(Note: This is the second post EVER by my wife here on the Wading Pool!!)
I’ve always thought I had an adventurous streak in me. No, I’m not wild and crazy in my adventures but never-the-less a flicker of adventure has always been tucked down deep inside. I guess I have my Dad to thank for that because it was him who gave me my first thrill seeking taste of…. roller coasters!
As a young girl, the highlight of every summer was our church’s annual amusement park trip. Early in the morning we’d load the buses to maximum capacity, everyone already drenched with sweat from the North Carolina heat and humidity, and make our trek to one of our areas closest parks. I couldn’t have been much older than five when my Dad first introduced me to the beginner coaster called “Scooby-Doo”. Once the ride stopped, all I wanted to know is if I could ride again and again and again. I was hooked! Year after year we’d return and each year I’d be anxious to see if I’d be tall enough to graduate on to the next coaster.
Over time I did move on from the kiddie coaster to the classic, wooden coasters like the “Rebel Yell” and the “Grizzly” and eventually I conquered the “Anaconda” with it’s drops, loops, and corkscrews. There was something exhilarating about those coasters…total abandon, hands raised, squealing to the top of my lungs took me back to that five year old little girl wanting to ride again and again.
Now that I have kids of my own I’ve tried my best to pass on this love of roller coasters to them, and I do believe I have succeeded in my mission. In recent years, my little mini-me thrill seekers have followed in my foot steps anxiously awaiting their chance to conquer the “big daddy” coasters, but somewhere along the way I find that I’m not as free spirited as my five year old self! Ha!
Standing in line with my girls, waiting to board our roller coaster of choice I have a moment when I start to question our decision to ride. “What in the world are we doing?!! This may not be the safest idea. How high is this thing and when was it last inspected?”. Maybe it’s all the warning signs the theme parks post everywhere. You know the ones: if you have blood pressure or heart problems, back or neck complications, if you’re pregnant, so on and so forth… don’t ride! Or maybe it’s the freakish horror stories that pop up in our social media feeds or on the news about theme park accidents? Or maybe it’s the fact that I am 40 years old now and I should at least act like an adult and be responsible for the little people beside me! Whatever the reason behind my questions, that hesitancy, dread, and FEAR sneak up on me out of no where.
It wasn’t until this past June and the possibility of change that I realized how much of that same type FEAR nagged at me from the inside. I hadn’t realized how much fear was controlling me…. fear of the unknown, fear of the “what ifs”, fear of failure. But yet again, God was faithful to speak to me through His Word, to confirm and comfort when I needed it most.
You see, just a few days after my 2 Kings 8 reading, a dear, sweet friend added me to one of those daily scripture writing groups on Facebook. She sent me a text message saying, “oh hey, I saw this and thought it might be something you’d enjoy”. I’m so thankful God brought me to her attention that morning because over the next 31 days, the ENTIRE month of July, God used those scriptures in such a powerful and mighty way! It was His voice speaking to me thru His Word, reminding me to lay those fears down at His feet and keep my eyes fixed on Him….
“Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
“…. Arise, let us go from here.” John 14:31
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”
II Timothy 1:7
“Only be strong and very courageous ….” Joshua 1:7
“… The LORD is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”. Psalms 118:5-6
“… You are a God who does what is right, and you smooth out the path ahead of them….” Isaiah 26:7-8
“…. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.” Luke 12:7
And friends, this is just the surface!!! It was like God just dropped buckets and buckets on my soul. Thank You, Lord!!! There were also numerous times someone would send a verse of scripture to me and it’d be the very verse I had read earlier in the day, something would be said at church that tied in hand and hand, a song would come on the radio about something I was praying about earlier in my quiet time, or I’d see a devotion or article pop up in my Facebook feed that pertained exactly to what I was struggling with! I’m telling you, ONLY GOD!!!!
I wish I could say that after the Confession & Confirmation on July 11th the fear magically disappeared, but if anything it ramped up. My mind seemed to work overtime trying to figure out every possible “what if” scenario. Just the uncertainty of EVERYTHING had me so fearful and anxious, but God was so gracious! He continued to beckon me to come to Him, to take those thoughts and fears captive, to release them to Him, to stop trying to figure it all out and just rest in His arms …. to even ENJOY the ride! To enjoy HIM!!!
You know, in complete opposition, the enemy wants to suck every ounce of life we have left in us. And isn’t that it? The choice we have…. Death or Life? He knows if he can debilitate us with fear, guilt, depression (fill in the blank) it in turn, limits our effectiveness we have for Christ. By doing so, we play right into his hands….But greater is He who is in us, than he who is in the world (1 John 4:4) and He (God) blesses those who fear HIM! (Psalm 115:11-13). Father, may we be a people who keeps our eyes and hearts focused on You!!! Lord, help ME to be that five year old little girl again….total abandon, arms raised, squealing to the top of my lungs….trusting in You & enjoying the ride! Keep digging deep, friends!
* (Pic Above) 1981 – That’s me, the little one, front & center in the yellow shirt with the bowl cut hairdo and my handsome Dad on the far left with the white shirt and crossed arms.