I was a little girl and the high dive at our local pool hovered fifteen feet above my head. From where I stood, it looked and felt like a hundred and fifteen feet.
I stood at the base of the ladder and contemplated the risk.
I gradually gripped the cold metal hand railings and slowly pulled myself up the ladder, as fear began to grip my heart.
I felt my heart in my chest, as it thumped against my rib cage.
Step by hesitant step, I climbed to the top of the ladder, debating the whole way as to whether I should back up and retreat, or keep my courage, and go forward.
The rate of my heartbeats increased.
I eventually reached the top step of the ladder and steadied myself on the platform.
I surveyed the diving board. It was narrow, long and only slightly stable.
"It was now or never," I murmured to myself.
With each step, my heart raced faster.
I placed one foot in front of the other, deliberately and determinedly. I tried to keep my eyes on the end of the board, and did not look down.
One heartbeat bumped up against the other, leaving no room for rest.
The thumps rippled in to my throat where they throbbed, too.
I reached the end of the board and took a deep breath.
My toes curled over the edge of the board.
My hands quivered at my side.
Small beads of sweat formed on my forehead.
I considered turning around one more time, but I knew I made a choice, and I was committed to jumping. I trusted that, although momentarily covered with water, I would pop up out of the pool and survive.
With one bold deep breath, I closed my eyes and leaped forward, splashed successfully and swam to the side. My fear subsided with each stroke to the edge. I climbed out of the pool, relieved and ready to not do that again, any time soon.
I can recreate the feeling of fear that gripped me then and in the years to come, I would feel fear as I faced difficult decisions and trials in life.
I still do.
There are times, when from where I stand, life looks too big, too tall, too high, too complicated and too risky for me to handle.
I hesitate and evaluate and contemplate.
But when God calls, I climb.
My heart thumps and throbs and hurts. My hands still quiver and my toes still curl.
Its never easy, as I debate whether I should back up and retreat (as if it is even an option) or keep my courage, climb, and commit to falling in faith, following His will and His way, trusting Him to lead me.
Thankfully, I do not climb alone, jump alone or fall forward in faith alone. The everlasting God is always present. He is the Holy One who, when He calls us to act for Him, equips us with courage, catches us, cares for us, and takes our fear away.
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