A few weeks ago, I met someone who asked me if I’d go bungee jumping. At first, I said, “Nope. Not a chance.” But the more I got to thinking, the more I thought, “Wow. I need to do this. When am I ever going to have the chance to do this?”
So, I said, “Actually. Maybe I’ll do it. I’m at like a 40% probability that I’ll do it right now.”
Every day afterwards, I kept thinking about bungee jumping. It was an internal battle. I knew I probably would never have the chance to jump with someone again like this and it would be an exercise in trust.
Yet, I had that logical voice in my mind saying, “Fling yourself off a cliff? Nope. Bad idea. Don’t do it.”
You see, this past year, I’ve learned just how deeply I prided myself on control. Everything I did was planned and every risk calculated. The problem was I had forgotten that God was in control and pretending to have some semblance of control only led to disappointment.
I thank God that He picked me out of that life and said, “Nope. I love you too much to see you go in that direction.”
Suddenly, I was free. I could breathe. I felt alive again. It’s only when I realized that God was in control that I understand just how beautiful life was.
Yet, I knew that I needed to tackle more fears in my life. I was tired of living in fear. I had seen first hand what it had done to me.
The first fear I conquered was flying. The thought of flying internationally made me want to vomit. But on May 1st, where was I? At the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, ready for my journey.
And, if you hadn’t already known, guess what? I survived. It was fun actually. They fed me way too much food and I made a few friends on the flights.
Upon recalling this, I texted my friend saying, “Let’s do this. 100% baby.”
Now I knew this wasn’t going to be easy for me. When you’ve been raised to always take control of the situation and think of the consequences for everything, it’s hard to say, “Yeah, let’s jump off a cliff and hope there are no accidents.”
So, I prayed. I prayed for safety and the wisdom to determine if what I was doing was a selfish ambition or a real call to trust God in everything.
Then I realized. Every day, people my age are dying of sickness, accidents and the like. We all live in this idea that there is safety in not doing certain things, as if we can preserve ourselves to the ripe old age of 80 if we just don’t take chances.
But it’s 100 percent false. Being alive is the greatest risk you will ever take. Fear is what holds us back from so much that life has to offer. I’d much rather live without fear than die in fear and never have any risks to show for it.
So, the day before my birthday, I walked to the bungee building, still very afraid of jumping. What better way to make a birthday memorable, right?
My friend jumped first. She was so bold. Now, it was my turn.
My legs were shaking. I kept looking down as the jump workers told me to look up. I shuffled slower than humanly possible to the edge. The jump worker calmly told me to think of my favorite song. My logical mind was going a million miles per hour: “Are you crazy? Turn around. There is no shame in quitting. At least you have your life. You don’t even have a favorite song!”
But suddenly, I remembered, “I do have a favorite song.” I started singing: “From the belly of the deepest love, the hills trembling throats sing Hallelujah. Like the flowers on the Dogwood tree, blush with blame you took for me. Oh how you wish to be with me. Oh how you wish to be with me.”
And I jumped. I don’t remember falling. I remember screaming. A lot. But not a scream of fear, rather an I-can’t-believe-I’m-doing-this scream. Everything was upside down and glorious, and I was completely calm.
Men in a raft got me off the bungee rope. I probably thanked them 100 times. I couldn’t stop smiling. Little by little, I was no longer going to let fear stand in my way.
Here’s to many more adventures.
Please share my story. Do you have an experience where you faced your fear? Comment below!