UnConformed, Madi Gigstead

Dear Twenty Something,

I myself am in your shoes, I am no older than the rest of you sitting here listening to this. So, know that these words are things that I am needing to hear myself. I won’t tell you all of these things and ignore them. I am daily putting these into practice and have seen a change in myself. But I still need to hear them over and over. I hope you can take these words to heart, because they are coming from mine.

I was recently asking a friend for some advice on a big life decision that I had to make and what he said changed my perspective on it all and has been an encouragement to me in many moments since. He told me “stop trying to be courageous. Just be it” I didn’t really understand that at first honestly. But after thinking about it, it clicked. My whole life I have tried to be courageous but have rarely taken risks. I was simply just trying, and letting that be enough. But it needs to be more than that. Be courageous. Take big risks and be brave in your decisions!

Decisions both big and little call for bravery and confidence. Start making little decisions with courage and the bigger decisions will follow naturally. Be confident in yourself and your decisions. Nobody else should have control of those. Learn what you want and reach for those things. Don’t let fear stop you from living the life you want. There is so much freedom in learning to be confident and brave. Take it from a girl who has struggled her whole life to take risks, to speak up, or to ask for something she wanted for fear of rejection or others opinions. One day I decided I wanted more than just my safe life I had been living. Now I am living in Mexico working with hundreds of people a year and serving some of the world’s cutest kids in the orphanage where I am living. Anyone you ask will tell you that I am a new person. I agree, but it’s only because I decided to be courageous and see what God had for me. I let him work in me and change me. It was hard and painful, but worth every minute. The freedom that follows is indescribable. When you can learn to take a risk, your reward will be great. Give God the ability to change you from the inside out, because He will. He wants you to be confident in who he has made you to be. He calls us to be courageous!

So, ladies, know this: you are beyond capable of so many things. Things you would never imagine. Be bold, take risks and go for what you want. Leave your comfort zone and see just how much the Lord will grow you and shape you into someone you never would have believed you could become. Learn to love yourself and learn to trust your abilities to make big changes and decisions. Stop trying to be courageous, and just be it.

-Madi

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