“I want you to stay and hold me and tell me you’ll be here to love me today.” ~ Norah Jones
Once long ago, I got up at the crack of dawn to drive west of Yosemite National Park and climb into an inflated raft on Tuolume River. It was my first whitewater rafting trip.
We went through a few rapids, but nothing too exciting — until our Teva-clad guide pulled to a stop at a tall, jagged ledge. As the people got out to climb up and dive off, I sat glued to my seat. I eyed the slippery slabs of wet rock and imagined my arms and legs flailing down to an embarrassing belly flop.
After watching a string of people jump off without sustaining any concussions, I decided to go for it.
I stood over the edge, trying to act cool. I was scared.
I was afraid to look silly and awkward. But, I longed to jump in.
My No Into God’s Yes
Sometimes we survive the choppy waters of life and suddenly find ourselves at the edge of opportunity.
We may have given up hope of anything new, but it comes — a spark of desire, a new confidence or change in direction.
As alluring as moving forward is, I’m never short on hesitations.
But for each no, God offers me yes.
1. It’s too late.
Maybe to you, but not to me. Step out by faith and you’ll see.
“Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” ~ After Jesus turned water into wine. John 2:1-11
2. What if it ends up being a disaster (again)?
If you lean into me, making your attempt, I will be your greatest reward.
“Without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
3. It’s a dumb idea.
I am your Heavenly Daddy. I have intimate knowledge of all your wonderful ideas, just like the stars in the sky that I name.
“He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.” Psalm 147:4
4. Nothing’s going to change.
Your efforts might seem ordinary, but remember I can turn water into wine.
“Jesus said — ‘Fill the jars with water…Now draw some out.’ …the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine.” John 2:7-9
5. What if it’s all in vain?
I will love you through it all. You can never outgive my love.
“I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness.” Jeremiah 31:3
As I weigh the pros and cons of moving forward, I realize my limits.
To jump into the life God calls us to live, we need to enter deeper into God’s love.
Dare To Jump In
God’s presented me with an opportunity to pick up a dream I thought was dead years ago.
Those same inner giants that got the best of me before? They’re still lumbering. I know the risks.
How do I know I won’t get burned again?
But there is the one major difference.
I’ve seen God’s love go deeper than fears coming true.
He will catch me if I fall.
He loved me when I was broken; He put joy back in my bones.
He can hold me in the secret place, where I am fully known.
God keeps His promises.
That’s why I dare to jump in.
I turn to find Jesus next to me, His hand clasp firmly in mine.
Just take the next step, Bonnie — I am with you.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6
No matter how young or old we are, God calls us to walk forward on our pilgrimage in faith with Him.
What’s a girl to do? Do I jump in or do I stay safe and dry?
Enveloped in 90 degree heat, I let out a yelp and pushed myself off the ledge. The bite of cool canyon water plunged me into a splash of bubbles. My heart pounding and arms stretching to swim towards the sky, I sputter up.
I probably looked like a girl who took a wrong step somewhere and fell into the water. It didn’t matter anymore.
I got out water drenched and euphoric. Feeling alive, I hiked back up for another turn.
What new opportunity is God leading you to explore?
How is God encouraging you to turn your no into a yes?
By Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista serving up shots of faith for everyday life.
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Turn Your No Into God’s Yes: Dare To Jump In | Faith Barista says
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Amy Hunt says
I’ve been thinking a lot about this. And what faith is. It’s the evidence of things not seen. There’s a deep abiding belief – faith – that He’s called me to do it. But, I could be wrong. I really could be. Even in that possibility, do I scrunch in a corner and hover in fear? Or do I step out and boldly proclaim that which I believe He’s called me to do, and in the mean time continue living in faith and trust that He will fulfill all He’s promised? I’ll choose the later!
Writing is one thing He’s invited me to step out with, and it’s really scary. But, I feel like my heart will explode if I don’t do it.
Rich blessings to you, Bonnie, as you continue to encourage others (like me) in the most beautiful ways…
Bonnie Gray says
Step out, sweet friend! The water’s nice out here. May God bless your words as you pour out that heart-dream with breath pounding faith! I’m right there next to you, taking that same step, Amy!
Amy Hunt says
Oh you’re words are just the sweetest, Bonnie!
