Stepping Into the Unknown
Good morning from Managua, Nicaragua!
We have officially entered another new year. It has been interesting reflecting back over the past year in Nicaragua and life in general. There have been many changes in my life since I sat down to write a blog post in January of 2013. While I could have anticipated many of the changes, there were certainly a few that took me by surprise. I think that is where much of the nervousness and excitement comes from when a new year begins – We have an idea of what the story is about but much of the book has not been written, at least on this side of heaven.
In 2014 my hope is to harness the energy produced by that nervousness and excitement to make this year a great one. Going into the New Year, we have an opportunity to live fully into the plan God has for our life. This, however, means putting aside the fear that comes from the unknown. Instead of tiptoeing our way into the year, we have to live with a sense of purpose. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the enormity of making the next year a great one and, quite frankly, the fear that it just won’t happen. On days like today I can appreciate those feelings. There is a lot of opportunity for success in 2014, but there is an equal amount of opportunity for failure.
I think these types of feelings tend to paralyze us. We want to be successful but we do not want to fail trying to get there so we think about how to get the reward without taking the risk. In my experience, this pondering can go on for an entire year, leaving us at the end of another year wondering where the time went and considering how we cannot fall into the same trap again next year. Unfortunately, we will more than likely never find an answer to the question as most rewards worth getting require some level of risk. In coming to this realization, I have found the one thing that allows me to push forward despite the risks is my belief that God has a great plan for my life. I lean on words from the Bible such as, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV) It is in these words that I find confidence to push through the fears of the unknown and the moments that don’t make sense. I have found God to be faithful to his words and trustworthy.
This year I plan to trust in God’s promises again and push forward, even when the next step is a little scary. I believe this will make 2014 a great year and one worth reflecting on in January of 2015, just as 2013 was worth reflecting on today. It is my belief that we were made to live this way – stepping into the relatively unknown, trusting that God has a great plan. I want to live a little more like this in 2014 and I hope you will too.
Happy New Year!
– James Belt