From Debilitating Fear to Exhilarating Fun

My dear sisters, Mom, and I!

This past weekend, I had some of the most special and memorable moments that I have experienced for a long time. My mom is soon turning seventy, and my sisters and I decided to surprise her with a getaway weekend in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I was able to succeed in booking the motel, renting a limousine, and secretly packing her clothes as well as getting her to the area without making her suspicious or finding out about the surprise weekend. The incredulous and disbelieving expression when she looked inside the limousine, seeing each of her daughters, was truly priceless! We had an incredible few days together, and laughed more than we thought was possible. We will forever treasure these days that we had together!

My mom had always said that she would love the experience of someday riding a zip line. This is the same sweet lady who has also went parasailing and attempted snow skiing, after all of us six children were married, and she was a grandma. She is adventurous and not afraid of trying new things. We, children, decided that we were going to make it possible for her to ride the nine-course zip line in Gatlinburg for her seventieth birthday. (Who knows what she will want to do when she turns eighty!)

Gearing up and trying to hold on for dear life!

Although each of us girls are scared of heights, Mom was especially in disbelief when she heard that I also bought a ticket for myself. By the time I walked across the wobbly chain linked steps to the first platform above the trees, my legs were so weak that I could hardly stand. Finally, the time came for me to jump off the platform and I had to decide whether I was going to trust the harness to prevent me from plunging to the ground or not. Although it totally went against my natural instincts, and with a seemingly logical fear, I took a deep breath and jumped! I actually survived it! I was going so fast that I thought I would have an unwanted meeting with the huge tree at the next platform, but thankfully, the brake worked! =) I had endured the first hurtle, and now I only had eight more to go!

After the first few jumps, I began noticing a change in what was happening. As we were waiting on each other, I still didn’t exactly enjoy being so close

Yeah, that’s me…up on the PLATFORM, but shaking too much to stand up! I know my turn is coming! 

to the edge of the platform, but I discovered that I was no longer focusing as much on the height or the distance that I could potentially fall. I began focusing on the next line and found myself rather enjoying the sense of flying through the air. I trusted the brake to stop me in time, and had faith to believe the straps and cables were going to hold me. Before long, I found my debilitating fear turning into exhilarating fun. In fact, it was disappointing when I realized that we had reached our final plunge.

What a lesson I need to learn with this! How do I conquer the other fears in my life? I wonder what would happen if I would begin trusting God in much the same way. Rather than fearing that He is not capable of holding me, what if I would be assured that His arms are securely underneath me and I am safe in His presence? Instead of fearing the consequences of a painful “fall,” what would happen if I would be convinced that I am bound to Him with a strong “cable” that will never break?  Rather than looking down at the dangers around and below me, what if I would keep my focus up within the “treetops”? What would happen if others could see the exhilaration I experience while soaring above my circumstances? Would it make a difference to others if they would see me completely free of fear and enjoying each day as God intended, instead of crawling on knees that are weak with debilitating fears? I believe that God wants us to look forward to each moment that comes our way and to excitedly “unwrap” the blessings that are all around us. How many times do we overlook the opportunities that God gives in order for us to grow spiritually,  but we don’t take them because of fear?

Oh, the exhilaration! Yep, I’d even love to do it again! 

In this situation, I was able to face my fears, head on. However, I don’t find it quite this easy in some other areas of my life. I sincerely wish I could! It is something that I find I still need to work on. I wish my fear of failure would be as easy to overcome. Maybe I just need to decide to take more plunges. Who knows what all God wants me to do…who knows…maybe I will soon be ready to try skydiving! =)

How does this apply to your life? How have you faced and worked at conquering the fears that threaten to paralyze YOU? What have been the practical “tools” that have been beneficial to you? Is God wanting you to trust Him and just take the “plunge” in a particular area of your life? What is His purpose for what you are experiencing right now? I’d enjoy reading your comments and hearing a bit about your journey…

~Cindy (For The Mullett Family)

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