Lisa H says
This post was like reading some of my own journals from the past few years—the beginning journals from 2008. I was terrified to step out, admit I had issues, I had fears and anxieties. God put someone in my life to help me take the first step, then the second and on and on until I decided to take baby steps on my own with God. I still need her to help me from time to time and she will stand beside me with God and take a step with me. Until I jumped into my own Jordan River and finally, eventually made it to the other side! Now (the past 6 months or so) its as if God is leading me to the place he has planned for my life and I’m allowing him to do that without much grief from me. Lots of things are happening that I would normally not even ponder for a moment but when I stop and listen to HIM and not my inner voice which has led me down many dark paths, I can see Him working in my life to turn those no’s into yes!
I would never dream of facilitating a Bible study but when I asked if we could have do this one particular study my friend at church said well sure, I’ll order the books for you, you get the women and start it up! WHAT!!! NOT ME,,,,,,I can’t do that! So a few weeks have passed and I have another friend who wants to do it and keeps asking me when we will be starting–I’m actually considering it!
Never in a million years would I have even given it a second thought before now. 🙂
Bonnie Gray says
Lisa — that sounds like a God invitation! Isn’t God amazing – turning our water into wine?! May your heart receive the encouragement it needs as you consider this opportunity! *heart smiling thinking of your beautiful journey*
Lovely post. I was able to connect with everything you said. Thank you.
Bonnie Gray says
May refreshing encouragement bathe you today, Tonya! Thank you!
Hi Bonnie, I don’t normally comment but I just had to tell you that God spoke through you to me today. I made a decision to “jump off the edge in a huge leap of faith” in a certain area of my life yesterday and I woke up this morning saying “I can’t do this.” “I do not see how this is possible” etc. But I truly believe God is asking me to move forward so I’m going to keep going. Thank you for your encouragement.
Bonnie Gray says
Amy! What a gift of encouragement you are, sharing this digital space this morning. Thank you for sharing your moment here at the “edge of faith”, just as you’re jumping off! Thank you, Jesus for Amy and bless her to keep going!
love this bonnie! i was just talking about this yesterday about being willing to still jump, to get doors slammed in your face and still trust.
i don’t have answers yet. still sitting in it. but you have to sit still to get to the jump!
Bonnie Gray says
Oh, Katy! I’m sitting here beside you, just so proud to know your journey. So much passion in that beautiful heart of yours. Jesus, thank you for my sister Katy and how you’ve brought her through everything!
amber french says
just last week i had a similar experience! i went tubing with some friends and right before we packed up to come home, the guys wanted to jump off a big boulder they’d seen. i went to watch. as soon as we got there, one of the other girls swam across and climbed right up there with the guys, asking if i was coming. um? i stood there, deliberating. i knew the water would be cold but then i reasoned this could be one of those “you only live once” kinda things. so i followed her and soon found myself standing at the edge of the ginormous rock, looking down at the water below. it wasn’t a huge jump (maybe 15 ft) and the water was ocean-deep (8 ft or so) but from my vantage point, it looked deep and really far down. but i wasn’t going to chicken out. so i took a deep breath and jumped. the cold water took my breath away and i had to get my bearings but i made it! one of the guys jumped in after me, watching how i kept trying to swim against the current and therefore not moving. he swam with me back to the other side where i was able to climb out and realize, yes, i had made it. jump off a boulder? check.
Bonnie Gray says
Oh, Amber! I can hear your squeal of laughter and splashing — and it’s as if I am standing on the side, watching your friend swim over and swim back with you! I see your big smile & I’m cheering you! Wahoo! Let’s go up again, together?! 🙂
I needed this, this morning ~ Thank you!
I interviewed for a job, this past Wednesday, and thought the interview had gone poorly, since I was nervous, and I didn’t get called back for a second interview (I even got an email saying I hadn’t made it to the second round).
I emailed them to say ‘Thank you’ for their time in interviewing me on Wednesday, and left it at that, figuring God had said ‘no’ to that opportunity…
But, He didn’t, ’cause I got another email, this morning, saying I am being given a shot at a second interview, after all! And, I was humming & hawing about it, as I’d already “moved on” in my mind… but I still need a job. So, I’m going to go … to jump!… and we’ll see what God has up His sleeve. 😉
Bonnie Gray says
MizB – I’m so happy for you! What an encouraging surprise! So glad you shared it here – because we never know what God can do. Just said a prayer for your 2nd interview as I’m reading your “edge of faith” moment. Be with MizB, Jesus, and shine through her that day of the interview!
