At the beginning of this year God told me the theme of this year of my life was the art of leaning in. Not gonna lie, I was a bit nervous to what all this would entail, but I’ve been incredibly surprised by the gifts of God along the way.
It hasn’t been easy, leaning in never is. It demands a physical posture that can be uncomfortable, and if God asks you to not only lean in, but step out of your comfort zone, then it’s even worse. Which is exactly where I find myself this year.
I’m leaning in a place outside my comfort zone.
But you know what, it’s turning me into some kind of wonder woman.
God’s Biggest Plans Require Trust - Belief
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her.” Luke chapter 1, verse 45
When I started writing for PSI, my first article was titled Trust Me. It chronicled my life so far - a life of living in God’s trust. But since then, I’ve lost a bit of that trust.
And that’s when stress and anxiety came in and made their home in my soul.
Last year, I was so overwhelmed with anxiety and the pressures I’d put on myself as a leader, mentor, writer, actress, missionary, and friend that I had a mental health crisis. I couldn’t work, couldn’t function in any of my responsibilities or even passions because I didn’t know how to move forward.
It was scary.
But with the help of friends, counsellors and lots of prayer I’ve walked into 2018 choosing to lean in to the call of adventure God has for me.
I realized anxiety had taken over so much because I’d forgotten to place my trust in God.
But when you’re leaning in to God’s winds you have nothing else but Him to rely on.
It’s taken time. I’ve had to change my mindset and it’s taken a lot of effort to release the control I was trying to have on where my life took me. But I’m so glad I did, because as I’ve leaned in to all God has for me this year I’ve been so surprised by the fulfillments that have come along the way.
God’s Biggest Plans Bring Fulfillment
It’s long been a dream of mine to write and publish a novel. It’s something I’ve thought long and hard about but never really thought would happen. It was one of those dreams you display on a shelf, but never take down and incorporate into your life.
But this year was all about leaning in.
For the past four years I’ve worked on a novel, The Rose Of Admirias. It was a hobby, a passion, but never something I thought I’d see fulfilled.
God had other ideas.
It took hard work, perseverance, and a little crazy tenacity on my part but God opened the doors for this story to see the light of day. On the first of May my novel was released as part of an ebook bundle of 22 novels by 22 fantasy/scifi authors.
And I know this is just the beginning. That this is the next step in the road to indie publishing.
It’s scares the crummies out of me. It’s uncomfortable to lean in so long, but I know God’s got me. Because his word says, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippines chapter 2, verse 13)
The thing is, I’d somehow begun to believe I was the only one who could see my dreams fulfilled. I’d thought I needed to control it all.
But I don’t.
Because God is a relational God and he puts people in our lives to sharpen and build us to become the men and women we’re called to be.
The people C.S. Lewis talked about this way, “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which,if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.” (The Weight Of Glory)
Yes, there’s still a little over half a year left, but wow, if God can do this much in only five months, think of how much more he’s wanting to do in your life too. If only we would lean in to his directions and seize every opportunity he has for us.
Talk about a life of adventure. I’m so in.
Charis Joy Jackson is working as a full-time missionary with Youth With A Mission (YWAM) a non-profit organisation in Queensland. During the day she makes movies and in her spare time writes novels.
Charis Joy Jackson’s previous articles may be viewed at