What does risk-taking look like? | Renew | Repurpose

28 October 2020

What does risk-taking look like?

We learned the results of Dan’s biopsy last week while away from home: A small amount of prostate cancer. 

The urologist said Dan could opt for treatment, but he recommended expectant management—sometimes called “watchful waiting.” He said a normal side effect of expectant management is anxiety.


Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

Dan is a young sixty-something. Active. In good shape. Eats well (except the little boy in him that loves sweet treats). 

Which means the odds of him ever needing cancer treatment are very slim. Besides, prostate cancer has a high cure rate. Basically, you remove the cancer while it’s contained within the prostate and you’re cured.

My head knows all this.

But my heart … now that’s a different story.

Because the “C” word is a powerful, emotion-evoking word.

And because I’ve lost one husband to prostate cancer. And I don’t want this husband to go through any of that.

Would I rather not have married Dan and never have to deal with prostate cancer issues ever again? 


I’d rather be married—even with this intimidating ‘C’ word hanging somewhere off on the horizon—than not be married to this wonderful man who makes me laugh, who enjoys hiking and paddling and camping with me, who wakes me up every morning with a mug of spicy cinnamon tea.

Turns out, any undertaking that involves adding people into our hearts is risky business. More people to love, to take care of, to worry about.

And most worthwhile, meaningful, life-changing endeavors involve some sort of risk. 

Saying yes to fostering or adopting a child. Leaving the comforts of home to offer medical attention to those who have no access. Serving as a mentor to teenagers. Stepping off the edge of the cliff—from a place of safety as a widow—to partner in marriage again.  

All risky stuff.

This thought from Ralph Waldo Emerson:

Don’t be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better

No risk. No accomplishment.

What if …

Dan and I were stopped for lunch in Northern California when he received the news from his urologist. We drove north along Hwy 101 through the redwoods toward our destination, discussing the urologist’s report.

This thought from Dan, my very wise, very kind, (very handsome) husband:

Having a God who is a physician, a provider, who cares for me – this gives me peace, no matter the outcome. 

There is a letter written by Peter around A.D. 60, encouraging persecuted Christians to stand firm in their faith:

Cast all your anxiety on [God] because He cares for you. — 1 Peter 5:7

What if we could truly adhere to this admonition? What if we could give our worries to God and leave them there?

This is me, tossing all my anxiety upon the One who has shoulders bigger than the entire universe, the One who can carry the weight.

Besides, God and I know how to do prostate cancer. 


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About Me

Hello, my name is Marlys Johnson Lawry. I’m a speaker, award-winning writer, and Chai latte snob. I love getting outdoors—would rather lace up hiking boots than go shopping. I have a passion for encouraging people to live well in the hard and holy moments of life. With heart wide open.

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