What Are You Missing Out On?

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My Mother loves me. I do not question this. She has always desired for me to be kept safe, unharmed from physical danger and emotional heartache. I would say most mothers desire this for their children. But what happens when this motherly-love, don’t-you-dare-hurt-my-child love is taken to the extreme?

In my case, it taught me how to fear … everything. Most things I encountered in life became a potential threat:

That man walking across the street.
That dangerous airport to live near.
The potential Hepatitis I could pick up while enjoying a pedicure at the salon.

Now, I am not saying these are not legitimate threats, because they very well may well be, and I absolutely love my Mom for her desire to keep me unharmed (thank you Mom for your hedge of protection). However, what I am saying is this: If I choose to believe – and live by – every warning, it will eventually have a detrimental affect on my life. Seriously! Assuming these threats will happen to me if I take part in any way could be just as harmful as the potential threat itself.

Why? I mean, I am keeping safe, right?

The detrimental affect is that I will not live my life. I will be too busy shielding myself from what could happen to me. I could get attacked by the man walking across the street, so I better not go for a stroll on a beautiful evening. My airplane may plunge into a ravine at that dangerous airport, so I better not move to that city. I could contract Hepatitis if I pamper myself at the salon, so I better just not go at all.

I’ve learned (and must emphasize – I am still learning) that life is for living. I believe God has given me the gift of life to live it. I wonder what He thinks when I sit inside, wishing I could go out and play, but instead politely decline any invite for fear of catastrophe? As I write this, I am overwhelmed with an incredible sense of obligation. When I do not partake in life and put myself out there, I am robbing not only myself from joy, or those around me, but I am also robbing my Creator from joy! It brings Him joy to see us dancing and laughing and to see us going for walks to experience His beautiful creation. I bet He laughs and claps with joy when He sees us step out in faith and overcome a fear that held us in bondage. So, when I instead choose to hold back because of what could happen, I am essentially saying, “God, I know you gave me this gift of life, but I’m going to take it and keep it safe… Here. Let me put it in this small velvet bag. Oh! This velvet bag should be protected too. So, I’m going to take it and put it in this wooden box. But so no one damages my wooden box, I will place that in a firesafe and lock it. There. Now nothing can harm it.”

If I continue to say “no” to experiences, I will end up sitting on my couch only reading about the life I wish I could live!

Let me ask you this:
In what areas of your life are you holding back in fear? What are you not doing
because you fear rejection? What adventure are you not living because you fear it won’t work out? Perhaps you fear it will end in heartbreak, poverty or pain.

Now let me ask you this:
Is the life you are living right now, your day-to-day experience, is it worth everything you have given up?

What would it look like if you actually said “Yes”?

I invite you to join me today. I invite you to step out and to risk.

I promise you, this new life will be like nothing you could have ever dreamed for yourself.

***
What is an area in your life that you have held back and are now going to step out? I invite you to take a *risk* and share your story in the comments. 🙂

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12 thoughts on “What Are You Missing Out On?

  1. AMEN Alana! Thank you for putting your thoughts into words. This is exactly where Sarah is today as she prepares to leave on Thursday for a 12-day missions trip to Mexico. I am going to print out your message and place it in her suitcase…(it always helps to have someone else’s words echo Mom’s!!) You have a great gift…looking forward to seeing all that God does with it!

  2. This weekend, the message preached at Chad’s church was on living the unforgettable life. It was based on the story of Mary anointing Jesus, found in Matthew 26. A great example, since Jesus said that for all of time people would be telling her story! The very first point was in order to live an unforgettable life, we have to take risks. In that time, women weren’t allowed to even leave the house without the permission of their husband (or father, if she were unmarried). Not only did she leave her house, she barged into a house full of men and interrupted their dinner. Then she poured out the equivalent of a year’s wages on Jesus. Risk after risk after risk.

    I have to say, I love and admire Mary! Her boldness, her extravagant worship, the way she held nothing back…she was living life in a way that was practically discouraged (especially for a woman!) in her day. So not only does taking risks allow us to actually live life, it opens the doors for us to leave our mark…to impact the people around us and leave a place better than the way we found it!

    Woohoo! Now i’m all fired up… 🙂 Way to rally the troops!

  3. I just helped a customer that had some interesting things to say about her son.

    He’s highly educated- having attended school in Oregon and at univeristy of Michigan, but after school, he moved to Arizona to make beer. He is now in Portland with his own brewery.

    I asked her if she was proud of her son and what he’s doing with his life-

    She responded: “I didn’t trek through 25 years of carrying mail for him to be unhappy.”

    She wins. That’s how we all should think.
    She said that

    • Wow. This is a great story, Dan! I love her response. It is a refreshing perspective on how to respond when others may not follow the plans you have for them… and really, why do we pursue things that don’t make us happy? I’m asking this even for myself. The things I have pursued that did not make me happy were because of pressure from others or because I desired status. Not surprisingly, the force that pushed me forward fizzled and I ended up looking around and thinking, “How did I get here?”

  4. Gosh, I feel like I have been out on a limb of rejection for the last 3 years. Entering the dating world is brutal. But I found the alternative to be very lonely. Just when I was about to give up God brought someone kind and gentle into my life.

    • Marcia, “brutal” is a great descriptor for what it feels like to be rejected. When we make ourselves vulnerable, it can open us up to both pain and joy. I am so happy that you have connected with someone who encourages you to be YOU! Your perseverance is inspiring!

  5. I know we talked about this post before you posted it, but I really like that we are beginning to live the lives we want to live and the lives we believe God has had for us all along. Enough of living out of fear. Enough of living out of the fear people around us try to push on us (knowingly or unknowingly).

    Thanks for continuing to share your story with us!

  6. Amen! I have recently realized how much I struggle with this. I’m grateful for this additional poke to start doing something about it. 🙂

  7. Great, great, great post Alana!

    You should be a speaker 🙂

    And in all seriousness, this message would connect with many audiences.

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