I am not brave.
Nor am I particularly adventurous or daring or thrill-seeking.
No, I prefer the predictable. I relish in routine.
I have lived in Indiana all my life. More specifically, I’ve lived in Carmel, Indiana all my life. Today, I went shopping in the same Meijer my mom did when I was a kid. I got my oil changed at the same Jiffy Lube where I purchased my first oil change when I was sixteen. Sunday, I’ll go to church within the same walls I’ve been worshipping since I was five, and dozens of wide smiles and “Good Morning, Molly”s will greet me as I walk through the door. I love it.
I’ve had the same friends, taught the same grade at the same school, and taken the same summer vacation every year. I love that my Target is right down the road and that I can order the most delicious omelet at Patachou every Saturday morning, complete with cinnamon toast.
Many would cringe at the lack of adventure in my life, but for me, the safety of The Known is bliss. I find great comfort in my seemingly predictable life.
This part of my personality is nothing new. After all, I was the 6th grade girl who bawled her way through the first few weeks of middle school in the counselor’s office because she just wanted to go back to her house (where it was safe and predictable). I am also a girl who sat on the kitchen counter a month before high school graduation and bawled to her mom about not wanting to move away and go to college. She listened as I cried and calmly said, “Molly, don’t worry about it now. Enjoy today. When the day comes, you’ll be ready.”
And I was. But, ugh. I hate change.
I thought I would be used to it by now. There have been so many significant changes in the past few years: loss of people, of roles, of places. A few called me “brave” as my son Tage was dying, and I marveled at that word. I didn’t feel brave. I had no choice in the outcome, and therefore, no choice to go along with it or not. I couldn’t stop death.
When I think of brave, I think of people making a choice. Of choosing to go. Of choosing to stay. Of choosing to say it or not say it. Of doing it or not doing it, without knowing the outcome.
That’s bravery, because it’s risk.
Faith is a risk, too. As much as I believe 100% most days that Jesus is God and He is returning for me one day, I don’t know it. We can gather all the facts we want about the historicity of the Gospel and of His life and whether or not He really died then rose from the dead, but ultimately, we will have to take a leap of faith if we want to be on His side. We will have to be brave.
We have to decide that being a Christian isn’t just about checking the box that we believe in Jesus and then doing our best to follow all the rules. Being a Christ-Follower means that the final step is surrendering our lives to this Christ and trusting Him with what He’s doing, without knowing the outcome. Surrendering — arms wide open with no expectations — is very, very brave. That’s why it’s so hard.
In the midst of all the change in the past couple years, I remember thinking, I’ve lost this and this and this…but at least I am still in Indiana with my people. That was the one thing that hadn’t changed, the one thing I still held after the whirlwind. The one thing I hadn’t had to surrender.
So the following words are still a shock even to me: At the end of June, I am moving to Kentucky.
Yep. Kentucky. The one state we Hoosiers make fun of. (Sorry Kentucky friends. I didn’t know!)
As I’ve pondered this idea in recent months, I’ve felt my heart race at the thought. I’ve thought about my Meijer, and my Jiffy Lube, my Target and my omelet, my friends and family and was certain, no, I could not possibly leave. It wouldn’t be safe.
I’d tear up at the image of me driving down Keystone with U-Haul on my way to a brand new state with a new home, new friends, a new church, a new job, a new grocery store, and many, many other new things. Then, I get overwhelmed and ask the Lord, “Does a girl really need more change after all of this? Are you really going to take away the one good thing she thinks she still has after all the pain?” And He smiles as He radiates an I know what I am doing look. And eventually, I nod back and think, yes, a fresh start in a new place could be really good.
I am so excited to get to be near Guy and his girls and see what a “typical Tuesday evening” looks like. Because this long-distance relationship stuff is HARD. They weren’t kidding. I am not a phone-talker, I’m a face-talker – that’s why I’m always hanging out with my people. But the hundreds of miles I’ve put on my car, the ten pounds I’ve gained from fast food during said miles, and the constant feeling like I’m living a double life has definitely been worth it. The one thing I know is that I want Guy in my life.
I just wish I didn’t have to leave my friends, my job, and my town. I love them. They’re comfortable and predictable, and I want to be near them. But I am certain I want Guy to be near his daughters. Girls need their daddy (and daddies need their girls).