Thanks. I recently said yes to God and resigned my job t our church. It was a great job and I loved it and the people I’ve worked with for almost 10 yrs. I’ve been so excited and anxious but am holding on to the scripture God gave me in January. It’s very similar to the oe you quote…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or discouraged for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Bonnie Gray says
Becki – that decision took a lot of faith and courage. What a wise one you are to hang onto His promise. Jesus, please strengthen my friend Becki as she awaits your next steps.
What a great reflection for the weekend.
Saying yes to Him and trusting Him every step of the way,
Bonnie Gray says
Blessings to you, Ginger across the blogosphere!
Amy Cook says
What a wonderful encouragement this post is for me! I am embarking on a new direction in my life, and although the Lord is keeping me in His perfect peace, I’ve had my moments! I think the sentence that made the most impact on me was this one: “Do I jump in or do I stay safe and dry?” Being safe can be a very dry place!
Thanks so much for this, Bonnie! Blessings to you.
Bonnie Gray says
“Being safe can be a very dry place!”
Amy, I love that. You just encouraged me! Thank you! … See you down there… after the “jump”! 🙂 And yes, those moments are always there to lull us back to “safety”, but praise God for peace that it’s never too late.
Diane Yuhas says
Oh, that cool water in 90º heat! Bliss. A single step and you’re over the edge. I know that well. I’ve been wondering and hesitating and doubting and questioning whether or not God is leading me in a certain direction. I’ve been afraid, because it is so often that I mistake my own desires for those of God and end up falling flat and feeling stupid. I think I need to take that step of faith and just start writing.
Bonnie Gray says
It’s hard because we can’t see other than that one jump. No guarantees — except God is there with us. We can do it, Diane! God bless your writing!
tammy@meadows speak says
This pierced right to the bone and marrow. And that list, 1-5, was like a road map from my heart to His. I will be chewing His “yes” where I’ve treaded in “no”s. Thank you Bonnie, lovely High words here. 🙂
Bonnie Gray says
Tammy – you always leave me with the warmth of your encouragement! I’m traveling that journey to His heart right with you! So happy you’re here, friend!
Marni Arnold says
I have been in this boat lately…afraid to jump out. Acting like Peter a little bit when he actually is “Simon Peter” in John 21 when he goes fishing and gets nothing when he does all of what he is doing on his own. Yet, when Peter casts the net as Jesus encourages him to do, go figure the net is swelling with fish beyond comprehension.
It is funny how a good part of the time I am very much like Peter in this respect…I think I can do all of this life on my own. I am finding the times I am frustrated, disillusioned and besides myself is because I am trying so hard to do things on my own, expecting God to do what I think He should be doing. Yeah, that hardly happens – God doing as I expect Him to do. How about, it never happens.
I don’t think change is easy for anyone – because it requires our full faith and trust that “God has all this” while we have none of it. But the process of change can be a whole lot simpler if we just learn to jump in, not hesitating, in obedience to the calling He has on our lives.
This post today patins this picture very well. Thank you for sharing it – it truly is encouraging.
Bonnie Gray says
Hi Marni! What a BEAUTIFUL passage to add – that net full of fish… Thank you for this. You have a gift, Marni – and it’s growing into a life-giving blessing to us all. Thank you Jesus for Marni and her faith example to us!
The new job I took closer to home has had wonderful blessings! Thank you Bonnie! I love having time at home and being close to work. Still walking in faith since it was a paycut though.
Trying to figure out some new dreams also!
Amy Nabors says
Thank you for these words Bonnie. I so often allow my fears to stop me from trying anything. I needed this reminder.
Shaunie Friday says
Wonderful wisdom and encouragement here Bonnie! I love the application you made of Jesus saving the best for last with our moments of feeling that the opportunity has past or that it’s too late for us to start something we’ve been afraid to try for too long. I am soaking up all you have written here and am so refreshed by it!! Thank you!!
