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I am afraid of the ocean. I’m afraid of its unpredictability, the way the waves never come in the same way, the way it changes so quickly with the tide and the wind. I’m afraid of its depth and its expanse, the way I can’t see down to its floor or see its end beyond the horizon. The ocean has moods that change with its color, and out of fear, I like to keep a respectable distance.
Still, I take the kids to the beach because we all appreciate its beauty from the safety of the shore. We build mounds of sand that are supposed to be sand castles or birthday cakes, and every once in a while, we walk near the water and let the waves kiss our feet. If we’re bold enough, we risk them splashing our knees as we hold hands tightly.
Along with the ocean, I’ve been afraid of many things for most of my life. I remember my dad calling me chicken when I couldn’t handle the pressure of jumping into the pool with him and my sister. I was and still am afraid of roller coasters, pain, failure, and success. I’m afraid of the possibility of any of those things as well as looking like a fool trying not to be afraid.
I hold the naive optimism of thinking I could do more than I really can, while actually believing I can do it. I once had skydiving on my bucket list because I loved the idea of flying freely, but imagining myself at the edge of an open airplane door is enough to make me want to hug the ground and never leave it again. I love the idea of me being brave. In reality, I freeze in the face of fear or I puff myself up to seem bigger and stronger and braver than I really am when I’m just a fraction of the shadow I create.
I have the same naive optimism with my faith. I sing these words with my whole heart and a full voice, a declaration of my commitment to God:
Spirit lead me where my trust is without bordersLet me walk upon the watersWherever You would call meTake me deeper than my feet could ever wanderAnd my faith will be made strongerIn the presence of my Savior
But when He is moving and inviting me to step deeper into the water, where even my toes, stretching and reaching can’t find something to stand on, I feel panicked instead of fearless. I am one of little faith instead of one singing praises of trust. I give God a thousand excuses as to why I couldn’t or shouldn’t and how He clearly got the wrong idea of me. Or I try to map out all the options so I can predict what God might be thinking would be best for me and my family…
Read the rest of Grace’s story and how God leads us through our fears over at (in)courage. You can find all of our Care Dare articles in the Care Dare resource library.
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Therefore encourage one another
and build each other up as you are already doing.
1 Thess 5:11 CSB