When she was a little girl, she felt the fear rise in her when she swam into the ocean and the waves walloped her, knocking her down, pulling her under, the salt stinging her eyes. It was enough to keep her from deep water, from the surging current, from riding the waves to shore and then standing up and pushing out into the water to do it again.
She was always the one to stay back and tell herself not to risk it. She hadn’t realized fear will keep you from living when you let it control you.
“C’mon,” a boy said, beckoning her into the water.
When the other kids ran into the ocean, she followed along slowly, her body shivering against the shock of cold water. She strained against the waves as they tried to push her back, warning her not to go deeper. But as she pushed her way against them, making it to deep water where the waves would be taller than her, there was a sudden calm in the water, her fear mixed with the cold, deep blue. Even the people on the beach seemed far away, their voices lost in the wind and waves.
That’s when she felt it building: the waves, her panic, how the water suddenly seemed to draw into itself, a small hill growing into a mountain. It silently sprang up, ready to topple over her, into her, through her, pulling her under and over with it.
Go, her mind screamed, Go!
Suddenly she jumped into the surge and flow of wave and wind, letting the water push her to shore, the power of the current like an unseen force beneath her. Her breath choked, the water enveloped her, but she could feel the movement towards safety and shore, her panic replaced by exhilaration. When the wave finally lost momentum and she found herself in shallow water, she stood up slowly, dripping salt water from her hair, and smiled wondrously: What was it that I was afraid of?
The only way we live deep is to live brave.
The only way to step out of our comfort zone is to make the leap–to free fall, dive in, trusting that He will carry us safely to shore. As she turned to face the waves again, she did not think of what held her back. She plunged in towards the dangerous unknown deep.
This summer is the season of learning to deal with our fears, which is the title of my new summer series starting this week: Fearless
The series will be two-fold:
- I will share stories and unpack common fears, as well as how to deal with them, along with you, my readers and friends.
- I will also be starting a new list called The Fearless Summer List: a checklist of things to accomplish that scare me (but I want to do!)
I’ll be sharing my Fearless list with you soon. It is a way to challenge myself to overcome fears—both by doing some fun challenges and some serious ones. Join me?
I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.” (John 14:27 NLT)