I rode my first zip line on Saturday. A significant statement for me since I am quite literally terrified of heights. I am very glad I did it. I just won’t – EVER – be doing it again. But I have to say that one ride taught me a lot about myself and about others.
COVER WHATEVER YOU ARE AFRAID OF IN PRAYER. The last time I did something like this was when I was flown in a small helicopter to a glacier in Alaska. This involved heights and enclosed spaces which are my two most irrational fears. In the weeks before we left I had a group of friends and family praying that I would have the courage to do it and would even enjoy the experience. Because of this I was able to do it calmly and enjoy it. If only I had thought to do this with the zip line!
GOD’S WORD IS THE BEST HOW-TO MANUAL WE HAVE! For Alaska I dug into God’s word for encouragement that would help me overcome my fears. I wrote verses on index cards and kept them with me. A few of my favorites are Joshua 1:9 - Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Deuteronomy 31:6 - Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Isaiah 41:10. - So 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 right hand.
FACE YOUR FEARS WITH A FRIEND. The helicopter in Alaska fit four people and a pilot. My husband and I were able to take that ride with two very dear friends who (along with my husband) supported, encouraged and cheered me on the entire time. For the zip line I had amazing staff getting me set up at both ends who were patient and encouraging as I struggled to move forward and actually ride the zip line. And more importantly I also had a friend who hooked arms with me, who was scared too and who literally prayed us off the edge. Without her there I honestly don’t think I could have done it.
I screamed myself hoarse all the way down. It was the longest 45 seconds of my life! I had my eyes shut so tightly I never saw the lake, the forest or my friend during the ride across the ravine and to the bottom of the hill. When I landed I was shaking so hard I had trouble holding onto the ladder to climb down. And, as is my way, when under extreme stress I started to cry when it was over. It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t graceful but I did it. Riding the zip line is something I am proud of that I will always carry with me.
Lord, please help us to remember to face our fears (whatever they may be) with prayer, your Word and a friend. Amen.