Taking Risks and Embracing Uncertainty
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” (Joshua 1:9)
In my post Removing Every Obstacle, I briefly mentioned that embracing uncertainty and being willing to take risks is a pivotal part of living the abundant life that God has planned for us. This has definitely been true for me and is something I work towards all the time. Something has stuck out to me and caught me quite off guard, as I have continued along this journey. I never realized what a huge risk it is to allow myself to be loved by others, in the way that God has fashioned and designed me to be loved. I am talking about the kind of love that models the unconditional love of the Father. The kind of love that chooses ALL of me and doesn’t pick and choose what parts of me to accept. The kind of love that acknowledges that I am messy, flawed and so far from perfect, but yet still picks me for the part with unwavering confidence and assurance. This kind of love is everything I have always wanted, but at times, if I’m honest, it terrifies me.
In her book The Gifts of Imperfection, Brené Brown writes, “Joy is as thorny and sharp as any of the dark emotions. To love someone fiercely, to believe in something with your whole heart, to celebrate a fleeting moment in time, to fully engage in a life that doesn’t come with guarantees – these are risks that involve vulnerability and often pain.” Embracing all that God has for us involves great risks and lots of faith. We don’t get the benefit of knowing the end of the story before we flip the page of the latest chapter. We can’t guarantee that words like pain and loss won’t find their way into the pages of our lives. The temptation to remain on the edge of the shore will always be present, trying to convince us that if we fully dive into fresh opportunities, new relationships, and unfamiliar territory, we will get swept away and sucked in by an undertow of things we hadn’t thought through and weren’t prepared for.
However, there are some guarantees in life. We are guaranteed that we’ll never know if we don’t try. We are guaranteed that taking risks and practicing faith is a prerequisite for tasting every ounce of joy, satisfaction and fulfillment that this life has to offer. We are guaranteed that risking pain and opening ourselves up to being fully known and fully loved is the only true path to discovering the life that God has called us to live and to develop into the people He designed us to be from the start.
One thing is certain. If we never open ourselves up to the possibility of pain and loss, we will never experience true love and joy. If we never allow ourselves to be vulnerable, by showing others the parts of us we would prefer to hide, we will live inside a cage we have built for ourselves, never allowing ourselves to explore the beauty of the life we are all meant to LIVE. Truly LIVE.
I’ll end this post with an excerpt from my own journal, as I have taken steps along my own journey.
I can face risk and uncertainty because my faith is in the one who knows all.He has me completely covered.He has used my weaknesses, mistakes, ignorance and even my past sin to weave a magnificent tapestry of His beauty into my life.For this reason, I know He is able to sustain me, carry me, hold me and pull me close, as I step into the unknown and take on new adventures that are bigger than my mind can comprehend.
I am on the road to learn to love like He loves and to allow myself to be loved by Him and by those who embody His kind of love. I lay down my self-protection, my defenses, and my walls, knowing they have not served me well. I embrace the messy journey of choosing vulnerability and uncertainty in my quest to love through my brokenness and to allow others to love me through theirs.
Take the leap of faith. Dive in. The risk is well worth it.