“Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?” -Frank Scully
Life is full of risk-taking opportunities. I’m not sure I’d say I’m a risk-taker in an adventuresome, thrill-seeking kind of way, but I’ve taken my share of risks in other ways and grown because of it.
-I’m willing to take chances. When Jason and I had been married for three months, we moved to Africa for a year. This was by no means the easiest decision, nor was it the smoothest experience. We lived in a hard, often times dark place. We traveled dangerous roads and spent time in communities where even some Africans would not go. We were sometimes lonely, frequently pressed, and definitely green at doing life together as a couple, too.
I can’t say I wasn’t fearful; I was.
But between a year of life there newly married and the times I’d spent living in Africa before, the continent taught me more about putting my faith in God and taking risks while trusting Him than any other experience. Taking that chance was necessary for growth. So many chances have been.
-I say what I mean. I do my best to choose my words carefully and to think before I speak, but I’m not afraid to be honest. This hasn’t always been the case. I’ve grown into it more as an adult, but particularly as a mom. There’s something about motherhood and becoming “mama bear” that moves you more easily toward this risk, I think.
The fear in me to defend myself or my family is nearly gone. I can’t hesitate to speak up where necessary, because the alternative risk is too great. This can be so hard sometimes, but it’s also good. Taking ownership of raising our children a certain way and loving our family unit well is something Jason and I are willing to risk. This can come at a cost, but it almost always comes with reward, too.
I pick my battles on issues and raise the ones that matter most to me. Maybe this doesn’t seem like a risk, but the more I think about it, I feel like taking chances with people is one of the hardest risks of all.
Relationships matter. Words matter. Hearts matter.
-I pursue birth with a strong desire to own what happens to me and to our babies. This is one of my greatest passions, and also one of the biggest risks I’ve taken in life. Investing time and resources into staying informed, having hard conversations with medical practitioners, and constantly being proactive regarding my own care and the care of our babies in pregnancy and birth feels like swimming upstream sometimes. But it matters so much to me.
Birth is risky. It’s an entirely natural process, yes, but there are so many factors that play into getting pregnant, being pregnant and delivering a baby that choosing to try at all is, in and of itself, risky. Sometimes the choice comes with deep, deep heartache–often for longer than anyone can fathom.
When pregnant, what our bodies do and what we feel and go through can be both amazing and intense. Giving birth is an otherworldly experience, with an end result that is most often incredible, but sometimes heartbreaking, unexpected or hard.
Being committed to opening your heart and life to growing a family is risky. Being pregnant is risky. Becoming a parent is risky. But when I think about the alternative risk of not being open to how God might want to grow a family, I’m thankful to feel called to the other choice.
This countdown to baby has made me so aware, each time, of both the beauty and risks that await us in the days ahead. Lord willing, we will get a number of weeks down the road from now and I will go into labor gracefully. Baby will arrive into this world full of life and health and possibility, and we will document every memory and wonderful moment together as a family of five. And yet, nothing is guaranteed in this life, and I know that. I’m going to be hopefully optimistic, anyway.
I think risk can be the balance of understanding the possible outcomes in front of you, and in spite of the hard ones that exist, looking toward the very best ones and expecting good things to come.
Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is?
The greatest fruit in my life has always come out of the riskier endeavors. Fruit from the riskiest limb is not the easiest to reach, for sure, but it’s turns out to be the sweetest when you pluck it down and, forever after, carry it with you.
always new limbs in sight,