the world – work, friends, family life, and the pressure from society to be who they expected me to be. A woman my age was supposed to think about settling down, getting married. The numero uno goal in life, it would seem 🤪. Not in my books.
Don’t get me wrong – I loved guys and I wanted to be married one day, maybe, perhaps. But I wasn’t sure. How do you even love one person for the rest of your life? Plus you’d have to live with that person, for the rest of your life. It seemed huge to me. Especially for someone who enjoyed her solitude, and not having to share her food or chocolate.
But I digress. See. Distractions 😉.
All these distractions in my current environment in Mauritius, so I decided to go far, far away, a 12-hour flight to France.
Even as I began the retreat in France, distractions were unavoidable. While I didn’t have my regular distractions, I had new ones.
Two guys 🙈.
They both seemed to like me too, which didn’t help me to focus.
To add to my distractions, I was at this retreat in an abbey in one of the most beautiful regions of France, overlooking a magnificent lake. I had dreams of living there permanently, writing novels, and having tea while gazing at the scintillating water of the lake…
It would keep my mind busy with daydreams, and thoughts, dissecting and analysing every single word exchanged with either of these guys. I’d even find hidden meaning when I offered one a Frutos candy and he said “sure, thank you”. These three words – could it mean more? I certainly seemed to think so and spent the whole night wondering and pondering like a silly-adolescent-with-a-crush. Even though I was well over my teenage years!
the day when God spoke to me
It was on one of these sleepless nights that caused me to oversleep.
When I awoke, I was in my tent (yes, it was summer, and for a week, I camped out under the stars). There was another girl with me in the tent usually, but that day she’d left without me. I was so upset – how could she just leave me behind?? How was I going to find my way to wherever we had to go??
Now, you must know that this was a very long, long time ago. Social media didn’t exist yet, I didn’t have a cellphone, I had no idea what time it was, and no way to contact anyone.
So I got dressed, and walked until I heard activity.
There was a larger tent erected where there was mass that day. I headed over there, and thought I’d be discreet and enter from the back entrance. Because I’m a complete awkward person, of course, I instead walked from the front! Everyone* saw me (*it felt that way), and I had to do the ‘walk of shame’ to an empty seat.
I was frazzled, and my palms were getting sweaty. Uh-oh, anxiety. I felt embarrassed for being late, for not waking up on time, I felt like I failed myself and everyone else trying to help us at that retreat. While I was preoccupied in my thoughts, suddenly these words pierced through:
Il n’y a qu’un seul pas entre toi et moi.
There’s only one step between you and I.
When these words sank, they landed deep in the fertile soil of my heart. I knew they were meant for me. I knew they had been spoken straight for me to hear, understand, and feel.
The interpretation – only one step
I understood this to mean that while I was getting ahead of myself in overthinking, overwhelm, and finding everything (the future) so complicated, God was saying there’s only one step.
That it’s simpler than we make it out to be.
Instead of wanting to see the tip of the mountain before climbing, or wanting to know the final stop on the road you’re about to take, just take the one step. One step is all it takes.
And as you take that first step, you will see the road begin to unfold. There’ll be people along this path to guide you. Others who’ve been there before. Some who left markings and signposts for you. Roadmaps, compass, guides.
I also understood that even if I thought I was late and felt like a complete nutter for oversleeping, we are never too late. What’s meant for you will always be for you. These words were uttered right when I was in that tent. Not a minute before. It was the right timing.
May you be reminded that it’s never too late for you to be who you want to be, for you to blossom into what you’re being called.
When you show up, everything else starts showing up for you.
As I began my own journey all these years ago, I met incredible people who taught me all I needed to know. Some mentored me, others supported and encouraged me. In both personal life and my professional life, I’ve not had to walk alone.
Where God guides, He provides.
Your journey – taking the first step
Ready to begin your journey?
All you need to bear in mind, is that if you know you’re being called to doing something greater with your life than what you’re doing, you can begin to change this.
Maybe you’ve chosen another path because that’s what the world told you will bring you fortune and fame. Or perhaps you’re on this path because everyone else lives like this, and you’d be foolish not to conform.
But if conforming is making you miserable, if accepting the status quo is giving you rashes and disease, it is time to move away from that path, and go on the one meant for you.
Now, with my clients in my coaching practice, I have a deeper process I take them through, but as we have this one blogpost, I’ll do my best to share with you one tip you can implement right now with instant result.
the question to ask (and act upon)
Ask yourself: what is the first step I can take?
Then take it. Take the action. Take that step.
Don’t mull too long over this, because it can go like this:
Let’s say you’re being called to move overseas.
You ask yourself what the first step is. Then, your brain will help you come up with answers. Maybe it’ll spark you to send your resume to an overseas career recruitment agency or to check out vacancies in the country you want to go to.
If you don’t take the step, here’s what can happen. Your brain will want to keep you safe. Safe – the familiar road. The one you know. the one you’re on.
It will tell you things like how you shouldn’t go to that country because there was a terrorist attack not so long ago, or that Covid cases are rising, or that the pay isn’t that great anyway. You’ll be fed other things to justify why you shouldn’t – such as ‘what about your dog, how can you leave’…and ‘who’s going to take care of your mother or father when you go? What if they get sick and you’re not there? Can you imagine?’.
So you stay, convinced that it’s the right thing to do. You’re safe, back to the familiar, warm comfort zone.
You want to start a small business. You have an inkling… an online shop. Or coaching others. When you ask yourself what is the first step, maybe your brain shows you that it’s to actually enroll in that course, or to book that coach you’ve been following for four years on Instagram who you know you want to work with.
Not taking the step may result in the overthinking and excuses to pop up. Wanting to keep you safe, thoughts will come up telling you that it’ll never work for you. It only works for people who are based in Canada or U.K. It’ll remind you of the money you spent (or your parents invested) for your 3-4 years of university and now you’ll throw that away for some shop that you don’t even know will make you money. That it’s irresponsible, and that anyway this coach is too expensive for you, you can’t afford that, so why even bother applying. It’ll justify saying that anyway, you’re probably going to get that promotion at the office (never mind that you find the job boring, and draining).
I’m not a mind reader. But I’ve been there. I’ve experienced first-hand everything, and I could share many more examples of all the times my mind tried to keep me super safe in my golden bubble of comfort. You don’t need all that right now.
a simple exercise for you to do
What you need right now is to take 5 minutes. As you finish reading this post, take five – sit somewhere quiet, without distractions. Ask yourself out loud: “What’s my first step?”.
After you hear the answer, take the action.
You might feel scared after the excitement, you might want to throw up, or you might think what a crazy person you are, or what a risk you’re taking.
But like Anais Nin wrote: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
I pray you choose to take the risk to blossom.
dare to bloom where you are
You are not meant for mediocrity.
You are meant for great things in this world. Whatever it is. Homemaking, baking, embroidery, candle-making, sewing, life coaching, fashion, beauty, design, blogging, cooking, you name it – you know what you’re being called to do with your one life.
Once you’re on the road, it’s important to limit distractions. They will be here, always (like my two crushes were 😂), but you can learn to focus. You can discipline yourself to focus.