My friend Rachel is writing a legacy of “yes” by walking in faith through both the big, scary things, as well as the smaller, unnoticed things. I asked her to share a bit of what being a risk-taker looks like for her, in this season. I have read this post at least six times for my own personal benefit and encouragement and I am thrilled to get to pass it along to you. May your soul be strengthened and blessed by Rachel’s lovely and vulnerable words.
“Make your choice, adventurous Stranger,
Strike the bell and bide the danger,
Or wonder, till it drives you mad,
What would have followed if you had.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Magician’s Nephew
Uprooting our family from California to Seattle was just the beginning. THIS WAS IT. We had made the (huuuuuge) decision to go, so now we were official RISK TAKERS.
So brave, so scared, so excited, so CRAZY.
In 30 days we made the decision to up and move our family: no job. no house. no plan. no community (except a few friends) AND 3 KIDS in tow. It felt pretty brave. Pretty risky (actually, felt like it couldn’t get much riskier). But it wasn’t until we moved that I learned the bravest moments were yet to come.
It wasn’t easy leaving, emotionally or practically. We were sad to leave our families-for our kids to leave their grandparents and cousins. And it was a lot of work with tiny children, a big house and A LOT of stuff in very little time (thank you, Lord for sisters who help get that crap done).
BUT, it was exciting. New. Thrilling. It was an ADVENTURE. And if you’re anything like me, you know exactly what I’m talking about because just hearing that word feeds your soul. There’s a desire deep down in you that craves adventure. Something new and something risky. And it’s those adrenaline-pumped emotions that make the tough ones easier. Saying good-bye is hard, but looking ahead to the unknown—endless possibilities—is life giving.
But all of that quiets down. The fanfare, the excitement, the mystery. Your people are no longer around. Eventually, those dreams, prayers, promises & hopes turn into waiting… Wondering. And you find yourself asking questions…
Was this right?
Did we make a wrong decision?
God… are you there?
Pretty sure we made a real big move… Can you throw us a bone?
And often, it’s quiet. And you learn that the bravest moments are the unglorified ones. The not-facebook-status ones, like laying at night with your children as they cry themselves to sleep, confused, missing their homes and reminding them that God is with them and He cares about their sadness and has such a good plan for their lives.
The moments you’ve tried 5 great churches but none feel like “home” and all you want is roots.
The moments your children ask if they’ll ever have a home again. And you say yes, but truthfully you don’t know when or where.
The moment your husband still doesn’t have a job. After 8 weeks of moving.
Feeling the weight as a mom, the real test of faith comes not when you choose to leave, but when you have to remind yourself WHY YOU CAME, why you left everything that was comfortable and then choose how you will respond.
Contrary to what many believe, saying YES one time no matter how big (YA! LET’S MOVE!) is often easier than continuing to believe God over and over again: “He will provide. we will find a job-even if it’s already been 2 months. He has a plan even if we don’t know it. He will take care of us. We’ll find a community, a church-even if we’ve already tried 5. We’ll find a home and friends. I will find a hairdresser so I don’t go gray. We will find our people.”
Because that’s the thing about living a life of risk-it’s a constant choice. It’s never one brave sparkling moment. It’s the daily expression of saying YES, even when it feels impossible, when nothing changes and when the reality of your life doesn’t reflect the promises he’s spoken.
And in those moments of bravery, as you wipe your children’s tears, while secretly wiping your own, a deeper work happens. You find God like you haven’t before. Because He longs to save us. He longs to rescue us. And sometimes our lives are too easy, too careful and too comfortable for Him to be the hero. He’s not afraid of our circumstances, inadequacies and even our (bad) decisions. He doesn’t wave a magic wand to wipe away the problems; not because He can’t, but because He doesn’t want to. He longs to journey with us through the pain and insecurities of our lives. He is far more interested in the places we’re unwilling to travel inside than ever reaching a destination.
Saying yes has been a journey of finding ourselves in God. Dealing with the mess in marriage and ourselves that was so neatly hidden because of the bumpers of comfort and family. Family is so good. Family is also a wonderful escape. My family is everything. God loves that about me and He loves that about my family. But He also cares more about my freedom in Him and my marriage than He does about my own comforts. And I’m grateful for that. He knows the longings of our hearts and conversely, He knows what we need most deeply.
So often the risks we feel called to are actually for something far greater than we ever imagined.
I’ve longed for this person inside. I’ve longed for this freedom. I’ve longed for this marriage. And it came at a cost, a sacrifice. It has not been easy and we are not done. But experiencing the true redemption & faithfulness of God outside of our comfy, easy, put-together lives has been the most incredible adventure we’ve taken yet.
Never wonder what could have been. Listen to that tugging; lean into the uneasy feelings. And remember, a life of risk usually isn’t made up of one big, brave decision, but saying yes to the small things. (lead a bible study, take that new girl to coffee, make someone dinner, sit somewhere different in church, start a moms group, etc). Sometimes, though, the big ones strike the match and that fire ignites the soul, purifies the heart and alters the trajectory of your life. Being afraid isn’t the measure in which we should or should not do things. Bravery and risk will always scare you… it’s a matter of either letting that fear paralyze you or launch you into a greater understanding of God.
Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. He’s actively cleaning house, torching all that needs to burn, and he won’t quit until it’s all cleansed. God himself is Fire!” Hebrews 12:29