Starting again is always daunting. You know where you need to go, but find yourself hesitating at the threshold, not knowing what the ground will feel like once your life hits that next step. I’ve been standing at that precipice for too long.
This past summer I discovered I have a pretty intense fear of stepping off high places. At Glorieta Family Camp, we embarked on many adventurous firsts together, starting with a zip-drop. We were all excited to try something new, so we geared up, and strapped in. My kids, who went before me, cheered me on as my husband had the video going at the bottom of the hill. Suddenly, as the rope dangled in front of me, the open air swallowed all my courage. I felt sick. I could not will myself to lean forward. So, I decided to try to just walk off the platform. I backed up, walked right to the edge, and hit an invisible brick wall. I literally could not go any further. I was completely stuck. I could see what I needed to do, I could see where I would be going, but I could not do it.
Eventually, I turned back to give others in our group another opportunity to jump off and experience the rush of the activity. As I took off my gear, I realized my Fitbit had been buzzing on my wrist, so I swiped the screen to see my pulse was sky-high. Apparently, I earned quite a few exercise points for succumbing to fear.
A few days later, we had the opportunity to try a full zip-line. I had been fielding questions from my family from moment one that morning – would I do it? Honestly, I didn’t know. I wanted to. Frankly, I needed to find some redemption from my utter fail earlier in the week. But as I walked up all eleventy-billion steps to the roof of the tallest building on campus, my legs grew heavier as my over-active mind filled with dread at the thought of what was coming.
I’m not sure how well I was breathing as I got strapped in and stepped up onto a box, about to coast out into the unknown. Different this time was a little bar out in front of me that I was able to grip with white knuckles, and a roof that shielded my view of how far the drop really was. I closed my eyes, lifted my legs, and gravity took over. I held on like my life depended on it, terrified all the way down. But, I did it. My husband was waiting at the bottom with a big hug. And, then we walked all the way back, and up the eleventy-billion stairs, and did it again, with a death grip and racing heart.
I find that God so often leads me right to the edge, to the brink. Why does He do that?
God didn’t create me to be cradled in the comfort zone. He is always stretching me past the line of what’s familiar and safe. Faith doesn’t grow in ease, it blossoms when facing fear and following Jesus anyway.
Staring into the unknown, I realize that I am not enough. I wasn’t made to be enough – I was made for more. When I freeze at the edge, only knowing Jesus is with me no matter what gives me peace, even if I have to grab hold of it for dear life. I can’t do this on my own – and embracing that gives a new freedom in realizing that Jesus can. I serve a God who walks on water, who resurrects the dead, and who is right now interceding for me.
As we enter a new year, I wonder if there are places in your life, like mine, that God may be leading you beyond that line in the sand that you drew, or calling you to go deeper or further than you feel like you are ready for or capable of. If that’s where you are, know you are in the Savior’s sweet spot. He is the Waymaker and Miracle worker. And, His Spirit lives in those who belong to Him.
Join me in embracing these four truths in 2022:
- I can’t. Jesus can.
- I am not alone. Jesus is with me, right now and always.
- Jesus will lead me to the edge, but doesn’t intend for me to stay there.
- I can face the unknown by leaning into Jesus.
Trust in and rely confidently on the Lord with all your heart And do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know and acknowledge and recognize Him, And He will make your paths straight and smooth [removing obstacles that block your way]. - Proverbs 3:5-6, Amplified