Get Rid of Your Big "But"


Do you ever feel like good stories are meant for someone else? For someone braver? Stronger? For someone with a little more money and a little less on their plate? I always thought it would be cool to pull an “Into the Wild.” To leave everything behind. To sell all that I have and surrender my wandering heart to the road. 

I pretty much had the “but” of all “buts” when it came to reasons why I couldn’t sell everything and follow my dream.

Last year, my life looked a lot different. I had my blanket and pillow in hand as I waited for the nurse to pump me full of God-awful stuff that would take the life out of me for a few days … every month. Finally, the doctor said that I can do things a bit differently. No more deadly serum being shot into my veins. 

That’s where my story begins. As a 23-year old kid, I was handed a second chance at the dreams that I had said goodbye to years earlier. I did what anyone who’s been given an incredible gift of life would do. I panicked. Anxiously listing off reasons why I should stay and live my self-built comfortable, convenient life. After all, I had no money to travel. I had too much to leave behind. I had a resume to build if I ever wanted to have a down payment on a house by the time I’m thirty.

Here’s the problem; I’m learning that convenience can rob us of our incredible life journey.

What good story ever came from living a comfortable, convenient life especially for someone with a wondering soul? If I’m going to live a story uniquely carved out for me, I’m going to have to step out of my comfort; let go of convenience. 

Decision made! I didn’t just step, I jumped head first into the unknown. I sold my things and bought a plane ticket. I cried every single day for a month because I knew that living a good story meant leaving everything. I knew there was a soon-to-be distant past that I would never fully return to. I knew it was going to stretch me thin and shake me to my core. It was going to challenge all that I thought I understood. I knew that taking up my cross and following the real Jesus meant that my perception of a genie-in-a bottle, grant-my-every wish Jesus that would make my life easier would be shattered. That terrified the hell out of me. Right up until I realized that living a meaningless life, a nothing story terrified me even more. 

Get rid of your “but” no matter how big and terrifying it is.

Find out what terrifies you even more and use it. Use it to force you to choose your dream; to press submit on the life that you know you were meant to live. I’m pretty glad I pressed submit. 

I’ve got more great stories to tell, but they’ll have to wait because my plane is taking off and I’ll be busy surfing the waves in Indonesia this week. 

Written by Jordan Chapelle

Sunny Cain