Take the Risk

Here is something that scares me...when people don’t understand.

People won’t always understand our actions.

Why did I do that? Why did I say that? Why did I write that?

It’s seriously frightening. Hands sweating as I type these words, frightening.

There’s a risk we take when we put it all out there.

And I ask myself, if I should continue, could it be misconstrued, misinterpreted or misunderstood?

There have been many times in my life where silence has overtaken me because of this fear. I'm willing to bet many of you can relate.

A few months ago, I was sitting at home with my 3 year old and 3 month old and I heard the Lord very clearly say, “Do not stop writing”.

I’m thinking, “Haha. Okay. I love writing so I don’t know why I would stop. But, okay.”

But, I’m sitting here today contemplating just that.

Why?

Because, I’m scared. Maybe you are, too.

I’m scared that every. single. word. I. write. will be picked apart and scrutinized.

That’s why it’s easier to critique than to create, because it can be interpreted in a manner entirely different than how it was intended. This is the risk we all take.

So, if you will forgive the expression (and I hope you will), but I just CAN’T EVEN. I mean, we’re small potatoes over here, so I’m not sure why anyone would even care about what we have to say. UNLESS...

Unless it goes deeper than just words.

Unless when someone reads what we’ve written it stirs them.

Unless when someone reads what we’ve written it scares them too...in a good way.

Unless someone is encouraged because they relate just a little bit more to our story.

Unless…

I will say this:

Since the inception of this blog, our primary aim has to been to open the avenues of conversation between the church, other creatives, and ourselves.

We have no desire to tear down, ONLY to build up.

We DO NOT have all the answers. We just want to ask the right questions.

We are responsible for our actions. We are also responsible for the Truth.

My sister spent some time away from the Lord doing her “own thing”. In the beginning, when I didn’t approve of her actions, I would get so angry that I just had to tell her everything she was doing wrong. (More than being angry I was scared out of my mind! I loved my sister.) I had to point out how she was hurting herself and how she was hurting her family. I spoke with passion and I spoke with reason. My heart broke for her, but it got me nowhere.

Then, I realized that I wasn’t only losing my sister by sitting in this seat of judgment, I was losing my friend.

It took me a while to see it, but I was missing the point. So I started to pray. I prayed for years.

But I didn’t just pray. I pleaded with God on her behalf and I encouraged her. I didn’t stop talking to her. I talked to her more. I asked a lot of questions. I didn’t ask these questions in hopes of making her feel bad or to accuse her. I asked these questions in hopes that it would make her think. And even though we didn’t always agree, I stopped trying to prove how wrong she was and I started to listen. There was dialogue. Back and forth.

And if one of us was offended by what the other said, we didn’t freak out and stop talking. We put on our big girl panties and asked about it. Slowly but surely, we became friends again.

I knew things were turning around the day she called me and said she had been driving and realized something; that one day she would stand before God all by herself. There would be no one there to pick up the slack. She alone would give an account for her actions.

Soon after, she packed up and moved in with my husband and I in our 1 bedroom apartment in California. Today she is serving God with everything she is.

I tell that story for a couple of reasons.

The road to healing is long. It requires prayer. It also requires dialogue, which absolutely cannot happen if there is fear involved.

Love is where we must begin.

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear: because fear has torment. He that fears is not made perfect in love.
— 1 John 4:18

Love believes the best. [1 Corintians 13:7]

If one of us didn’t understand, then we didn’t assume malicious intent.

We talked. We dialogued.

 

So here is my prayer:

• That as you read our words you would read through the lens of love.

• That our hearts would remain pure as we write.

• That you also would take a risk in making something you could share with others.

 

Our goal is not to point a finger but to ask the hard questions – and hard questions are just that…hard.

We are here to sharpen one another, not pierce. We are here to build one another up, not tear each other down. We want to make each other better, because lives are literally on the line. We also want to embrace things that are uncomfortable. Because, it’s only when we get a little uncomfortable, that we will see change that we’ve been praying for.

In creating something of value, something to share with others, we always run the risk of being scrutinized or misunderstood, but we also have the opportunity of affecting others through our passions and what we love.

The rewards of reaching out far outweigh the decisions we could make in keeping silent. 

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long-suffering and doctrine.
— 2 Timothy 4:2

Finally, if you’re reading this, it’s because I’ve chosen to continue writing. And since I will continue to write, I'm challenging you to create something, anything, and to share it with someone you know.

Write, draw, paint, sing, give hugs, do something. Don't wait for it to be perfect or fluid, just start. Once you're willing to start, you're a thousand steps farther than those who will never begin in the first place. 

You see, my sister was right. According to Hebrews 4:13, I too will stand before God one day and give an account for my actions. We all will. And that is a sobering thought.

...for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.
— Acts 4:20
 Me (on the right) and my sister, Leslie (on the left). 

Me (on the right) and my sister, Leslie (on the left). 

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