I could have never guessed that 2010 would have gone the way it did. I never would have imagined that this past year would be so full of joy and so full of sorrow. I probably should have known better seeing as I had decided to live out risk this year. Somehow, it never occurred to me just how deep that one little word would run in my heart.
I started this year off on a path that was leading me away from God. I had to painfully break away from that path to find my way back to Him. I failed my relationship with God and I failed my own heart. So, I started this blog to keep my heart and actions in check. I started this blog to be more transparent, to be held accountable, to deepen my relationship with my Father. I bet you didn’t know that. I thought this blog was going to be the biggest risk I took (and in some ways, it was). Always checking my heart, challenging my beliefs and assumptions, and sometimes coming up with junk made for a tiring year in more ways than I imagined. But the reconstruction has also been more beautiful than I could have hoped.
I’ve started sharing my heart more. I’ve started sharing my dreams, hopes, fears, and hurts. Every conversation that discusses my emotions is a risk for me. But I’ve learned this year, the risk is worth it; even if I get hurt. I’ve tried to mend some friendships and prune others. This year taught me: Alone I fail. Community, quality relationships, and having people who care for the pearls of my heart help me thrive in my relationship with Christ.
I also took a risk and went to South Africa this summer. I have known for a while that God was calling me to at least try the mission field; I just never thought it would be in Africa. I went on a staff trial with Thrive Africa and was hoping to be their Internship Director. Before I left, I moved, downsized my belongings, and did as much to prepare for a more permanent change to South Africa as I could. I fell in love with Africa; with her people, her thirst, her beauty, and her tragedy. Africa got under my skin. The biggest risk I took turned out to be the biggest joy and best comfort I experienced this year. At the end of my two months, I had to force myself on the plane back to the States- back to ‘reality’. But I knew I’d be back.
So I returned with a mission in my heart and a vision on my tongue: to return to Africa as a missionary as soon as possible. I started raising money to return. My heart was full. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else…
…until I was told that Thrive Africa was shutting its doors. So my biggest risk and my biggest joy turned into my greatest sorrow in a matter of months. It kind of felt like my house of cards had been blown over in a powerful cyclone. What I thought was my future…wasn’t. Where I thought my life was going…it wasn’t. What I thought was true about my calling…wasn’t. At least, not how I thought it would be.
In the last week of 2010 I have a few more risks. I’m meeting a dear, sweet friend for the first time IRL. Katy and I have walked together since we both applied and were accepted for staff at Thrive Africa earlier this summer. We’ve shared the joys and grief that has come with Thrive. And in just a few days, I get to hug on Katy and share live with her…in person!
Walking with God will always bring surprises. The journey will seem illogical to the world and, at the same time, bring you peace. I can say without doubt that I have absolutely no idea how 2011 will look. I’m just along for the ride.