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When the jumps don’t get easier

high dive

Last summer I shared a story here on the blog about my boys and how they were teaching me to fly. It’s true. Although if I’m honest, it’s not getting a whole lot easier. You see I’m terribly afraid of heights and life is about learning to let go.

Learning how to let go, especially when we want to hold on tight. I’m learning that regardless of whether that fear is related to our faith or our finances, God is continually asking us to let go.

Today we ventured back out to that same dock I told you about last year. The one with the 15 foot high dive platform and rusted rails that sways in the breeze. With little hesitation my boys climb and jump. Look at these little stinkers.

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I envy how he just jumps off like that. Unafraid.

Here he is on one of his hundred jumps, midair. Not only is he not afraid, his form is just unbelievable. Every. Single. Time.

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After endless pestering, because they’re relentless, I promised I’d go. Safe on the dock I reminded myself not to hesitate. Not to stand at the top and think about it. Not to think about the unsteady platform, the rusted railing or the waves rolling against the dock making it completely unstable. Not to consider the cold water and what I couldn’t see beneath the surface. I knew hesitation would stop me.

So I climbed to the top and I hesitated. In a moment, fear overtook me. In less than sixty seconds my mind traversed the panorama of all that could go wrong. All that was unsure or unsafe and I began to shake. I‘m afraid of heights and, even though the rails were barely holding on themselves, even more afraid of letting go. With a racing mind and trembling legs I descended the stairs to still my heart. I knew I needed to regain courage before I could try again. Today hesitation got the best of me, but it isn’t the first time.

Fear doesn’t make sense. I reflected back on last year, and the year before that, when I climbed to the top of that very platform and jumped. The water is crystal clear and I can see to the bottom. My boys climbed and jumped a million times in front of me and I know it is safe. My husband was treading water, waiting for me to go, and yet I was overcome with fear. Not just any fear but overwhelming, debilitating, shaking fear.

It reminded me a lot about life. I knew hesitation would stop me and yet I hesitated. How many times do I hear a whisper to do something – stop something – start something – help someone – and I wait. I wait for direction, clarity, certainty or skill. Almost every time I wait, I don’t do it. God isn’t asking us to figure it out before we jump. He’s just asking us to jump.

This is a place where I talk about being brave. Where I talk about finding our courage and stepping out into the unknown knowing God will catch us…or He will teach us to fly. And even though I believe that with my whole heart, it doesn’t necessarily make it easier. It doesn’t make letting go of the railings or stepping off the platform any more comfortable. It doesn’t mean we won’t ever hesitate, and climb back down.

But being brave doesn’t mean we aren’t still afraid. Maybe it means we sit this one out, take a deep breath and we try again. It’s not the bravest or the most talented who win, but the ones who never give up. The greatest advantage we have against fear is perseverance.

So it’s the start of summer, and I’ve already got another challenge. I will jump from that platform again, and it will be so much sweeter for the struggle. If you need help learning how to let go or how to jump, try these three tips.  I know I will definitely be needing them again!

Maybe like me, you’re facing a challenge that you’ve already overcome. Maybe the same old fear is rising up against something you know you’re capable of doing. Perhaps something you’ve already done. What’s stopping you? How is God asking you to jump and how can you step out in faith?


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{ 2 comments… add one }
  • Jenielle Harpster June 22, 2015, 9:53 pm

    I have to say that this post is exactly where I find myself at right now. Last Saturday I had been asked to lead worship for a meeting we were having, which is not something that I haven’t done many times in the past. But, this time was different. Normally, I find someone accompany me on the piano and then I choose songs accordingly. I tried numerous people, but they were all unavailable. So, I waited and waited and waited. I continued to ask God what I was supposed to be doing, but I got nothing. Friday night rolls around and by the grace of God, I was finally able to find two guitarists. It wasn’t until Saturday evening that I was able to understand what God was trying to tell me. One of the songs I chose was ‘Oceans (Where My Feet May Fail) by Hillsong. It was through the words of this song that I realized that always playing it safe….isn’t necessarily being obedient. We have to step out in faith and walk into places that are unfamiliar. Sometimes we have to make decisions that can be frightening. We may not know what will happen or how things will turn out, but we must be faithful to God! We must trust that He will lead and guide us even when the path is not clear to us. I know that many times it is easier to say this, than it is to actually do it. Thanks for sharing your heart and your experiences! Blessings!

    • Tammy July 20, 2015, 9:44 am

      Oh my gosh, so true! What a beautiful song to remember those exact feelings. Blessings! xo

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