Day 4 :: Marie-Claire is brave.

on October 4, 2011 in 31 Days of Courage with 48 comments by

I thought it would be fun to get a few of my friends to tell you their story of courage. So randomly throughout this month, you will be hearing from some of the brave ones nearest and dearest to me.

Marie-Claire grew up as a missionary in France and is now in graduate school in Waco, Texas. I skipped a few details there, but now you are caught up. 🙂 Her nickname is Rooster McDooj. Feel free to call her that.

Marie, the floor is yours. Take it away.

. . . . .

God recently brought me to a new place. Now when I say, “God brought me,” I don’t mean that I searched high and low for a chance to come here, and I finally found the secret door of opportunity that God had hidden for me, picked the lock, and forced it open.

Instead, it was more of a double-doors-swinging-open-with-golden-beams-shining-down sort of thing, complete with an angelic chorus beckoning me to walk through.

There were scholarships I received but hadn’t applied for, a job offered to me that I didn’t know existed, and a church with an amazing reputation just down the street. I felt very strongly that I was supposed to go.

Yet on the day I arrived, I was lonely. I didn’t know anything about this place, and wanted to be somewhere familiar, with restaurants I knew I liked and Targets I knew how to get to. Mostly, I wished for the community of friends I had just distanced myself from. I didn’t feel brave at all.

Instead of being excited about a new school in a different part of the country, I was worried that I would never find my place here. Instead of remembering all of the blessings the Lord had lavished upon me and the innumerable times he had come through for me, I chose to sulk and point out to God that he could have at least made me go to a state that didn’t require two days of driving to get here.

Why do I feel like this? Is grad school supposed to be this challenging? Did I walk through someone else’s double doors? Doubtful prayers drifted from my heart for the first few days. Nothing dramatically changed over the next few weeks, and I really started to worry.

If my life were a chick flick, this would be the point in the story when I meet a funny redhead in the library who becomes by best friend and introduces me to her brother, a young lawyer, which leads to all sorts of romance and humor and no loneliness whatsoever.

I know deep down that God is sovereign, and proud of me for having the guts to move out here, and has a concrete plan and reason for me being here. But the reality is that I still feel lonely sometimes. I haven’t made any close friends, and I haven’t met a single (single) lawyer.

But God didn’t bring me here to be comfortable. He brought me because it’s in both of our best interests””His glory and my holiness. And part of becoming holy is, as Oswald Chambers put it, “investing your faith in the character of God.”

So I’m still here. And though I’m not comfortable, I’m confident in God’s guidance and follow-through.

“I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”  –Philippians 1:19-21

. . . . .

Ok, friends. Here’s the question for you to answer in the comments- how do you choose courage even when it makes you lonely? Have you ever struggled like Rooster McDooj is struggling?

[PS- I’m gonna answer in the comments, too.]

. . . . .

Who I’m reading: Mr. Gary’s 31 Days of Scary Hope. He’s Nester and Emily’s dad and he’s way smart and funny and an amazing writer. Check his series out!

48 comments

  1. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 6:49 AM  |  reply

    Funny I was just having a conversation about this with someone I met the other day. Since my move I definitely battle with loneliness vs trusting that God has a plan for me in my new city. Most days I think I get it, why I’m here and all that. But somedays I really miss being able to walk into the living room and decompress with my best friend about whats happening.

    I really love these words.
    “So I’m still here. And though I’m not comfortable, I’m confident in God’s guidance and follow-through.”

    Thanks for writing this. 🙂

    • posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 8:28 AM  |  reply

      @Bindu, Yeah, I totally relate to that. Not having that familiarity in people on an everyday basis is so hard, especially on days when you’re not super strong. But I think it’s all part of the process of change. Thanks for sharing.

  2. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 8:40 AM  |  reply

    My natural answer to this question would be that I am choosing courage by living in Edinburgh, away from my friends and family and community. The truth though is that that was a choice I made months ago, and now courage is living with the consequences. This week’s courage looks like talking to new people at church, inviting a new friend to dinner, and trying to let people here see the real me.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:05 AM  |  reply

      Amen, girl. Well done.

