Three days ago I did something I never thought I'd do - I faced my fears and jumped off a 40ft platform-- and lived to tell about it.
Yes. Yes, I did.
I climbed up (with the help of a belayed harness) a forty-foot tree to a 3x3ft platform. Then, the guy you see at the bottom left of the photo (his name is Will), unhooked me from the belay and hooked me to the zipline while I hugged the tree as if my life depended on it.
If I'm honest, I will tell you that I was exceptionally scared. Will, sensing my fear, encouraged me with a few soft-spoken words and pointers on how this would all work out, but I was concentrating on not looking down, and telling my body that there was no need for panic...
Then, when the time was right, I sat down on the edge and dropped to a 530 foot zip across a lake.
It was fun.
I bet you didn't know I was afraid of heights and ziplines?
This is not why I am writing today, but it has everything to do with it...
You may remember this post: Choosing Courage. It was a poem I wrote 5 months ago as I processed my fear over sending my daughter to camp with her Girl Scout troop.
Last Friday, as I helped The Girl pack her bags for another weekend at that same camp, again with her troop, I was awesomely aware of how Peace had taken residence in my heart. I wasn't fretful. I wasn't worried. I wasn't full of irrational fear.
Since the camp center was only about 35 minutes from my house, I had volunteered to come help supervise the activities on Saturday afternoon, which included zip-lining. I wasn't prepared for the fear that would creep into my being as I climbed that stately tree.
Not just good-old-fashioned-keep-you-out-of-trouble-fear. It was heart-racing-deep-breathing-want-to-run-away-irrational fear.
I nearly chickened out, but I knew that fourteen little girls, including the one I love the most, were watching. Waiting.
But I did it.
And you know what?
I did it again.
What those little girls didn't know is that that second jump from the platform (for me) wasn't just a climb and a ride; it was a multi-colored picture in this chapter of the story of my life. One that I'm finding very difficult to put into the right words...One that is maybe, just meant for me.
The second time, although filled with heart racing excitement, was absent of fear. Without fear, I could see the full picture; I could taste the sweet fruit of facing my fear.
Fear is such a thief. It robs joy and keeps us stuck.
But, facing your fear, and being privileged to experience a life worth living, in all its wind-blown and exhilarating glory...That is wonderful.
2 Tim 1:7