Have you ever been asked a question that made you rethink your whole life?
Happened to me the other day.
We were in the car, and my friend asked if I had a specific word to carry me forward into this year. Something God spoke over me … in other words, the motto for this year.
My response consisted of something like this, “Uh … No …?”
But I couldn’t stop thinking about his question. I hadn’t done any of the stereotypical things one normally does at the beginning of the year. No list of resolutions, no list of goals, or priorities. I rang in the new year by sitting on my couch watching Love Actually. Twice.
The new year wasn’t something I’d embraced, it was something that had just happened to me. I barely acknowledged it.
Was I becoming jaded against the moments we would celebrate?
This is when I remembered a recent sermon a guest pastor gave at my church. It was all about leaning in.
The Calamity of Leaning In
Leaning in requires a change. Even physically, we must change our posture and stance in order not to fall over when we lean towards or away from something.
And depending on the extremity of our leaning, it may take all or only a few of our core muscles.
It requires us to leave our comfort zone.
This means taking more ownership and initiative with life. For me, it’s being more consistent and committed to the Creative Team at my church, continuing to start new initiatives and programs with the film/acting ministry I help run, being more intentional with the relationships and friendships in my life.
Leaning in is kinda like saying “Yes” to all God has for you.
In some cases, this will feel more like a great calamity. It’s a shifting of your life. It takes work to lean in and find joy in the mundane, or to appreciate the dreary logistical side of dreaming big.
But it doesn’t end there.
The Blessing of Leaning In
One lesson comes back to me over and over. It’s the lesson of sowing into life.
I’m naturally someone who likes to spend all my spare time curled on a comfy couch, reading. But that’s not gonna get me anywhere.
If you embrace the calamity of leaning in to the BIG call God has for your life, even if it means His call isn’t something flashy, there will be blessings and “fruit” from your labour.
God doesn’t want us to live our life in front of the tv or with our eyes plastered to the computer screen. He wants us to get out there and get our hands dirty.
When we do this the blessing comes. Scientifically speaking, when we move more our bodies are happier and become healthier. So leaning in to the Call God has for us, will help our spirit man as well as our physical being.
There are fascinating blessings for us, if only we would step out and reach for it.
The Freedom of Leaning In
The moral of the story, when my friend asked me what my motto was for this year, I realised I did have one. I’d just been complacent about incorporating it into my life.
This is my public statement and declaration: this year, I promise to lean in to what God has in store for me. To say “yes” to the life of adventure he has for me, even when the logistics and mundane of following through threaten to hinder me from completing them.
The truth is freedom demands a lot of maturity. It’s like growing up. Yes, we have the freedom to make our own choices about what we want to do on a Friday night or how late we want to stay out, but it also means we have to pay the bills and make wise choices about what we’re going to eat to stay healthy.
Sometimes freedom can be more of a burden than we realise. But oh, what a blessing we have when we choose God’s BIG adventure and lean into the winds of change.
Are you ready to lean in?
Charis Joy Jackson is working as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organization in Queensland. During the day she makes movies and in her spare time is writing a novel. www.charisjoyjackson.com
Charis Joy Jackson’s previous articles may be viewed at
Charis Joy Jackson works as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organisation in Queensland. During the day she mentors young adults, teaches on several topics including worship, intercession and how to makes movies. In her spare time she spins stories of speculative fiction and captures her crazy dreams in print. Her debut novel, The Rose of Admirias, will soon be available for pre-order on https://www.charisjoyjackson.com/story.html
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