Risk, it doesn’t come without rejection.
A brave band of bloggers are exploring this idea at the invitation of Amy Sullivan. She’s a crazy lady, and always inspires me!
For the next month we’re risking rejection. And you’re invited! Because if you’re going to stand in the face of risk and take the plunge, it’s nice to do it with friends!
Before I tell you (next week) about the risk I’m taking, first, I want to look back. I need to remember and draw courage from my past risks.
I’m familiar with risk, I’ve even been known to like it. Some of the best things in my life have come from taking a risk. Risking rejection to ask my husband on a date was one of the best things I’ve ever done!
Risks have made a difference in my life.
Leaving home for the strange world of college was intimidating for this homeschooled girl. It was the first big risk of my life, and I did face rejection there. (Well, maybe the mission trip to Europe for 7 weeks at 15 years old, away from family – before email and cell phones – was the first big one, hard to say.)
Even now volunteering at my kid’s school is hard for me. I feel like a foot shoving its homeschooled self into the glove of the public school world. But I face the risk of offering my help, of getting involved, and maybe being met with rejection, for the sake of my kids.
Every single move I’ve ever made (and there have been a lot) has been a mine field of rejection, new faces, new friends, learning the ropes. It’s exhausting. But I’ve learned to value the hard work of relationship, I’m resilient, and I love diversity because of all of those moves.
So often one risk leads to another. After one of those risky moves I met a young lady. Her mom had died, she was in college, and my heart went out to her. I couldn’t imagine being without my mom so young. Other than “hi, how are you” we had no relationship. But at the nudge of the Holy Spirit I asked her to join me for coffee. I offered my ear, my understanding. It was a rejection worth risking. But we clicked on our first coffee date. Now, many tears, much laughter, and five years later I’m watching her move into the new season of becoming a wife. What a sweet payoff!
My most recent risk started with an email. Sent to a person I’d never met, in a country I’d never been. I’d heard horror stories about orphans, mental institutions, abuse, etc. in Eastern Europe. I had to see for myself, I was compelled and God’s compelling love led me to go. I wrote to the director of one of those institutions in Serbia and I waited for a response. After silence and a second email I was invited to come see for myself. For the last 18 months I’ve walked the tricky tight rope of risk by traveling to Serbia twice, building more international relationships than I could have imagined, and finding myself linked to the hope of God for a whole people group. And I pray this is just the risky beginning!
What Risk taking has taught me
Over a couple decades of risk taking I’ve learned a few things.
– Because I’ve risked and survived I’m more willing to risk again, experience works to diminish fear.
– I find I remember the successes of risk more than the rejection, because really when I’ve put myself out there I’ve found people are more gracious than I imagined and God is always faithful.
-Rejection is an opportunity for growth, reevaluation, and clarity. (If we’ll take it)
-And when risk pays off it’s worth it, it keeps me coming back for more.
Ultimately risking rejection isn’t so scary when our eyes lift from the rejection of people to the face of One who would never reject us. Actually I think he likes it when we leap because that’s when our faith coils back and aims right for his arms.
Of course, I think risks should be somewhat calculated, motivated by God’s glory and not our own, and not taken at the cost (or at least detriment) of others.
There are a couple of risks I’m taking this year. I’m nervous, but excited nonetheless. I’ll tell you about them in the next couple of weeks!
How about you? Is there a risk you’ve been putting off because you’re afraid of rejection? Why not jump in the company of friends, we’ll hold your hand!
What would you add to the list of lessons learned from risking rejection?