Taking risks does not come naturally for me, especially when it has to do with community. There is always this niggling in my heart, this fear of rejection or being hurt again.
Risk means I’m opening myself up to the chance of injury or loss. It means exposing myself to danger. The synonyms for “risk” say it all – danger, exposure, hazard, peril, exposedness, shot in the dark.
I don’t like darkness, and my heart races at the thought of possible peril. And I definitely don’t want to expose my true heart, my authentic thoughts. What if I’m not accepted? What if people don’t like me anymore?
My perception is clouded with negative past experiences and blinds me to the positive outcomes of taking a risk – opportunity, probability, prospect, fortune.
Every time I write a blog post, doubts and insecurities pummel me. Someone else could write about this better than I can. What if no one reads it? What if it doesn’t encourage anyone? What if I’m saying it all wrong?
So many what-ifs…
I take the risk and write anyway.
But I don’t always dare to leap.
I don’t always expose the “real” me, because it’s safer.
I don’t always write to please God.
Because I’m too afraid,
Afraid of what people might think.
Recently I have been challenged to be “real.”
To take risks even when I’m afraid.
And I’m learning it opens up more opportunities.
Opportunities to be blessed.
Opportunities I missed because I didn’t take the risk.
Opportunities of love from a supportive community.
It’s hard work to risk my heart more, not only to expose my authenticity out of the fear of not being accepted as I am, but also to open my heart to encouragement for myself. That wretched shame kicking in that I don’t deserve to receive comfort.
My heart is looking through the lens of past hurts, not of God’s tender, faithful love.
I hug my insecurities and my fears instead of taking His hand and allowing Him to lead me.
I shouldn’t perceive opening my heart to God’s love as exposing myself to danger.
I should see Him as a Loving Protector.
He will not allow anything to happen to me if it were not for my good and to His glory.
So I’m trying. Trying to take risks. Trying to let go of my insecurities and fears and open my heart to opportunities of blessing. Yes, even to believe that through Christ I can be a blessing for others.
This week I took a risk to apply for one of the five openings as a writer of InCourage. I didn’t plan on it. I was resisting it. I don’t think I qualify. As I compare myself with the giftedness of other writers, I fear I will inevitably be rejected. But it kept coming back to me – There’s still time. Then I asked myself why I wanted it, and I’m afraid it’s because I want to be more important, more known as a writer. I wrestled with God about it, and He showed me my need to ask Him to redeem my words to His glory at all times and in all situations. To trust in His power to redeem my words and use them for the good of hurting souls. The next day I felt God telling me to apply in spite of my inadequacy and imperfections. That He will use it as a trust lesson. To trust Him in spite of fear. And to trust Him that even if I am not selected, it will not mean I am rejected by anyone. It will not mean I am not enough.
So in spite of doubts, insecurities, and imperfections, I keep trying to take the risk to trust God.
To trust He knows the plans He has for me are to prosper me, not to harm me.
To trust it is His passionate desire to lovingly lead me always.
To trust that if I open my heart to give and to receive, He will rain blessings.
What risk are you taking today? What is an example in your life of when God blessed you because you took a risk?
Joining Bonnie Gray’s Writing Prompt:
What I’m Learning About Myself