Today, I welcome Misty Dollard, a faithful woman who has dedicated her life to God. I first met Misty at a speaking conference when I was extremely new in my walk with Jesus. She welcomed me with a huge smile and invited me to sit with her and her friend at one of the sessions. She left on impression on me. Take in her short bio and her story about her two words to see what impression her story leaves on you …
Hi there, I’m Misty! Helping others figure out this thing called life is my jam. Pursuing wisdom frames my life and sharing that wisdom with others feeds my soul. I am a HUGE fan of application; my brain is wired for it, and I am always searching for ways to apply the wisdom I learn to life’s journey. A “not complicated” approach (who needs more complication in their life? Not me) to the relationship with God and the challenges with life is what you will find with me. Simplicity is king, in my opinion.
I write for people who want to break stereotypes, grow in wisdom, and with God’s help and a little humor, figure out this thing called life. Find me at mistydollard.com and let’s do life together.
What Are Your Two Words?
Recently, I was asked to describe myself in two words. I hate questions like that! My mind spins trying to find the right answer, while my brain shouts, “Make it good, make it good!”
Pondering this question made me reflect on my life and all the experiences I’ve had. It was only after this that the two right words came to me: brave and courageous. For most of us, I don’t think either of these words pops to mind first. But take a moment, look back at your life, and reflect on the things that shaped you into who you are. When you do this, you just might discover how brave and courageous you have been.
At 15, I was a pregnant teenager living in the Bible belt of America. I turned down the offer of an ‘in secret” abortion, choosing to keep my baby even after the father abandoned me. I quickly learned who had the heart of Jesus and who did not. Twenty years ago, teenage pregnancy was not as accepted as it is today. The judgment people placed on me was crazy, but looking back, I see how that experience also taught me a valuable lesson about not judging others.
People told me I was “a baby raising a baby.” I hated that label because I was determined to be strong and give my daughter a good life. Now, I look back and think, “I was a baby raising a baby.” That thought alone helps me have compassion for myself when I think of the parenting moments that I didn’t do right. My daughter, now 21, is one of the most incredible blessings in my life. I thank God for giving the 15-year-old me the courage to make the right choice.
Fast forward to the year 2009. My husband accepted a job that moved us across the country and would result in us living in three different states in three years. We left behind all our family and everything that kept us comfortable. When the first move happened, I went kicking and screaming. I knew it was God’s will, but I wasn’t happy about it. With each move, we started over from scratch, not knowing a single soul in our new location. I was not prepared for the isolation that came with these moves. When you are stripped of everything that keeps you in your comfort zone, you turn back to your basics. Luckily for me, God was a basic. In this season of change, God and I got real cozy.
I had an identity crisis after we moved because I had always worked outside the home, and now I was a stay-at-home mom. I was used to life speeding by at 100 mph, and as silly as it sounds, I had to learn how to rest. During this time, God allowed me to be mad, lonely, and—some days—even excited about our moves and all the changes that came with them. He stretched me and grew me beyond my wildest dreams. He knew the lessons of letting go of control that I needed to learn and, even in my stubbornness, never left my side.
It takes courage to leave everything behind, but I have gained so much because of it. Faith grows when you are stretched beyond yourself, and you discover who you are when God is the only friend on your roster. I quickly learned how to answer the onslaught of questions: “Your daughter is how old? Did you have her when you were 10?” I learned how to navigate the waters of small talk that come with meeting new people, and I discovered how to find joy in exploring all the new things around me.
In the process of it all, my community expanded, and I now have fantastic friends that span the U.S. As hard as all the moving and changes and these lessons were, I will always be grateful for them.
My most current brave season is serving God in a way I never imagined and, to be frank, never desired. After my daughter went off to college, I wasn’t sure what the next step was for me. I told God, “My life is yours. I will be your servant and do anything you ask.” Can I say—never, never do that unless you are willing to obey! God took me up on my offer, and now my name is on a published Bible study. Crazy, I tell you!
I never considered myself a writer, and anyone who knows me knows it’s talking that I love best. But it seems God decided it was time to add writing to my brave list. I even blog now. That alone is proof God has a sense of humor because previously, I was the type of person who never read blogs. I tell ya, our God is a funny guy.
Self-doubt has been a struggle and plagued this season. It has caused me to come before God on bended knee, time and time again. Just when I think I get things figured out, another wave of change and refinement hits me upside the head. I’m thankful God loves me enough to refine me, but wow, does it hurt some days.
I never dreamed I would start a ministry, but it makes sense at the same time. There is nothing I love more than helping people get through this thing called life. God has taught me so much along the way and sharing that wisdom with others fuels my soul.
Starting something new always comes with challenges. To be real, there have been days when I wanted to walk away from it all. But, I remember my words to God and stand by them. Walking each step out of sheer obedience has changed my heart and grown my faith. My new motto is: “If it doesn’t scare you and require prayer, then you are not dreaming big enough.”
I am in awe of the doors God has opened in this process, and thankful for the lessons He has taught me. So, I will continue to be brave knowing God goes before me in all of this.
While brave or courageous were not the first two words that came to mind when asked to describe myself, I look back and realize that they have framed my life for a long time now. God has guided me and allowed me to fall. Sometimes, we all need to fall because it’s in the process of picking ourselves back up that we find God. His best work is done in our most vulnerable moments.
So—be brave! Be courageous! Charge forward in life, but—most importantly—don’t be afraid to fall. God will never leave you. Instead, He will give you the ability to stand back up.
What two words describe you? Take a moment, and think about that. Don’t give a rehearsed answer. I bet when you look back over your life, the two words you discover will surprise you.
I’d love to connect with you and do this crazy thing called life together!
Ways to find me: