Over the past few months, God has been speaking into my heart about being ‘all in’. We easily say we’re in – usually for social gatherings and fun stuff. Things that don’t require us to be ‘all in’.
Between a Rock and No Sign of Plan B
It seems that the more difficult choices and situations in our lives require us to be all in. Marriage, parenting, friendships and even the pursuit of our goals and dreams. I was thinking about Biblical ‘all in’ situations: Noah’s commitment to building an ark in the face of being generously mocked under a cloudless sky. Or, Moses leading the Israelites to the thundering verge of the Red Sea with the fierce Egyptian army at their backs. All incredible situations, but they pale in comparison to an innocent man, tortured and nailed to a cross, to save the lives of His friends.
None of those examples made provision for a solid Plan B. The epitome of ‘all or nothing’ AKA ‘all in’. I’m going to own that I am the queen of Plan B. I have always prepared for important things and had a sound backup plan. I’m not ashamed of that.
But over the past few years, I have been on an ‘all-in’ journey. As most of you know, I have always dreamed of living in the bush and writing full-time. That was never Peter’s dream – in fact, living in the bush is better described as one of his worst nightmares. Yet, almost two years ago, he agreed to pursue my dream with me. It was a decision that required both of us to be all-in. I quit my job, Peter gave up a solid customer base, we sold our house, gave 90% of our belongings away and we even gave up our animal children (which to this day, remains one of the hardest things I have ever done).
Just Do It!
The decision involved moving almost 1000 km’s away from everything familiar and all family and friends. It required embracing a blank canvas with more unknowns than either of us have ever faced. I am not a gambler (not even remotely!), but I understood that we had to put all our chips on the table and that there was no Plan B.
I can unreservedly say it has been the best season of my life. Living in the heart of the bush, where I am surrounded by wild animals and the beauty of nature all day, every day, has saved my life – and I don’t say that lightly. My heart and creativity overflow here in this little piece of heaven and I am thankful beyond measure. It has been much harder for Peter, and the verdict is not yet in on whether we’ll stay here forever (but I’m hoping and praying for a miracle!).
Why am I sharing this with you? Well, I am persuaded that there is only one way to really live – ALL IN. It’s not easy. As joyful as this season has been – it has required sacrifices. In giving up our old life, and it has been financially challenging to start over. Still, there are no regrets. Especially the regret of never trying.
Sometimes, we want to just give up – on our careers, relationships and even our dreams. Times when there is a Plan B. What if Plan B is the only thing stopping us from being all in? Would we live more intentionally, more fully in the absence of any alternatives? Would we fight harder for our relationships and love without reservation?
I think we might. It’s a circular argument really – because it comes right back to the strength of our commitment to marriage, friendship, business and dreams in the first place… were we all-in? Think about it – marriage is by definition, an all-in commitment. So is parenting, and building a career. But we live in an age where everything is disposable and perhaps this has pre-disposed us to playing it safe and moving on when something becomes difficult? There is no general answer to this – it’s one each (wo)man has to decide for him/ her self.
Are you facing the prospect of embracing change today? It’s likely seriously scary! I want to encourage you to consider going all in. It’s wildly frightening, but I believe it is totally worth it. Life is short and precious, and I believe it should only ever be lived full-blast. Is your marriage, business, or dream worth risking everything for? Only you can answer that. As the quote says:
“What if I fall?”
“But, oh, my darling, what if you fly?”
You won’t know unless you open your wings and try. Besides, who needs Plan B when God has got your back? Living all in means having no regrets that you didn’t try, even if it doesn’t end quite as you anticipated.