By Colette Lawrence
Brave Women Series - Colette's Story
Have you ever felt that you were called to do more but couldn’t figure out what more was or what it would look like? That was me. I knew what made my heart skip and leap with joy and what caused fear that seemed as if my heart would jump out of my chest.
Truth be told, most of my life has been dominated by fear – fear of others’ opinions, fear of speaking up for myself, fear of being in front. I allowed all these emotions to dominate my life. I seemed to be asking for permission to just be me.
Feeling these emotions can almost be debilitating. We want to be brave and courageous, but something always seems to hold us back or “keep us in place.” There is always a voice that says no one wants to hear what we have to say or no one cares, or we shouldn’t draw attention to ourself and so on…
"We want to be brave and courageous, but something always seems to hold us back or “keep us in place.” There is always a voice that says no one wants to hear what we have to say or no one cares, or we shouldn’t draw attention to ourself and so on..."
I have served in leadership at church and my job; not many knew the internal struggles I faced to show up. Hiding in the background was my forte and I learned how to do it well. I was always trying to share my ideas with others so they would speak up for me.
One day, as I leaned over and shared a thought with the CEO at a meeting, she said, “Colette, that’s a great idea, but you need to share it with the others.” You would think I shared the thought, wouldn’t you? But I didn’t. The attention would be on me and I couldn’t handle it.
A deep desire and inclination to do something else with my life kept nagging at me. Honestly, I thought the answer was to search for another job. I submitted applications but only heard crickets. There were no takers. No one was interested in hiring me and it hurt.
For three years, these circumstances and the desire for more persisted. I threw my fleece out (Judges 6:36-40), but God did not respond how I had hoped. Nothing at all. Finally, I got the sense that it was time to move on, and each year, I told Him this would be the year.
There comes a time when we don’t move. Instead, the Lord allows circumstances to move us. That was exactly what He did with me.
"There comes a time when we don’t move. Instead, the Lord allows circumstances to move us. "
I told the Lord I would think about what He was directing me to do after a specific event ended each year. September 2019 would change everything. As soon as the event ended, I clearly heard the Spirit say, “The event has ended; what will you do?” I know it’s funny, but I hoped the Lord had forgotten what I had said initially. He didn’t. I had no idea know what to do, what the next steps were or what would be required of me. So, I ignored His voice and continued.
One night, I heard distinctly, “Get out of the boat, into the water, knee deep.” A holy fear came over me and I knew then that I had to be brave. Sisters, believe me when I say I was scared. I had no plans. The Lord didn’t say I am calling you to do this or that, just that it was time to get into the water. Then He allowed something to happen that He knew would move me to obedience and total surrender.
"One night, I heard distinctly, “Get out of the boat, into the water, knee deep.” A holy fear came over me and I knew then that I had to be brave."
Taking the Leap
I submitted my resignation in December 2019 and chose to listen to God’s leading and walk on purpose. I had no clue what I was getting myself into or what the future would be like. But I had this overwhelming peace because God would be with me no matter what. I would never be alone. Romans 8:28 were the words I lived by: “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and are called to according to His purpose.”
Often it’s so easy for us to remain where we are due to fear – fear of the unknown, fear of what others are saying, and fear of our inadequacy to do what God has called us to do and prepared for us before the beginning of time. Fear cripples us, holds us in a vice grip, and keeps us stuck in place.
As I made my leap of faith, it was not without fear, but I got out of the boat anyway. I was approaching 50, and this growing recognition that God had created me for more and I needed to be in His will lingered in my mind. I left the comfortable and the safe behind and chose to walk into the unknown with the God who alone knows everything.
"I left the comfortable and the safe behind and chose to walk into the unknown with the God who alone knows everything."
Now, as I walk in my calling, serving women of faith, helping them rebuild their confidence, I use my voice to help them find theirs. I help them live their lives purposefully by unearthing the power of God within us. I am in my happy place.
"As I walk in my calling, serving women of faith, helping them rebuild their confidence, I use my voice to help them find theirs. I help them live their lives purposefully by unearthing the power of God within us."
The journey out onto the water has not always been smooth. There are rough patches and hard days, times when I question God, and days when all is well, and I rejoice.
I don’t know where you are in your faith journey, but can I encourage you today to get out of the boat? It’s not an easy decision. It took me years to make the leap, but feeling fulfilled because you are embracing the plan God created for you is worth leaving the familiar behind.
"It took me years to make the leap, but feeling fulfilled because you are embracing the plan God created for you is worth leaving the familiar behind."
You are talented, creative, confident, BRAVE and bold. You can do it. It’s a daily walk with the full knowledge that God is with you. He has positioned and prepared you for His purpose. Bravely walk into it.
Brave Woman Manifesto
Make sure to check back next week as another courageous Sister shares her story. And by the way...
You are Brave!
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Colette Lawrence is a woman who has come to know and experience the Lord as the lover of her soul and the one who loves her beyond her comprehension. She is a faith walker, motivator, encourager, and an empowered woman who is called and equipped to serve women to walk in confidence, uses their voices and live their lives purposefully.
Colette founded the M.E.E. Movement L.L.C. in 2020 as a faith-based empowerment ministry business that helps women of faith through life coaching, mentoring, and empowerment speaking. She lives by Romans 8:28 “For we know that all things work together for good to them that love God and are the called according to His will.” She serves in various ministries at her church and is passionate about serving the Lord with all the gifts He deposited within her.
She is a mother to two daughters and grandmother to two handsome boys, Kamron-James and Kyle, they are the other two loves of her life. She loves to read and spend time with her family and friends. She is the author of a book and journal of the same name Positioned for Purpose: The Journey and is currently working on a 31-day devotional for women. Conenct with Colette on her website themeemovementllc.com, as well as Facebook and Instagram.