Oh Bonnie, how perfectly timed! I’ve recently succumbed to some unrest regarding upcoming changes. I’ve been an engineer for a few years, but the job and environment are both terrible; and while I know God has planted in me many dreams and gifts outside of science, I’m almost afraid to move out into them. For a while my dream was to go back to school to somehow use my gifts in climate & society research, but I’m beginning to question those dreams…. even though, one day, I cried out to God to help me find opportunities outside my job, and that same day I received an acceptance letter to graduate school for the fall! But since then, I’ve felt so much unrest about the decision… because the bigger dream in my heart, I think, involves being involved in ministry! Most of my apprehensions about pursuing either dream are fear-led: fear of pursuing it, fear of being inadequate, and fear of not really knowing what God’s will over my life is, at the moment.
Any way, that’s just a long, drawn-out way to say that this blog post was an encouragement to me, today, even though I’m still wrestling with what to do, and I’m no closer to discernment 🙂 But my belief thus far has been that, no matter where I go, God is able to plant seed and bear fruit that will bring me toward the place He believes is best for me to be.
“Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome. ” ~ Samuel Johnson
Bonnie, this is a timely word of encouragement for me. Thank you so much!
In August, I’m going with a group from my church on my first mission trip to El Salvador. I’ve told friends that this was a better idea when I was 18 or 19, a student at ORU, single and unattached. Instead, I’m a 33 year old married mom of 2. Just today, I was thinking that it doesn’t feel right and I feel a bit ridiculous. What do I have to offer? Why am I going?
I’m going because in February when the announcement was made, I felt something inside that I can only describe as this: yelling and cheering for your favorite football team when they score a touchdown, only better. Thanks for reminding me that we’re supposed to be jumping in the deep end.
This was exactly what I needed to read! Taking leaps of faith takes great courage and we can never look back once we decide to dive in! I am at this point in my life right now. God has called me to write a book for other broken women like myself. It seems like such a lofty calling, but when’s He’s in control, nothing is impossible. He gave me this verse recently, “Speak for those who can’t speak for themselves.” I intend to do just that. Thanks for your post!
What encouraging testimony and principles! Fear is a big issue for me, too, and I know the answer is “to enter deeper into God’s love.”
Starting a blog was a big “stepping out” for me, and it has been a blessing. I’m still seeking to discern the next “yes” God is nudging me toward. There are some options on the table but no clarity yet. Just waiting and trying to keep my heart open and trusting Him.
God bless you and encourage you every step of the way in your own new-old opportunity!
Oh my word, is He ever daring me to just jump in. Great analogy. For a very long time (probably over a year now, possibly longer), He’s been pushing me ever closer to just doing something that in my family is seen as nuts borderline crazy. Granted my family (especially my parents) are not ones to rock the boat in any way, shape or form. Faith is going to church on Sunday and that’s it, maybe a few things during the week. For my mom church is work (she’s a Lutheran minister), and she’s busy ALL the time, even during the summer. They think I’m nuts for, shocker of shockers actually wanting to go to Mass on Sunday and socializing with other young Catholic friends during the week. To be frank they’ve put God in a box, and as many of you know, He doesn’t appreciate that one bit. I’d be the first one to do this, and it’s got me quaking in my boots. Jesus is borderline pushing me out of the boat at this point.
Holley Gerth says
Love your courageous heart, beautif friend! Jumping with you…
Amy Sullivan says
I think you wrote #1-5 for me. Directly for me. Each seemed to ring true last week, but this week? This week will continue to “dare to jump”.
Sometimes I think I drag my feet in fear and call it “waiting” on God. I know there is a balance. But here’s to “daring to jump” more often! 🙂
I’m excited for you and what God wants to do through you, Bonnie. I will pray for you and hope to hear more about this God-sized opportunity in the future!
I have the Thoreau quote on my wall, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” I read that every single day-some days already feeling the wet on me feet, and sometimes clutching onto the towel in utter fear. But I never quit dreaming. I say, “JUMP!” and know that the Lord will only help you to be stronger no matter where you land.
He is encouraging me to run my first 1/2 marathon this fall. And I have helped to encourage my husband too. I have never been a runner but ran a 7K this spring…it went well. My husband has always been a runner but hasn’t run a race of any sorts in years.
So here we go. Praying I don’t break down, don’t break a leg, pull a muscle, and simply finish….feeling more fit and blessed because I did it!