Day 11 :: It starts in your head.

on October 11, 2011 in 31 Days of Courage, Scotland with 16 comments by

Yesterday was hard. One of the hardest days yet.

[Which is funny because a) I didn’t leave my home and b) I didn’t see a single human except my flatmate and the FedEx guy.]

As I’ve said before, if I’m not honest in this journey, then I shouldn’t write about it at all. So here I am. Being honest and saying that I am struggling with being away from home.

[I love Edinburgh. I love my friends. It’s not about that… don’t equate struggling with being away from home with being unhappy here. They are not the same. Ok… carry on.]

I put in a few hours a week doing some work for Mocha Club and we had a BIG! IMPORTANT! staff meeting Monday. And I skyped in, which is great. Yay for technology. But big decisions need to be made and I hate that I’m not there. And truthfully, so do my co-workers.

Monday was the day when a few different people said things, each reminding me that my move to Edinburgh doesn’t just affect my life. It has affected a lot of lives.

[I’m NOT saying I’m a big deal… I’m saying I’m a puzzle piece. And anytime you remove one puzzle piece, it affects the rest of the puzzle.]

I sacrificed. But so did my family. And so did Mocha Club. And so did my roommate in Nashville. And so did my church. And so did a few other random subgroups.

I wrote a check that we are all paying.

And on Monday, I had to be brave.

I had to be brave in my mind. Because as we all know, the battle starts there. 

I can’t let myself start to wonder if I can change my flight. I can’t let myself listen to the guilty thoughts that say, “this is harder on your people in the USA than it is helping the people in Scotland.”

My mind has to be tough.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone back to that dream I had about October. The Bible says [in Philippians 4] to think about good things – noble, right, true things – and to cling to those.

That’s what a brave person does. A brave person clings to every last thread of truth.

It would be easier, at this point, to start a GO HOME COUNTDOWN. It would be easier to start talking to everyone about what Nashville will be like when I get home. It would be easier to just pop onto an airline website just to see what it might cost….

But I won’t. I’m braver than that.

I will be fully here. I will LIVE in Edinburgh. I will love my friends here deeply, knowing that every day is a gift. I love love love living here. I love the weather and the accents and my pals and my flat and public transportation. I will remember these things. And in the words of my friend Sara, I will choose joy.

Making that choice is choosing courage.

And then I have to trust God with the rest. Ya know? I mean, I have to believe that if He called me here, it’s the best place for me to be.

And I will. Because it is.

It just isn’t easy. It certainly didn’t feel easy yesterday.

But courage is fighting the battles in your life AND in your mind. If you can win in your head, you can win in the world.

And you’re a winner. So…. there’s that.

. . . .

Are you fighting a battle in your mind? How do you win?

. . . .

Who I’m reading: Emily’s 31 Days to Change The World. She’s good, y’all. Real good. I trust her thoughts on this topic because she has definitely changed my world.


  1. posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 6:06 AM  |  reply

    I fight it with prayer. I’m praying for you now.

  2. Laura
    posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 6:58 AM  |  reply

    A. Puhlease, You ARE a big deal.
    B. You gotta listen to that podcast I emailed you. It’s one of the most encouraging things I’ve heard in a long time about being risky.
    C. Proud of you. LOVE.

    • Emily
      posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM  |  reply

      @Laura, Any chance you can share the podcast link with me? I am going through a “risky” time and could use all the encouragement I could get! 🙂

  3. posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 8:21 AM  |  reply

    yep, it is a hard thing sometimes to be torn between two or three places so far apart. To want to be “home” and yet to know you are “home.” Keep fighting the battle to be present right where you are and hold strong to the Lord. It doesn’t really get easier – how can you not miss family and friends – but it is bearable when you recount all the ways the Lord has blessed you with new ‘family’ and friends in the other place you call home. Praying for you in this season!

  4. posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 9:24 AM  |  reply

    Thank you for choosing to do your 31 days on courage. I NEED to have courage this month, and since you’re one of my favorite bloggers (because you write so well and are so funny and so real), i couldn’t be coming to a better place everyday to soak in good stuff about having courage. It warms my heart, excites me, helps me focus on why i’m here, and reminds me that i’m not the only one who doesn’t always feel brave. You’re awesome Annie, ENJOY living in Edinburgh, be brave, and don’t hesitate to start picking up the accent. How cool will you be returning to Nashville with an accent like that??! So cool. 🙂

  5. posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 9:27 AM  |  reply

    The days I stay home all day are the hardest for me, too. I fight with hope. And Scripture.