But as I’ve processed this possibility over the past months, there are three things I still know:
- God loves me.
- God is trustworthy and so are His plans.
- God will give me what I need.
It is the treasure I discovered in the midst of my lowest moments, and now these beliefs go down to the marrow of my bones.
“Show me the right path, O Lord;
point out the road for me to follow.
Lead me by your truth and teach me,
for you are the God who saves me.
All day long I put my hope in you.” Psalm 25:4-5
More than anything, I want to go where He wants me to go. I want to follow His road for me, because I can see now that His plans are always good, even in the midst of the pain. I can go anywhere and do anything He asks because He always goes right beside me as a friend, before me to clear the way, and behind me to protect me. If He is there, I know I am safe.
“I will bless the Lord who guides me;
even at night my heart instructs me.
I know the Lord is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice.
My body rests in safety.
You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of your presence…” Psalm 16: 7-9, 11
The joy of His presence, not of my surroundings.
This morning, I saw my current life verse hanging there on the bathroom mirror:
“But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8
I want to trust in the Lord in all things. I want my confidence to be in Him, not in my city, or in being near friends, or in my predictable life. In Him, I can be brave! He is where I’m planted, not a city. So, I don’t have to worry about what may come, or if I will feel lonely in Kentucky, or if I’ll find a job, or that Target is 50 minutes away and the best omelet in town is at the local version of Waffle House (though the truck stop also has a good breakfast, too, I’m told).
No, my leaves will stay green, because I know life is not about Target and fancy omelets. It’s about God and people. I already know God will be with me, and the people I’ve met so far are absolutely lovely and kind and even more welcoming than we Hoosiers!
And so, I can go right on producing delicious fruit. The Lord is always ready to use us when we surrender. He will use me to impact people in my new town, and He will use them to impact me. That’s what I know.
Today marks nine years since my beautiful, joyful mom went to be with Jesus. My sisters and I texted today about how grief has changed over the years – it’s less of a surface sting and more of a deep, constant, dull ache. We wonder what she would say to us in different joys and sorrows of our lives.
I wish I could call her in Heaven. There is so much I want to share with her and ask her. As I think about the next two months of preparing to move and all the change that will come with that, there are moments where I want to sit on the counter and talk to her. But I think I know what she’d say. As she stands there next to Jesus, she’d say, “Molly, don’t worry about it now. Enjoy today. When the day comes, you’ll be ready.”
And Jesus would nod and smile in gentle agreement with a little sparkle in His eye, because He knows exactly what He’s got up His sleeve.
And it’s way more important than Target and omelets.
20 thoughts on “There are More Important Things than Target and Omelets”
Oh Mol, you ARE brave in your way. I am so excited for you in this new chapter in your life. What an adventure…ups and downs, but an adventure, nonetheless.
Love you dear friend!!! Laura B
On Thu, Apr 27, 2017 at 8:17 PM, Molly McCracken Monroe wrote:
> mollymonroe6 posted: “I am not brave. Nor am I particularly adventurous or > daring or thrill-seeking. No, I prefer the predictable. I relish in > routine. I have lived in Indiana all my life. More specifically, I’ve > lived in Carmel, Indiana all my life. Today, I went” >
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Oh Molly you have been such a gift to so many! God has used you in ways you may never know and I feel confident that he’s rewarding you for your obedience in this world and the next!
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Molly, your writing always touches my heart. What a wonderful adventure to embark on. I wish you happiness.
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I always love reading your writing. I remember sitting in your classroom many years ago as a sub and you shared a story you had written with your students about your mom. I remember back then thinking how beautifully written your words were and I saw how they touched your students and now through the years and tears, so many others. You have a true gift. I’m so excited for your adventure and can’t wait to hear all about it. You are taking a huge leap of faith and I’m confident that God is guiding you a 100%
Zach and I think of you often and he always smiles when your name is mentioned. You deserve all the happiness that is awaiting you in Kentucky…one lucky Guy and his girls! 😘 Best always, Jeri and Zach Gruning
Jeri, your words made me smile so much! I can remember being around you and thinking of how much I hoped to be like you when I had kids and was volunteering at their school. You are so lovely. Thank you for taking the time to say hi. Tell Zach hi for me, too.
