Trading Fear for Adventure

I woke up, stretched, and then reached for my phone. Out of habit, I opened my Instagram account. This picture stared back at me. The sleepy Saturday morning brain fog instantly swept away as I sprang up in bed thinking, “Wow! There’s a reason I have gray hair,” and I grinned from ear to ear. My next thought was coated with a little envy, “Will that ever be me?”

That picture? It’s my daughter Meredith, my only child, standing on a precipice gazing over the Grand Canyon during her most recent adventure to Arizona. As I scour every layer of color, every shadow, and every peak in the picture, I sense courage and confidence oozing from it. I wonder, “How does it feel to hike that trail, climb that precipice, and gaze out over the majestic canyon created by our Maker?”

Then I thank God for Meredith’s confidence and courage that feeds her sense of adventure.

Sadly, I’ve spent a great deal of my life living with fear and worry. I worried about putting myself through college, paying off my student loans, paying monthly bills, paying medical bills after my lengthy illness, and being a good mom. I worried about letting other people down, not living up to other’s expectations. As life events piled up, fear and worry strangled my sense of adventure.

When I became a mom, I had a choice. Strangle my precious daughter with those same fears or purposefully work to encourage her confidence to live fearlessly and courageously. I chose the latter, but I knew I couldn’t do it alone.

As Meredith approached those difficult middle school years, I fell to my knees begging God to help me raise her to become a strong, courageous, faithful child of God. The morning I woke to that picture of her peering out over the Grand Canyon, I thanked God for answering my prayers.

But, will I ever have that courage, that confidence?

Day by day God is strengthening me for His purpose, for His call on my life. When I stepped on a plane bound for Haiti last year, I experienced a freedom as never before. I learned, and experienced, courage and confidence in Christ that gives you freedom. Freedom from that choking noose of worry and fear. Freedom that can’t be bought with money and material things. When I gave up the comforts of hot showers and my air-conditioned home to love those four-year old little girls crawling into my lap, hugging my neck, looking up at me with their soulful, haunting dark eyes, I experienced that freedom.

And that noose of fear and worry lost its grip.

I’m a work in process, but studying God’s word calms my fears and subdues my worries on a daily basis. The rebirth of an adventurous spirit challenges my heart and mind these days. And I love it.

I took a second look at this picture that morning and I knew the answer, “Yes!” God is molding and creating a new me, a woman choosing adventure instead of fear and worry. A woman standing confident in Christ experiencing a freedom that can only be found in Christ. One day at a time.

Does that same noose of fear and worry have a stronghold on your life? Is your sense of adventure strangled?

When that noose tightens its grip around our neck, God reminds us–

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” Isaiah 41:10

And our loving Savior, the One who carried our sins to the cross reminds us, “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20

With God on our side, let’s trade fear for adventure.