Leaning over the 2022 ledge

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.

The kids made the zip-drop look easy.

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:

  1. I can’t. Jesus can.
  2. I am not alone. Jesus is with me, right now and always.
  3. Jesus will lead me to the edge, but doesn’t intend for me to stay there.
  4. 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
Family fun @ Glorieta – we had to grab a photo with this ear of corn. After all, we are the Cobbs! 🙂

Packing up Christmas

The ornaments and Christmas crafts and decorations piled up as I worked to pack it all up.

The ornaments and Christmas crafts and decorations piled up as I worked to put it all away.

On New Year’s Day, I was ready to take down the Christmas tree and pack up the decorations.

For the last several years, I’ve struggled with the after-Christmas letdown. I didn’t want to take down all the special ornaments and lovingly pieced together Christmas crafts the kids made at home and school! The Nativity scene looked so beautiful on my piano, and I loved my mornings curled up on the couch in the dark before the kids woke up, gazing at the lights on the tree. Christmas is my favorite time of year, and it always seems so stark and empty when it all is packed up in a box and stacked up in the garage.

This time around, as I surveyed the house full of Christmas on the first day of 2015, I knew it was time. Without remorse or even a tug at my heart, it all came down to be carefully packed away for next year.

My husband commented out loud that he wondered where his wife had gone! The one that usually waxes sentimental was now on a mission to clean up and move on.

This was a wonderful December, full of family time and precious memories. We participated in an exciting Journey to the Manger every day as we anticipated Jesus’s birthday on Christmas. We attended school programs, dance recitals, church musicals, and even managed to deal with a few bouts of sickness in the midst of it all. We had an amazing day with my extended family at Silver Dollar City, and enjoyed an after-Christmas trip to spend time with my husband’s family. Christmas Day itself was full of joy and wonderful time together!

So why didn’t I feel the same way this year that I usually do when all the festivities and Christmas celebrations come to an end?

Mangers aren’t meant to linger around.

Mary didn’t give birth to her firstborn son in a stable and lay Jesus in a manger because she wanted to…she had to because there was no other place or people who would make room for them. The young couple didn’t stay there long either. They dedicated Jesus in the Temple, and ended up living in a home in Bethlehem. It is there that the Wise Men found Mary and the child and worshiped Him with expensive gifts. After their visit, an angel visited Joseph with instructions to leave Bethlehem immediately for Egypt, sparing Jesus from King Herod’s rage.

Jesus didn’t come to stay cradled in the manger. He came to shake the earth and our hearts when he paid the penalty for our sins on the cross and burst forth from the grave!

Mary and Joseph left the manger, not knowing what awaited them as they held the Son of God in their arms. They would go to Egypt and back, and watch their Son grow in favor with God and men. Mary would see Jesus’s miracles, and the crowds clamoring for a touch and a word from the Savior. They had to move on from the manger to experience the adventure of life with Jesus!

I don’t know what God has in store for me or my family this year. I haven’t written out carefully constructed resolutions or goals, and frankly am not sure what we will eat for dinner tonight. But I know that my best days are ahead of me, as I follow my Jesus!

That’s why I was ready to pack up the decorations, and carry Christmas with me in my heart. My feet are ready to move and my hands are ready to get to work. It’s time to continue this life’s adventure with Jesus!