We are risk-takers. Whether we describe ourselves in those words or not, the reality is we are. We board planes to foreign countries. We wade through immigration paperwork. We live in remote villages and bustling cities. We learn new languages and vocabulary. For us this is normal. So normal, in fact, that we can forget the supposed risks we take.
The risk of a visa being denied. The risk of contracting a disease we’ve never heard of. The risk of having our home broken into. The risk of losing a friendship. Often these risks are simply a variation of the same risks people in our passport country face. The difference is we face these risks while battling language and cultural barriers.
And no matter where we live, there is a moment when a risk becomes our reality. All of our preparation and knowledge help minimize the risks and give us tools to navigate them, but they do not prevent a risk from becoming a reality in our life. As I walked through this situation eight years ago, I learned some important lessons about the Father and about accepting a new reality.
1. The Father knew exactly what would happen to me. He knew the exact second three men would break into my home and what the following moments would hold. For some, God’s sovereignty leads to anger and questions when bad things happen. I chose to find great comfort in His omniscience. No one else knew what was happening to me in those frightening moments, but God did. And as I healed, I leaned into the truth that God knew what the next part of the journey for me included. New realities mean new unknowns. Clinging to God’s sovereignty helped me navigate the dark path with courage and faith.
2. The Father is good no matter my circumstances. I made a decision early in the healing process to focus on what God had done for me, instead of what happened to me. When I told other people portions of my story, I shared how God was at work in each of those life-altering moments. How He gave me peace and calm. How He had prepared me for what I experienced. Maintaining my focus on God’s goodness wasn’t easy when I wanted nothing more than for life to be back to normal or when the tears wouldn’t stop falling on the hard days. However, returning again and again to the goodness of God helped me to keep moving forward in the healing process.
3. Time heals. I’m not sure how many times I heard this in the first few years after the home invasion. What I am sure of is that I didn’t truly believe it for the first six or seven months. My life was in shambles; my dreams no longer a reality. How would any of this become better in time? And yet eight years later I look back and see how God uses time to heal wounds, to lighten the scars. From the people He brought into my life to walk with me on this journey to the variety of circumstances to push me along the path, the Father has used all these years have held to make my unknown, new normal become my normal.
Maybe your risk hasn’t become a reality. Or maybe it has. Whatever the case, know the Father loves and cares for you. Know He is sovereign, all-knowing and good. He sees your tears, and He hears your cries for help. And He is working, even when you can’t see it.
If a risk has just become a reality for you, please let me know in the comments how we as a community can pray for you. And if you have walked or are walking the risk to reality journey, I’d love to know what lessons the Father has taught you along the way.
This is The Grove and we want to hear from you! You can link up your blog post, or share your practices, ponderings, wisdom, questions, ideas, and creative expressions with us in the comments below.
Here’s our Instagram collection from this week using #VelvetAshesRisk. You can add yours!