my love/hate relationship with risk

Risk. I say it under my breath as though it's a a four-letter word.

Well it is a four-letter word, but sometimes it really does feel like a curse.

When I decided to make risk my one word focus for 2010, I knew it would be hard. I knew I might even regret it. I had no idea it would challenge literally ever fiber of my being.

My heart has been stretched threadbare this year.

And in ways no one will ever comprehend, simply waking up some mornings has felt like a painful risk.

Never mind my health issues. Or the ongoing pain of my divorce. Or a long, grueling fundraising trip, only to have to close the ministry because of a lack of funds.

My heart can only take so much.

And I seemingly kept inviting more with my commitment to risk.

I don't necessarily think the year would've been easier had I not made that choice. That's not at all what I'm saying. But I do know that I willfully leaned into hardship because of it. I stared the fiery furnace in the eye and said "But even if He does not..."

And then He did not.


Oh how I hate you.

And yet, somehow, with tears in my eyes... Oh how I love you.

I may have been stretched to my limits, but I discovered my limits went further than I ever anticipated. I may have hurt more deeply than I imagined possible, but the plumb line of pain showed me just how deep my heart runs.

I may have tentatively opened my heart a bit at a time, but I've experienced the matchless gift of being loved well. I may have trusted again only to have it stolen or abused at times, but I learned that I haven't lost that skill entirely.

I may have held my breath as I stepped into potentially joy-filled moments, only to realize I still have laughter in me. I may have doubted more than I believed, but I've seen what a mustard-seed-sized dollop of faith in a mind-blowingly big God can do.

Oh risk... You've been worth it.

I've been worth it.


Tell me about your word... your year... your heart. And start thinking about your one word for 2011, but don't tell us what it is yet!