It sounded like a crazy resolution, even to me. It was only my second year to do the One Word project, and while other people chose great concepts like "enough" or "gratitude" or "grace," I felt God leading me to something different, something radical. My one word resolution was "reckless." It was a choice that raised a few eyebrows. Where did "reckless" fit into my faith?
Two things inspired it: Jeremy Camp's song by the same name, and Francis Chan's book Crazy Love. I realized that I've spent most of my life playing it safe - to paraphrase Francis Chan, I've spent my life hugging the balance beam, trying to love God and be safe. (See the video at the end of this post for his balance beam analogy.) But "safe" doesn't do great things for God - reckless does. I decided that in 2013, it was time to start living with reckless faith.
I was terrified. I'm a very quiet person by nature. It takes me a while to open up to people. I'm introverted. I'm cautious. I want to make smart, safe decisions. Suddenly God was telling me to do the opposite - take chances, risk failure, put my heart out there and risk it all. So I stepped out on shaky legs of faith and took the first leap.
True to my goals, 2013 has been a year of crazy leaps of faith. It's been a year of leaving fear behind - or sometimes facing my fears head-on and moving forward in spite of them. It's also been one of the most exciting years of my entire life.
Here are a few highlights from my year of being reckless:
1. Entering (and winning) my first fiction contest, judged by one of my favorite authors, Steven James
2. Graduating from college
3. Learning to boogie board (sort of) - Boogie Boards and Big Dreams
4. Leaving my insurance office job without another permanent job to go to
5. Starting my dental hygiene career
6. Querying a magazine for the first time
7. Submitting my first short story to a magazine - it was accepted! You can read it in the February 2014 issue of Splickety Love magazine
8. Finally openly sharing my dream of writing - and calling myself a writer - Dreamer and Hello I'm a Writer
It wasn't always an easy year. I'll be the first to admit, I'm a coward. I fought fear and stress so many times. I battled panic attacks. I must have asked God a thousand times, "Are You sure about this?" He always whispered reassurance and nudged me to keep going, and He never left my side.
I've definitely spent a lot of time outside my comfort zone this year. I've changed and grown. The biggest lesson I've learned: God is faithful. If He calls you to do something, He will walk beside you and give you strength to accomplish it. He will celebrate with you when you finish it. When you step out in faith, He will open doors you never dreamed of and help you do things you never imagined.
My year of being reckless changed my life. It changed who I am. In 2014, I'll continue moving ahead with my crazy, reckless dreams, trusting God to lead me into amazing adventures.
(I couldn't get the balance beam video to embed, but you can follow this link to watch it on YouTube: