originally posted summer 2010
She is my hero.
Born with a freedom and desire to tackle all that life puts in her path. She doesn't have many limits and I love that about her. She has one specific trait however, that stands above the rest... she is willing to face fear. Look it straight in the eyes and have victory over it.
She will monkey bar across metal slats or swinging rings until she gets it. Faithful to accomplish. She loves whirling down slides that send her off with speed. To taste adrenaline. She climbs the tallest of play structures and rock formations just to say she did. She is one who loves the journey. The view from the top.
It was last July when she faced fear again. We were on holidays. Taking in the experience of heritage and carnival rides. Eating cinnamon buns for lunch and making memories on the road.
On this particular day we were at a vintage fair spinning silly on rides. We made our way to the line up for BIG swings, the ones that ascend you into clouds and twirl you to flight. When it was our turn I hoisted her up and strapped her in the light oak seat. When our gaze met, I saw her shaking. Afraid of the height and speed. The unknown. Her quivering of lips opened her eyes to tears. "I can't do it, Mama."
I lifted her out and carried her off the ride before they had begun. Her legs straddled my waist and her little arms hung tight. "I believe you can do this, baby girl."
I calmed her pulsing body with a gentle squeeze and whispered why we need not be afraid. I wiped her tears and continued to hug away the jitters.
We strolled along in our afternoon filled with other wild adventure. The Bumper Whip, The Carousel, The Caterpillar, The Ferris Wheel. We searched glass jars of old-fashioned candy and tried our luck at the win-this-giant-stuffed-bear booth. That's when I felt her grab my hand. "I'm ready now" she spoke over the crowd. We parted through people gathered in crooked lines and made our way to those antique swings.
I looked at her bravery and marvelled. Facing her fear she climb in, strapped down and clenching tight the chains that held her in. She kept her face forward and stiff. Eventually she looked at me, terror in her eyes. She wasn't doing this because she overcame her fear, she was facing it... head on. Scared and shaking with fright.
I sat next to her. Holding in my tears. Witnessing courage in your daughter is an honour.
A marvelous gift. My hero.
I often run away from the very things that make me afraid. I cower. Allowing fear to control me. Rarely squeezing a hand to say "I'm ready now". I shy from facing it head on. I walk away.
Giving it victory over me.
As the swing lifted elevating us into blue skys, I saw it didn't take long for her tension to release into the wind. "It feels like I'm flying, Mama."
"I know. Isn't it great? Close your eyes and really feel it."
With my own eyes softly closed to the view, all I could hear was pure glee coming from her chest.
When the ride ended, excitement erupted. Victory was hers. She did it.
"You know why I could ride that swing?" she asked me. "... because you said Jesus is always with me. You said that."
I know I said that.
I wanted to bring ease to her trembles. Peace in her time of distress.
I envy her faith.
Face-your-fear faith to feel-like-your-flying faith.
I can't help but wonder how much I've missed out on because I let unbelief rule.
How many opportunities God had placed before me to soar in the shelter of His wings, but instead I run intimidated by circumstances.
Afraid of falling. Not seeing the gift of flying. I hide. Squirm in defeat.
Through her I can see that fear is a place God makes himself known. When He has plans far beyond comprehension. Fear is often present when God wants to do something with you and in you. In the midst of reluctance and apprehensions, He is there.
Waiting to show you victory in Him.
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged."
Christ gives me the strength to face anything. (Philippians 4:13)
Does fear ever hold you back?