First and foremost, one of my fears is opening up and getting personal to “just anybody” and that certainly includes the internet. But months ago, when I told someone (who also loves Africa and has been to a bunch of countries, a bunch of times) about my plan for my website and blog,  she said “That is so awesome. I hope you make it really personal.” My first thought was, “Oh, I hardly like posting things on Facebook…” So yeah. Also, I’ve been feeling a lot of feelings lately related to this life change and it’s not been easy to necessarily express it. So, here we go.

rosa park fear quote fearless

So I’ve been feeling some feelings lately. Fears. The thing is, fear is just fear. It really doesn’t mean anything. It certainly doesn’t predict the future. I’m finding myself having to push down fears daily in the pursuit of what I know is my calling. I am certainly not panicking, and the desire is DEFINITELY greater than the fear. But still. I get scared from time to time. Here’s what I get scared of. I get scared that I might not have enough money for my trip. Or if I have enough money for my trip, I fear I won’t have any money left over when I get back. I get scared that I might not like Africa, Africa might not like me. I have some random thoughts about missing my easy, trustworthy routine of western life. I have had worries that if I leave my stuff in storage it might get soggy, moldy or ruined from humidity or who knows what. I’m fretting about how much to pack and what kinds of bags to use. I’m nervous about Ebola in Liberia and if that could derail my West African portion of my trip and would that happen before or after I get my tickets? But you know what, they’re all just stupid little fears.

I’ve been having thoughts of self-doubt float in like “Really? You think you can do this? You’re not suited for this,” but at the same time, I think “I absolutely have to do this” and “If anyone can do this, I can do it!”

I love projects, and by golly, this is one heck of a project! My dissatisfaction from my current work is because I’m not really working on or making anything I care about. So, after I spend 40 hours at work, I try to fit in hours of doing my Communications Coordinator job for the local/Liberian non-profit group Love Lights the Way, planning for my trip, learning to code, building a website for one of the Ugandan groups (Sprout Care Foundation) and on top of that, trying to go to church, bible study, see friends, go to the gym, cook my own meals, keep my apartment clean and organized and relax somewhere in there too! How much more beautiful and fulfilling my life will be, I believe, when my 40 hours of work will be spent working on projects that I really love and care about. Can’t wait to get there. It’s unknown though, and the unknown is certainly a little scary! Just a little.

everything you've ever wanted is on the other side of fear george addair graphic by laurie scharp

But my gosh do I want to do this. I must. Greater than the presence of fear is the presence of excitement and confidence that this is what I’m supposed to do. This is absolutely my current calling. Maybe it won’t be forever, but this is certainly the right next step. Fear or no fear, it’s what I got to do. And no matter what the cost, it’s certainly better than the alternative of continuing to do something that is not meant for me. 🙂

PS: There have been some awesome people who have encouraged me to fight past the fear. Want to see positive encouraging posts in your Facebook newsfeed? Like Writer and Career Change Coach Jennifer Gresham and Power of Positivity for inspiration and encouragement to make the most of your life.

Don’t be afraid!!!


Jane Erickson

Good job Laurie! You definitely can do this. There will be setbacks and challenges, but that has never stopped you before. You were never meant for ordinary things, just my opinion , as your mom. I think you are fabulous!


I bet a word study in the Bible about fear would reinforce your thoughts! I am proud of you for your persistence!

Jen Gresham

Proud of you for making the leap! One thing I like to tell myself when the fears come up is, “Everything is figure-outable.” The things you are worried about may or may not happen, and lots of things will happen you don’t even know to worry about. You’ll figure them all out in due time and be proud of yourself in the process. Thanks so much for the shout-out!

Jane Erickson

You can always crash here after you get back. You will never be homeless! You have us!

Carla Shockley

I admire your bravery and courage to step outside of your comfort zone. Your adventures in Africa are going to be so unique to anything your friends and family have ever experienced. Also, I love your honesty in this post! Bon voyage Laurie!

Joelle depeyrot

If you did not have fear, you’d be insane!! I am glad you get scared… 😊 Be aware, sit with it, and it willtransform! You will rock the experience!! Big hug

Pam Calderon

Hi Laurie, hang in there, this is your dream and there will be some hard times, but you are strong and kind and creative and will make it through! Here is google site I found on getting rid of the bed bugs. Then once you clean all your luggage items maybe you can find some plastic or plastic bags to store them in.
good luck

Jane Erickson

Praying for you and for death to bedbugs. Wish I could be there to help you out! Love you and miss you Always Mom.


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