Posted: January 17, 2015 in Uncategorized

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
To expose feeling is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your ideas, your dreams, before the crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is to risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.

-Author Unknown

I came across this today while reading a book on attitude for a project I’m doing.

It made me think of the weeks after I finally and unexpectedly got that email from JPUSA, saying they were ready for me to come, and I couldn’t even pray about it, for fear that God would say, “No.”  And how He didn’t say, “No.”

It made me think of the joy of giving everything away after He said, “Yes,” and the wild abandon of walking away into a dream.

It made me think of time after I promised my (then former) boss I would pray about leaving JPUSA to come back and work for him again, and I couldn’t even pray about it, for fear that God would say, “Yes.”  And how He did say, “Yes.”

It made me think of returning to the former job, and being overcome by how completely God used so many people to completely replace everything I had given away about a year before that.  How utterly embraced I was.

It made me think of the morning I sat in church, deep in conversation with God, and He said, “You complain to me about being single, but you won’t ask me for someone for you,” and how the fear and dread and trembling filled me, as He continued.  “What if the next ministry I call you to is not a safe place where you can protect your heart?  What if I call to to the ministry of marriage, where you must let someone all the way in and risk pain again?”  I thought of the days and weeks that followed, and how shocked I was to find that I lacked the courage to even ask.

It made me think of how easy it was to ask, when the time was right – how I did it between the space of two breaths. How very not ready I had been until that moment.  How calm and sure I was, when I followed His invitation to ask, that He wasn’t just playing a game with me – that He asked because He was ready to provide.

It made me think of the afternoon when a BFF from JPUSA called me up to say she’d accidentally spilled the beans to the guy over whom I’d been madly and secretly head-over-heels for while I lived there.  How she said he was surprised and devastated and remorseful over his cluelessness.  How she said he was very interested, and how I couldn’t even bring myself to consider it.  What was the point?  The Lord had sent me back.  Why even entertain the thought?

It made me think of the friend to whom I turned, when the pursuit by that guy turned my emotions into a riot, and how she had just the very words I needed to help me navigate to land ahead of me.  They were simple words, easily measured and verified:  “Be sober-minded.”

It made me think of how we pursued the relationship, without a clue of the answer to the question, “Who will move, if this thing works out?”  All we knew is we would wait for His lead.  How others were much more frustrated by our not knowing, than we were.

It made me think of my astonishment upon learning that he’d spent days on his face, and had gotten the directive:  he’d be coming to me, rather than me coming to him.

It made me think of 15 years of waiting and praying, of wondering where Mr. Right was, or whether he even existed at all.  It made me think of the great gifts from that time – all the things I probably wouldn’t have done, had I had a man to lean on.  How I grew in intimacy with and trust in God.  How I faced my demons.  How I made amends to those I’d harmed.  The great and vast pool of healing from which I regularly withdrew buckets.

It made me think of 15 years of struggling.  How hard celibacy was, and how often I was tempted to solve the difficulty by any means necessary.  How many tears, and how many times of just getting through this moment, this hour, this night, and trusting that the pain wouldn’t last forever, even when sometimes it went for so many days that it seemed it might.  How there was never anyone else to blame when I got things wrong, and how that taught me where to look first, when tempted to assign blame.

It made me think of how COMPLETELY WORTH IT the whole thing has been.  All the trying, all the hoping, all the crying, all the struggle, all the growing, all the fear and frustration and failure.  All the learning to only ask Him when I’m ready to receive “yes” or “no” with equal grace.  All the growth, at all the expense.

It made me think how He prepared G, even as He was preparing me. How I received a husband who is the answer to an impossible list I set before God about what kind of man my heart desired.  How he is all of that and so much more – so much that daily I am amazed at how far He overshot my requests.

There was risk all along the way.  I am so grateful that He gave me the grace to keep pushing into the risk, the expense, the pain, and the resistance.

I wouldn’t have it any other way.


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