When It’s Hard To Jump Into the Jordan

It’s scary to step out and take a risk into the unknown, isn’t it?

When God made a way through the Red Sea for the Israelites, they saw the waters part before they took one step. But crossing the Jordan River was different. The priests carrying the Ark were told to step into the swollen waters. When they took that step of faith, God opened the way to the promised land.

God has been whispering to me to “jump into the Jordan” ever since I read this guest post at Ann Voskamp’s blog.

I identify with the need for being absolutely certain. I recognize that paralyzing fear when it comes to decisions in my life. When I read eloquent posts, I feel insecure and indecisive, and that negative voice whispers, “You’re not good enough.” I question whether or not I should keep writing. Whether or not I should continue this blog. As I wrestled with this again during my summer break, I wanted a clear answer from God. He didn’t give me that. Instead, He gave me a nudge to trust Him, to stop standing on the shore, terrified that I can’t step forward without knowing for sure it’s His way for me. Without knowing what the outcome will be. Even without “feeling” Him beside me. He nudged me to take a step of faith and jump into the Jordan’s unknowns, trusting He’s got me and will never abandon me.

“For we walk by faith,
not by sight.”
2 Corinthians 5:7
“Because of the Lord’s great love
we are not consumed,

 for His compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is Your faithfulness.”
Lamentations 3:22-23

Maybe you, too, feel you don’t have a way with words like some writers. Maybe you, too, don’t feel “good enough.” The truth is we don’t need to become more fluent writers to blog. All God asks is that we “jump into the Jordan” with all our inadequacies, trusting His power to part the rivers of our impossibilities with His Almighty strength. Trusting His grace is greater than our fears of not being enough. Trusting His faithful love will guide us and give us the words, whether few or many. Believing He can bless even the sharing of a Bible verse, a song, a nature photo, or an inspirational quote.

Whatever insecurities and impossibilities are overwhelming us right now and paralyzing us from moving forward, God is bigger. In His power, we can step forward into the unknown. The same God who can make a way through the rivers and seas He has created also has the power and the desire to help us jump into the Jordans of our lives and to trust Him to lead us and take care of all our needs.

“And looking at them Jesus said to them,
‘With people this is impossible,
but with God all things are possible.'”
Matthew 19:26

Faith
by Jordan Feliz

“There is no ocean that can’t be parted
There is no mountain that can’t be moved
I know there’s help for the heavy hearted
The weak will find their strength renewed

You just gotta have faith
Mmm, you just gotta have faith

It’s light for the shadows, for all your tomorrows
It’s knowing He’s there through the sun and the rain
It’s when you believe it, before you can see it
And you can walk on ’cause he’s making the way…”

When Taking Risks Opens Up Opportunities of Blessings

lovelens

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 problem?

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?

A Child's Trust

Joining Bonnie Gray’s Writing Prompt:

What I’m Learning About Myself

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