What Confidence Really Looks Like

Maria von Trapp swings her guitar and carpetbag in a wide circle and belts her song with gusto: “I have confidence in sunshine.  I have confidence in rain.  I have confidence that spring will come again.  As you can see I have confidence in me.”

The Sound of Music will always be one of my favorite movies.

She is singing, and she’s terrified.

She looks at the big house, the big challenge, the big unknown in front of her and her gusto fizzles to a whisper as she says, “Oh help.”

Um, yeah . . . I can relate.

And the help comes.  It comes from outside of herself, and from inside as she garners her nerve.  Confidence looks a lot less like bravado and a lot more like faking it.  To be confident often requires courage, and courage doesn’t happen without fear.

When we let fear run the show, things all start to look like sludge on the January highway of life.  But even when we’re in the muck, electric white clouds and pristine blue sky are coming.

“I have confidence that spring will come again.”

The call is not to manufacture courage, but to receive it, to lean into it, like Someone is holding it with outstretched hand, waiting for us to jump.  Someone is.

The more thankful I am, the braver I feel.  The beauty and wonder of this world–even the hard-fought beauty and grace on the other side of really tough stuff–are crazy-encouraging.  If only I could tattoo my brain and remember:

  • The sunrise on the way to work and how it catches me differently, as the green and brown grass glisten pink for a bit under weird springtime snow spirals.  
  • The feeling that gratitude might rip me apart, like the two times I held my Charli and Oliver, miracles in my arms, for the first time.  
  • That sense I got when a group of my very best friends danced with abandon to some favorite lyrics on a beautiful night in the middle of an amphitheater circled with pine trees.
  • The deep smallness I felt as a church camp counselor when we looked up at the stars and sang How Great Thou Art.

Being filled with gratitude is the key that unlocks our courage to truly be ourselves.  There’s God in the gratitude.  But the crazy part is that there’s also God in my moments of complete and utter failure.  God in all things, alongside us even in our suffering, cheering us on as we try to bolster up courage to live life in a way that’s a little more zesty than the status quo.

Maria’s best lyric comes toward the end, “When I show them, I’ll show me.”

    “For I hold you by your right hand–I, the LORD your God.  And I say to you: Don’t be afraid.  I am here to help you.” – Isaiah 41:13

    Today’s Thanks:
    Yukon Gold potatoes in the brown dirt
    Sweet Ollie turning two
    Connecting deeper with my best friend
    Springtime daffodils
    Your turn. . . 

    2 thoughts on “What Confidence Really Looks Like”

    1. Cheers to bringing a little more zest into our lives through gratitude! Thank you for your never-ending inspiration!


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