When a Risk Becomes a Reality {The Grove: Risk}

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.

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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!

7 Comments

    1. Amy Young October 12, 2017

      Thanks Wendy . . . :we had the wrong date on the linkup! Got it corrected. Sorry about that :)!

    2. Laura October 14, 2017

      Wendy, thanks for sharing your post! I loved hearing your perspective and how risk plays a part in friendships!

  1. Spring October 13, 2017

    Thank you Laura for your courge in this story. It helps me and others in a healing process.

    I do feel that God never being surprised is a comfort to me. It reminds me of him walking with me. I often dwell on the name of God that means He sees, because to me it means he cares.

    1. Laura October 14, 2017

      Spring, I love the name of God that means He sees too, especially during those difficult, frustrating days when it feels like nothing is going right. God sees all the difficulties and cares about each one. 🙂

  2. Jodie October 17, 2017

    Laura, thanks so much for your vulnerability in sharing your story and for allowing us to see how God has beautifully redeemed the evil that happened in your life.

    I just finished reading a book called Dangerous Love by Ray Norman and then got to hear him speak at a World Vision event last night. He was the World Vision director in the Islamic Republic of Mauritania in 2001 and in the aftermath of 9/11 he and his daughter were shot by an extremist.

    In his powerful story of forgiveness he says it was “our choice to come to this place and daily make ourselves vulnerable, even at the risk of rejection; our choice of hope that some measure of our actions would reflect, even in a small way, the love and acceptance of the One who had forever placed himself in a place of vulnerability.

    We had chosen to make ourselves vulnerable to this land and its people. But in that moment in the Sahara dunes, in spite of my sincere actions, my vulnerability had been rejected and taken advantage of, and my daughter and I had paid dearly.”

    He says he was tempted to lock away his heart but “wanted to be able to find the strength, the will, to rise above the turmoil of my emotions and still be a vessel through which the love that had so deeply touched me could flow freely to those I encountered.”

    I see that in your life too, Laura: the courage to not close off your heart but to keep it open to be a vessel for God’s love to flow freely to those around you.

    1. Laura October 18, 2017

      Jodie,

      Thank you for your kind, encouraging words, as well as the encouraging story; I’ll have to check out that book!

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