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Our Reckless Journey


On August 16, 2008, at 3:00 p.m., our family of four boarded a plane to fly from Grand Rapids to Seattle. All of our household items had left the day before on a semi to make the cross country trek. We were beginning an adventure. A “reckless adventure” as Kevin Harney described in his message on Sunday.

We had never lived outside of Michigan.
We didn’t have a place to live.
Neither of us had jobs to start.
We knew one couple in this new city.

We were leaving 13 years of rooted friendships and community, but we knew without a doubt that this is what God wanted us to do. We knew that we were supposed to move 2,000+ miles away for my husband to attend seminary and receive his counseling degree.

In his message on Sunday, Kevin talked about three points of Responsible Recklessness. They resonated deeply within me and took me back to the time leading up to the day we flew across the country.

Prayer. We prayed. A lot. And had people praying for us. A lot. We took this idea of moving to Jesus every day for months. We frequently asked the question, “God, is this what you want us to do?” And we intently listened for his leading and answer.

Perspective. We sought the advice of many godly people. And we listened. People who moved out to Seattle to attend the same school. Wise friends who were further along in life and could give honest advice. Counselors who knew our story. Friends who had lived in community with us, knew our family, and could ask hard questions.

Patience. This was the hardest one. We waited. We researched. We waited more. We did not jump in with both feet right away. There were still many unknowns. But God’s timing was perfect.

Three years ago this week, we moved back to Grand Rapids. We have never regretted being responsibly reckless in moving to Seattle. Jesus changed us, worked through us, and provided for us in ways that still are hard to grasp.

That’s our story of responsible recklessness, a story that I pray continues. What’s your story? Are you pursuing responsible recklessness? Or have you become tame and cautious in your walk with Jesus?

Kevin based his message on this verse: “Then he said to them all: ‘Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it’” (Luke 9.23-24).

This verse brings life. It’s what Jesus desires of us. It’s how we follow Him.

Do you want an adventure-filled, heart-thumping, adventure-filled Christian faith? Keep this verse on your mind daily.

Living responsibly reckless is scary. But it’s an exciting scary. If we’ll do this, Jesus will lead us on an adventure that will take our breath away.

And who wouldn’t want that?


Jean Ballance | preschool
Jean is the Preschool Curriculum Coordinator. She lives in Rockford and is adventuring through life with her husband Ed, their amazing kids, Sam and Alina, a Golden Princess named Ginger (their dog) and an awfully large cat named Moose. She enjoys cooking, baking, reading, running and savors life with her family.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Linda Viekman #

    Thanks Jean! We are glad to hear you are back in the area.

    August 7, 2013
  2. Thank you Jean. Glad God moved you back and allowed you to share your story. so that maybe we can listen and act on one of our own. This speaks to my heart as I keep asking Him what He wants me to do!

    August 7, 2013
  3. Vicky Graham #

    Adventure!! Binoculars …fix your eyes on Jesus. Magnifying glass…read the fine print of truth. Lunch…bread of life. Springs of water…Holy Spirit within. Map… to guide. Nets…fishers of men. “X” marks the spot…treasures in heaven. Know the Truth…Know the Guide. Thx 4 sharing.

    August 8, 2013
  4. Thank you so much for this, Jean! I really love to read about how others have lived this…and how it worked out for them to glorify God!

    August 9, 2013

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