Updated: Aug 12, 2020
I was scared shitless. I was about to step out onto a road that no one would think I should be traveling. I could hear the disappointment echoing in my ear, "What is she doing? She can't afford to be taking chances like this." They were right. "She's just trying to escape." Right, again. So, I didn't tell them of my big dreams, until after I ventured out into them. It was a time where emotional support was sparse and faith in me as a person was tainted. But I knew I was still there...somewhere. And I also knew the risk I was about to partner with. I had to do it. If I didn't jump into the wind and start my free fall, I would surely suffocate in the cocoon that was being formed around me. So, it was either the possibility of flying or the certainty of asphyxiation.
The fear of failure surrounded me, tightening its hold around my chest. It was relentless in reminding me that dreaming of a better tomorrow was not only a waste of time, but also completely unattainable. Fear laughed at me; mocked me; told me I could never succeed. But something inside of me said "take the leap", you HAVE to do this or you'll always wonder what could have been. That something was hope. That something was the hunger for newness. That something was the strength of God. So, I did. I dove head first into the abyss of my dream. A dream to risk what little money I had been able to save in the year since Don died and use it to open a business in another state. Yep, it was definitely on the 'crazy' spectrum, but that's exactly where dreams are born...in the belief that anything is possible...that space in our heart where our most personal desires are cared for.
Once I jumped, I felt free. Hope took over and I was empowered. I began all the practical steps of starting a business. I picked our desired location for this new endeavor and we were off - Atlanta, Georgia here we come! The South was calling; it was fresh; it was sunny; and all my research pointed directly towards it. So, we piled in the Suburban and traveled down to Atlanta to lay the groundwork for our future. I was going to make this new business venture work. I was going to build a financial safety net for my family; a legacy in Don's honor. But once I started flying, fear hopped a jet plane and caught up with me. Damn.
"What am I doing? Why would I even try to venture out into the unknown? This is stupid. What? Am I crazy? I'm just me, I can't make this dream fly."
Fear was right. My life sucked and I just needed to accept it: Shut up, stay small, and be thankful it's not worse.
And just like that, in the middle of my self doubt anthem, on the outskirts of "Who Knows Where" Georgia, while scoping out possible places to land our dream...God shows up and tells fear to sit the hell down.
"I got you. You keep being brave, Ang. You are exactly where you are supposed to be."
And as I look up, BAM! He sends me this.
Now, C'mon. That is some crazy shit. I'm having an anxiety ridden moment of complete uncertainty with no clue where I am and God shows up with a street sign? And isn't it interesting that 'McConnell' is on top, like we were already victorious in our dream. So flipping cool. But, then again, God is.
Our journey of opening a business in Atlanta traveled on for quite some time and didn't end in the way you might think, but that's a story for another time (or another episode on my podcast). Just know that we were, indeed, victorious.
Signs of hope are everywhere. We just have to train our brains...or really our hearts, to see them. So, if you ever need a sign from above, just ask. You never know, HE might end up sending you one in neon lights!
"Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights."