No Back-Up Plan


I only applied to one college.

In hindsight, that wasn’t the smartest strategy. But during my junior year of high school I visited TCU, fell in love with it, and immediately decided to go there.

My parents generously provided abundant resources for me to attend college, and I graduated near the top of my high school class. So I didn’t have huge concerns about getting into or paying for TCU. But still, a wiser girl would have applied to at least one more school. A back-up. A fail-safe. 


About the time I received my acceptance letter to TCU, I began investigating Christianity.

It began one night during my senior year, when my best friend Renee and I were out with a group of guys. We got into a conversation about religion. All of the guys were thoughtful atheists; they considered religion foolish.

Renee and I believed in God. Or at least we thought we did. We weren’t sure. Neither of us came from religious families. We realized we didn’t really know what we believed.

So we started reading and asking questions in earnest. After a number of weeks, we both decided to become Christians.


“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.” (Matthew 13:44)

Jesus often taught in parables. And the parable above is one of my favorites. When the man discovers the treasure of the kingdom of heaven, he sells all he has to buy it. He risks everything.

No back-up plan. No fail-safe.


My faith grew tremendously during my years at TCU. As I neared graduation from college, I felt God calling me into full-time Christian ministry. I was delighted to follow His call.

But it was risky.

Understandably, my parents were not thrilled with my career choice. Out of great love and concern for me, my dad sat me down and said, “If what you believe is true, you are doing the right thing. But you are foolish to believe what you do. You will get to the end of your life, and you will realize you have wasted it.”

My dad is absolutely right: If the gospel of Jesus Christ is not true, I have tragically wasted the last 20 years of my life. I understand his concern. Most people would agree with him: My decision to invest all of my life in a Person who may not exist, to bank on a Reality that cannot be seen or proven, seems quite foolish indeed.

I myself experience moments of doubt. Numerous times over the last 20 years I have cried out, “God, you’d BETTER be real!”


So I was very encouraged last week when I read the following quote from Larry Crabb’s 66 Love Letters:

“If in this uncertain world you risk everything on what you know to be true, you will finish well. You will impact others. You will strengthen the Church. You will fight the good fight. All this will happen but only if you risk everything on [Jesus’] return.”

No back-up plan. No fail-safe.

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