Faith vs Fear : by Stephanie Winston
The Road Less Traveled By
In August 1915 , Robert Frost ’ s famous poem “ The Road not Taken ” was first published in the Atlantic Monthly . 107 years later , and on the cusp of a new year , I ' m contemplating this poem with a fresh perspective . I almost wince to use the phrase “ fresh perspective .” Fresh perspective implies a far more chic feeling than what fills me when I contemplate this poem . The more appropriate phrase would be a “ much more grounded and mature perspective .”
When I was a younger young woman , I often retrieved this poem when I needed a shot of inspiration to catapult me toward the next adventure that I was contemplating . If I felt the need to quit a job , travel abroad or do something out of the ordinary and often impulsive - I had a poem for that .
Good old Robert Frost and then I was off to the races , off on a plane , off on a job interview , off to see the world . Looking back , in my 20s and early 30s , I was always off to do something . But if look even closer , what often drove me was , yes , a sense of adventure and curiosity , but I would be amiss if I didn ’ t acknowledge that I was also driven by an equal , if not a greater , sense of fear , doubt and insecurity .
As I near my 40th year with a husband , 3 children and a dog , my life is very different from the whirlwind , jet set lifestyle that I lived before . That ' s mostly because I ’ m different . In the past , the two paths represented in Mr . Frost ’ s poem were typically a “ normal ,” stable , boring life versus an exciting adventurous life filled with new experiences and opportunities .
I wanted to live a life without regret . It was my prayer that when I was ready to take my dying breath , that I would have no reason to say , “ what if … ?” I feared being filled with remorse over a missed opportunity . In some ways that fear has served me well . It was a good measure of fear and a sense of adventure that landed me in Texas . This cocktail of emotions still lives within me now , but currently there lies a greater driving force within my heart - spiritual growth and development .
“ I shall be telling this with a sigh Somewhere ages and ages hence : Two roads diverged in a wood , and I — I took the one less traveled by , And that has made all the difference .”
I want to be who God has created me to be . Because I didn ' t arrive on this earth with a manual , I have to be very sensitive to that still quiet voice in my heart . I don ' t have all of the answers , but I do know that God didn ' t give me a spirit of fear but rather a spirit of faith . Luckily , every day I ' m given the opportunity to discover who that person is and the life I ' m supposed to live .
To use Mr . Frost ’ s illustration , the two roads that lie ahead of me , the two roads that confront me on a daily basis are Fear and Faith . And within those two choices lie the potential for the life that I will live .
It is my belief that we are all on this Earth for a reason . I also believe that in order for us to develop into our calling , we must grow towards it . In order to grow we must have faith that it is okay to change . We must be okay with doing something different . We must have peace with being uncomfortable at times .
For me , as a wife and mother , it ' s being patient , loving and kind even when I don ' t want to be . It means staying even when I feel like leaving . It means allowing my talents to be seen and not hiding behind the crowd . It means taking a chance on creation and expression .
For me , it means actively and unapologetically blooming where I am planted .
In 2023 , I ’ m consciously choosing faith . Regardless of how uncomfortable choosing to bloom in faith makes me , I ' m going to do it . Regardless of how uncomfortable it may make the people around me , I ' m going to do it . This year in faith , I ' m taking the road less traveled by , and I ' m confident that that will make all of the difference .
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