What an inspiration you are. God is not only working in your life but in ours that know and love you, as well. You are always in our prayers. When I get so heartbroken about our little granddaughter dying, God always reminds me I am not alone…Molly also has suffered a terrible loss. I know God has a wonderful path for you and I will be praying for you as you walk it. You still have a book that is waiting to be written…….Thank you for time shared with Stephen Ministry. It will never be forgotten.
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You have encouraged me greatly with your writing today. I too am in a long distance relationship all the way down in southeast Florida. While I’m not putting a lot of miles on my car I guess I am getting a lot of air miles.
I am facing many challenges with this. The potential that I may be moving as you are. Away from the familiar. I’ve been in this community most of my 57 years.
But I want to share with you something that encouraged me around January of this year. It’s called The Lion chaser’s Manifesto. Here is the link. http://chasethelion.com/manifesto/
I hope you get as much encouragement from it as I have. This assertion coming from an obscure passage in the Old Testament comma has absolutely changed my life. I am no longer the same. It is my hope that as you read it you too will be encouraged.
I am so glad that Christen showed me your blog site.
Blessings and continued prayers,
Thank you, Rick! I will be sure to take a look at that. I’m glad I’m not alone in this journey!
Wow! Excited for you as you begin to make this transition. Thank you for sharing these truths God continues to affirm no matter the circumstances.
Grateful for you,
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Molly, I wish you all the happiness in the world on your new adventure. I love your moms advice to you. Please keep all of us updated as you go on this journey through life and ❤️ love.
Sent from my iPhone
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You are brave! You went on an adventure to CO for a summer where you knew no one. You learned great things and God blessed you there as He will continue to bless you. Life is hard, but God is always there in the hard and lonely times. If He is taking you to KY, then you know He has great plans for you. He is trustworthy! I am excited for you and to see what He does in and through you.
Love you friend,
Amber, these words made me smile so much. You’re right. I did go on an adventure once, and look at all the incredible people it brought in my life! Thank you for your encouragement. Love you — maybe I’ll finally get to have an accent like yours now! 🙂
Remember this “you can take the girl out of Indiana, but you can’ take Indiana out of the girl”. You always be a Hoosier and your value to your new state is that you will make them a better state just by your presence.LOL Your comments have been encouraging, tender, honest, truthful, full of hurt and disappointment. But the one consistent has been your honest struggle with your faith . And your openness to share that struggle. Probably the best that I can say is that I have been honored to be ask to travel with you along your journal. It is not easy, but you have many, many friends who are with you and our God. Best wishes and I look forward to seeing some pix of you and your new friends wearing IU shirts.
Lou Gerig | President
Sease, Gerig & Associates
101 W. Ohio Street, Suite 1800 | Indianapolis, IN 46204
Office: 317-634-1171 | Cell: 317-442-4953
Lou, your words mean a lot to me. Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your encouragement and wisdom! You have warmed my heart. Thank you!
Molly, I will be praying for you with this big transition. Having moved here from Virginia and barely knowing anyone, I know the mixture of feelings that comes with moving—-nervousness, excitement, loneliness, sadness, etc.
Someone once gave me a plaque that said: “Leap and the net will appear.” The Lord is our net, Molly. He has carried you so far, and He will carry you every day. Praying for you!
I absolutely love your “leap and the net will appear” line. Thank you so much, friend.
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I gave up (or lost, maybe) my faith many years ago. Maybe it was part of my struggle to come out as gay. Maybe not.
But. Although I no longer share in the things you believe, I find myself coming back to your blog, over and over. Something about your perspective is intriguing to me, and comforting. Something about your sincere belief, your openness, and the kindness and compassion you afforded me way back in high school makes me let down my guard a little when I read the things you write, and makes me a little less dismissive, a little less callous, toward the things I used to believe.
Thanks for that. And good luck with your move!
Kate! What a pure delight it was to read your words! I, too, have fond memories of you from high school. I remember that were (and probably still are) ridiculously funny. Just thinking of you makes me smile! Thank you for taking the time to comment, and for your vulnerability as well as your encouragement to me. Your words are the greatest gift I have received today. Are you still in Indy? If so, we should catch up! If not, at least we have the Internet. Love to you, my friend!
Molly, I love reading everything you write!! I am excited for you and this awesome adventure ahead.
Thank you, Katie! That is so kind of you to say. Thanks for sharing in this excitement with me! 🙂