  6. Merideth
    posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 9:48 AM  |  reply

    Not sure what I fight with that actually works. Many times I dont’ think I win the battles in my head. Partly because it’s hard to know what is truth and what isn’t. Just not always clear.
    You are wise to remind us all that what each of us does affects more than just us. Even us single gals are an important piece of a puzzle(maybe many puzzles). Sometimes when you are single you forget that because you dont’ have a husband/wife and kids that are impacted daily by your life choices. So, thanks for the reminder. And the reminder that we are valuable parts of something bigger than ourselves.
    You are so blessed to have the love/support of mocha club, and all your friends and family, regarding this adventure you are on. Without it, this would be even harder.
    Praying for God to continue filling you with courage.

  7. Lauren M
    posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 1:22 PM  |  reply

    Just yesterday I got a cool revelation from the Lord. I was reading Ezekiel 2. That’s the part where the Lord gives Ezekiel a scroll. On the scroll is written all kinds of words of lament and mourning. Then God tells Ezekiel to eat the scroll. And when he did, it says that it tasted sweet like honey in his mouth. I’m guessing that Ezekiel was expecting it to taste terrible! Not only was it a scroll, but it was a scroll full of sorrow and lament!

    The Lord started speaking to me about how sometimes when He gives us something to “eat” (a circumstance, hope that seems to be deferred, broken relationship, etc), we may expect it to taste badly. And it even may actually taste badly or weird at first. But in the end, it will be as honey in our mouths. Because He is trustworthy. And His intentions towards us are ALWAYS good. His intentions aren’t just to further His kingdom. His intentions are to love us well. We can trust that when we are submitted to His leadership and will in our lives and when we say yes to Him, ultimately, the scroll will be sweet like honey.

    Hang in there! Press into Jesus! He’s really your home, anyway! 🙂

    • posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 10:57 PM  |  reply

      @Lauren M, that word completely spoke to my heart – thank you SO much for sharing it!!

      • Lauren M
        posted on Oct 12, 2011 at 1:48 PM  |  reply

        @Amanda, So glad, Amanda! It was a good revelation for me too. It’s good to be able to hold onto the character of God and know that no matter what I feel like in the moment, I can trust Him with my life and heart.

  8. posted on Oct 11, 2011 at 10:59 PM  |  reply

    I was in my head all last week and it was not fabulous 🙂 For me, “winning” [I really want to make a Charlie Sheen joke right now] is all about clearly identifying what is the voice of God in my ear, and what is inconsistent with his voice. Maybe it’s the enemy, maybe it’s family or friends, maybe it’s my own thoughts – but if it is inconsistent with who I know God to be and what I know him to say to be true, I refuse to let it gain traction. I don’t always win, but it helps.

  9. posted on Oct 12, 2011 at 12:50 PM  |  reply

    It is crucial for me to remember that I don’t have to conjure up that courage from within myself. God will give me the courage to do what He asks me to do. And, thankfully, sometimes I don’t have to do anything because He will fight for me! {Exodus 14}

  10. posted on Oct 19, 2011 at 12:38 AM  |  reply

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post Annie…..your raw courage oozes out of every word. I am at the age where i have to wait for the mind to retrieve a thought , a perosn name, trusting the Lord for total recall which truthfully does not always come. It’s not God fault, this is a frail body with a frail mind and getting more frail as I age…things do not come quick…so to even write this little piece on your blog takes courage since I know I will probably mess something up. You see you are such a good organized writer, and I feel very intimadated by all the incourage writers but once agian…I will go toe to toe with the enemy of my mind and exercise courage in hopes that one little things will encourage someone somewhere. Loving this courage walk you are taking us on.

  11. posted on Oct 19, 2011 at 11:52 AM  |  reply

    Battle in my mind? Yes. And it’s work.

    [Not as in the battle, but my current place of employment.]

    The end.

  12. Kim
    posted on Oct 20, 2011 at 10:33 AM  |  reply

    Late to the party on this post, but just had to say- It’s like you’re in my head! Thank you for writing. Thank you for sharing! Thank you for saying what I’ve been feeling for so many months!

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