Fearless Leaps and Little Steps

It’s Fearless Friday and we have a guest post.  I’m excited to let you hear from my intrepid, amazingly mature, thoughtful and articulate friend, Mackenzie Dykstra!  She’s a senior at Edina High School and is already shaking up her part of the world.  Enjoy!
Mackenzie

The word fearlessness has the connotation of something extraordinary; where one battles impossible tasks with incredible courage and bravery.  When I think of fearlessness I see a soldier on the front lines, or a young child fighting against cancer that’s wracking her body. I see people that have great challenges to overcome and that are brilliant through their darkest moments. In this past year I have realized that fearlessness is represented by all those things but it can also be the smaller acts that are done in the shadows that require as much courage and delight God just the same.

To be fearless is to take a blind leap of faith.

This past year I found myself studying abroad in Italy for my junior year of high school. Coming from Edina, Minnesota you are used to looking at life through a certain lens and success is a word we all know inside and out. Last September I was thrust into a foreign country and was surrounded by a language I knew nothing of. Success was rare to come by and failure slapped me down time and time again. It was those moments, the heart-wrenching homesickness and no ability to communicate, that I grew the most. It was a blind jump into the unknown of a year abroad and it was terrifying, beautiful, and incredibly rewarding. I took that leap and I hit the cliff on the other side hard but what I found when I dusted myself off made me realize how God turns pain into growth and beauty.

To be fearless is to take the road less traveled. 

We have heard this saying so many times over the years that it now may fall on deaf ears. The quote always comes to mind when I hit a large crossroad and where a life decision needs to be made. One day I realized though, that it wasn’t intended as advice for just the “big stuff,” it is a reminder for the little steps forward we take each day. It can be as simple as sitting near the new kid alone at lunch, or offering help to someone who has yet to ask for it. It is for choosing to reach out where no one else is, and it is offering up one of your gifts for nothing in exchange; it is merely the act of dusting off the set-trail Jesus has already blazed for us through each of our actions.

To be fearless is to choose adventure instead of the ordinary. 

God desires for us to be thrilled adventurers.  We are living in a society where normal is good and status quo is ideal. I lived last year in Italy like each day was an adventure, and I am working on choosing that here too.

mac

Some days it is as basic as taking a different route to school or trying a new dish at Noodles & Co. but other days it is as intentional as drumming up a new plan for the evening that includes late-night bowling in uptown. It is a choice of waking up in the morning and seeking out the little things that make one day different from the next. Make the decision to make each day different from the last. God knows his plan for us and has the lines drawn like a coloring book but he leaves it up to us to color it all in. 

I encourage each of us to put trust in what can’t be seen, to look for small opportunities to choose the road less traveled, and to seek out adventure in our everyday. I want us to think of fearlessness as the act of living fully within the breathtaking stories God has written for each and everyone of us.

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One thought on “Fearless Leaps and Little Steps

  1. Wonderfully written Mackenzie! You are an inspiration to each of us to reach beyond the comfortable… our bubble of normal and easy. You have been an incredible blessing to my daughter Sarah who is experiencing that very leap of faith into fearlessness this year in Belgium. Your words and your support have been an awesome gift! Thank you!

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