      Coffee soon? Me hopes so.

  3. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 9:07 AM  |  reply

    Um, this is EXACTLY what i needed today. I’m going through EXACTLY this right now, and boy do i need courage. I’m down in Knoxville, by God’s leading, praying for a job to come through after i drove down here to stay for 6 weeks. I felt led, so i came. And now nothing. It’s discouraging but i KNOW it’s where i should be. I’m just waiting for the next step. I’m trying to be brave and not be lonely, but it’s hard. Thank you for sharing this, i feel a little less alone today. 🙂

    • posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 8:31 AM  |  reply

      @Brooke, Thanks Brooke, it sounds like the exact same feeling I’ve had. I’ve just been really learning that knowing that God wants me here doesn’t equal “easy” now that I’m here. Sort of like, maybe God is allowing it to be hard on purpose to shape me. And hopefully it’s working!

  4. Merideth
    posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 9:10 AM  |  reply

    Not sure if I’m choosing courage much. I chose it when I moved and trusted God to do something with it. My move wasn’t like your friend’s in terms of all kinds of opportunities coming out of the woodwork. I actually keep wishing things would happen for me that way so I know for sure I’m going the right way. For me, one thing worked out, and I ran with it. Now, I find myself still questioning and doubting and worrying about my future and when my lease is up in my new place. Needless to say, yes I have felt a lot like your friend.

    • posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 8:36 AM  |  reply

      @Merideth, Yeah, the move being an obvious one and stuff being provided left and right made it more shocking once I got here and none of it mattered–I was still alone, even if I had been provided for. Or at least that’s what I thought. This past couple months has been a huge lesson in learning that God works in so many different ways that just don’t make sense to me, but they are so effective in helping me grow and learn. Thanks for sharing, I pray God settles your doubts and fears!

  5. Annie
    posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 10:18 AM  |  reply

    I remember when I moved to Nashville… I was in SUCH a similar place. It took so much time and effort to make friends that I almost gave up.

    But. As always, God showed Himself faithful and in time, those people came along.

    Thank you, Marie, for writing these words. Your faith and willingness to love God above everything else inspires me.

  6. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 11:08 AM  |  reply

    “But God didn’t bring me here to be comfortable. He brought me because it’s in both of our best interests—His glory and my holiness.”

    That’s it exactly! When I decided to move to Nashville, I knew it would make me more dependent on God but I did not anticipate all the ways it would happen. In those first few weeks and months, I clung to the ways God worked before the move and after. His fingerprints were all over it and I have no regrets being here. I have grown greatly through this experience and it really set me up well for my current transition.

    • posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 8:39 AM  |  reply

      @HopefulLeigh, Yes, exactly. I had an idea of what I was going to be learning, but hadn’t really thought about it much. Then it was such a huge learning curve when I got here! It has been so obvious that He wants me here and I’m already thankful for this experience.Thanks Leigh!

  7. Laura
    posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 11:26 AM  |  reply

    Marie-Claire. You have no idea how much I needed to hear that. Thank you for sharing. You rock. Sometimes it’s hard to believe that yhe Lord cam be teaching you something in such a difficult place and time but he does.

    • posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 8:41 AM  |  reply

      @Laura, Thanks Laura! Yeah, I’m learning SO much from this experience already, and I’ll be here for at least two years–looking forward to everything to come.

  8. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 12:13 PM  |  reply

    “So I’m still here. And though I’m not comfortable, I’m confident in God’s guidance and follow-through”– I can relate. Thanks for the encouragement!!

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:05 AM  |  reply

      Right? She’s good. Real good.

  9. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 12:33 PM  |  reply

    Proud of you for remaining obedient and sharing your doubts and mini-triumphs here. I can recall a time when the place you just left may have felt like Waco does now. More steps in your legacy of courage and obedience. You can build on that!

    • posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 8:43 AM  |  reply

      @ManUtd17, Thanks Bill 🙂 And you’re so right. As always. I was just telling someone that I remember having these EXACT crazy emotions when I arrived in Wilmore. So basically, I’m just a slow learner.

  10. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 12:44 PM  |  reply

    I can TOTALLY relate. When I first moved to California I felt like I was supposed to be here, but I lost my job and my living situation quickly deteriorated. So why on Earth did He make me stay? I looked for jobs everywhere to no avail! Little did I know that three years later I would be starting my own business (a post of it’s own in courage) and married to an incredible man (although it didn’t come about in a rom-com way, no fear.)

    He will show you His paths… and as soon as you feel confident, He will require courage of you again. 🙂 Not to bum you out, but that’s my experience.

    • posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 8:46 AM  |  reply

      @Dani, I totally agree. I have had to transition in and out of so many places in my life, and I think it has required MORE courage each time. Hopefully I’m learning as I go. And I have seen the Lord be so faithful every single time. It’s incredible (and at the same time, I shouldn’t be surprised)!

  11. Donna
    posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 12:51 PM  |  reply

    This is a tough one! Lonely, yup. Never thought it would be a true description of my heart from the “good” decisions I’ve made in life. At this point I’m trying to remind myself they were good decisions. BTW, I’m on the other end of life… having almost finished raising, homeschooling, and basically pouring my life into several (eight and 3 step)kids and did I mention, a wife of a workaholic. *Sigh* I’ve decided to seek the Lord and His thoughts of me not others (man) or even myself! God is good and He loves me–even if no one ever does.

    • posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 6:25 PM  |  reply

      @Donna, I’m sorry you feel so lonely. I know how it feels to “feel” like no one loves you. 🙁 Praying for you and your heart and that God would lift you up tonight.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:06 AM  |  reply

      Donna, Thanks for your honesty. Everyone who reads this will throw up a prayer for you, trusting God to show up for you over and over again.

  12. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 6:55 PM  |  reply

    Wow…browsing the 31 blogs to see which I might want to follow this month and stumble on a story by someone who lives where my husband works (he works on computers in the Baylor college I recognize from the picture there).

    My story of courage in a lonely spot happened in high school…but it wasn’t courage really. My confidence was handed to me on a silver platter…it was an absolute gift.

    http://www.windhavenweb.com/testimony.html

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:06 AM  |  reply

      Thanks for sharing, Gale! Glad to hear from you! 🙂

  13. Emily
    posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 7:10 PM  |  reply

    As many others have said, thank you for your wise words. I just moved to a new city about 2 months ago and it.is.HARD. But God is SO faithful!! Your words have helped remind me that I have to trust Him, His character & His follow-through!

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:07 AM  |  reply

      Amen, Emily. Hang in there, sister.

  14. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 7:13 PM  |  reply

    “He brought me because it’s in both of our best interests—His glory and my holiness. And part of becoming holy is, as Oswald Chambers put it, “investing your faith in the character of God.”” Oh, this is SO true. Sometimes, He has to take us out of our comfort zone, to a place that is really hard and sometimes feels lonely to remind us that He is God and it’s ALL about Him. I can tell you about SO many times when I was out of my comfort zone – from the big ones like flying across the country to meet a blogging friend in real life without my husband leading the way to the little things like going on an unplanned adventure (because, if you know me, you know that I am NOT a spontaneous person and I am very routine oriented). But in all the uncomfortable scary steps out of my comfort zone, He reminds me that it is for His glory and that He has a purpose. 🙂

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:08 AM  |  reply

      Good word, Stephanie. Yes and yes. It’s all for His glory.

  15. H
    posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 8:06 PM  |  reply

    I didn’t know we were still allowed to say Rooster McDooj…..oh boy.

    I know loneliness well and have definitely struggled like RMcD. When I feel that way I remind myself of one of my favorite mottos: Faith over Fear…because my loneliness is almost always rooted in fears and doubts….and naming and acknowledging fear is powerful and shifts your perspective back to own your courage, look up, believe and keep going…

    I love you McDooj!! I love you Fosse too…and I double love the collaboration amongst you…bravo.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:09 AM  |  reply

      We’re always allowed to call her that. 🙂

  16. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 8:18 PM  |  reply

    I just know that I cannot go against that which God has planned for me. I’ve been working in Texas for over a year now and I still find that I desperately want to be home. But God has put me here for a purpose. Who am I to question that? He knows. He’s growing me exponentially more than I had grown at home. He is good and His will and timing are perfect. I love that He is getting glory out of this and I am becoming more like Him.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:09 AM  |  reply

      Yeah, girl. Be brave. Keep it up. Don’t quit. Your courage is causing changes in the atmosphere.

  17. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 9:04 PM  |  reply

    Thanks for the kind words, girl. Hope your summer in Scotland has been unforgettable in wonderful ways.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:10 AM  |  reply

      @Mr. Gary, it’s been great so far. Can’t wait to get back to NC and tell y’all all about it. 🙂

  18. posted on Oct 04, 2011 at 10:20 PM  |  reply

    I needed this post. I needed to hear from someone who was in a part of their story so out of their comfort zone…and to say truthfully it is hard but worth it.

    But God didn’t bring me here to be comfortable. He brought me because it’s in both of our best interests—His glory and my holiness. And part of becoming holy is, as Oswald Chambers put it, “investing your faith in the character of God.”

    I need to hear this tonight. To know the changes coming in my life are in my best interest and His…for His glory and my holiness.

    Such an encouragement.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:10 AM  |  reply

      Glad you liked it, Christy. Marie pretty much is one of the best writers ever.

  19. posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 1:31 AM  |  reply

    I’m not exactly known for my courage, but two years ago I chose to start a journey that isn’t exactly supported by many of my friends and family. I admitted that I couldn’t handle my depression and complex ptsd on my own. Most people don’t understand, or have a lot of judgment about seeking help instead of just “getting over it” and about needing the help in the first place.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:11 AM  |  reply

      Keep getting well, Bethany. Whatever that takes.

  20. posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 9:54 AM  |  reply

    I am learning to let Him Love On me, not just word-love but verb-love. With, His help I want to spread His Love to the lonely.

    Rooster McDooj and Annie: You are so brave and so strong. He shines thru you. Thank you for being transparent.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:11 AM  |  reply

      Thank you, Reese. 🙂

    • posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 8:13 PM  |  reply

      @Reese, Thanks Reese! Transparency takes courage, that’s for sure 🙂

  21. posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 6:49 PM  |  reply

    When I moved to Nashville it was very much a”…double-doors-swinging-open-with-golden-beams-shining-down sort of thing, complete with an angelic chorus beckoning me to walk through.”

    I had never lived further than 45 minutes away from my hometown, so a cross-country move should have seemed daunting. For the first time in my life I didn’t feel scared to make a leap, even though it was my biggest one to date. I was forced to wholly lean on Him for everything, and it’s made all the difference.

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:12 AM  |  reply

      He becomes your everything, doesn’t He? It’s an amazingly hard and wonderful experience.

  22. posted on Oct 05, 2011 at 11:41 PM  |  reply

    I love this post – it so closely speaks to what I’m going through right now as well. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:12 AM  |  reply

      I’m so glad this is helping your heart.

  23. Ashley
    posted on Oct 06, 2011 at 3:51 PM  |  reply

    There’s a reason shes our Marie. Praise the Lord!

    • Annie
      posted on Oct 07, 2011 at 6:12 AM  |  reply

      Amen to that, newlywed. Amen to that. 🙂

  24. Adrienne
    posted on Nov 01, 2011 at 7:45 AM  |  reply

    I’m just happy to know I’m not the only one feeling this way. My husband and I have recently moved to London as church planters and I am really struggling. I miss everything about America and feel really guilty for taking my kids so far away from their grandparents. I’m struggling to remember that God brought us here for a reason …. Thanks for writing this.

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