That message spoke powerfully to me. I had spent plenty of time avoiding the pursuit of difficult things, even though I knew God was putting them in my heart and mind to do. I admit, I was afraid. Even though I sensed I was not living fully in His will, I was comfortable with the familiar, so that is where I safely stayed. But that was not the person I wanted to be - and I knew it was not the person I could be. I was settling. It took a tremendous amount of prayer and time for me to work up the courage to begin to really take steps of faith into the unknown. Initially, they were just baby-steps, with a bit of risk, but not too much. Every little change I made increased my courage and my faith.
Now, several years later, my life resembles nothing like the life I had before. There are definitely struggles and stressors. Everything did not become perfect when I chose to stop being afraid and began to embrace change, but it has certainly become fulfilling. If the idea for The Torch had been presented to me ten years ago - I would have dreamed about it and then pushed it to back of my mind, into what would have become my “what if” box. I know I wouldn't have had the courage to lay it all on the line like Sarah and I have done. I fully realize the enormous task we have undertaken and the multitude of risks involved. I have listened to people as they explained to me all the reasons The Torch wouldn't work, couldn't work - and occasionally I have run those thoughts through my mind. And I have faced obstacles which looked utterly impossible to overcome, but which apparently were not, because they were overcome. Even now, doors are opening for The Torch and I have a sense we are merely at the tip of the iceberg with what is going to happen. But what do I know? I can’t see the future.
But here’s the thing, the thing which brings me incredible peace and hope and joy - the thing I will never lose out of all the experiences I have had during these past few years - The Torch will never be a “what if” for me. However things turn out, however they go - I will know “what if”. I will know I tried. I will not have to end my days wondering. I will know. And I have learned such a valuable lesson about taking risks and exploring new opportunities.
I don’t ever want to look back over my life and wish I had done things I didn't do. I would rather fail than never know what could have been. I would even prefer to - gasp! - make mistakes than stay safe and never try. I have learned mistakes are great teachers, and risks can be very fulfilling.