For the past week I’ve been watching these two girls, nine and five years old.
Today I took them to the park and they climbed trees, gawked at dead birds, dared older boys to do adventurous tree jumping and climbed monkey bars. The oldest one climbed the top of the monkey bars and the littlest of course followed after. The oldest one jumped off bravely from the top of the monkey bars and the other one braced herself to do the same and slowly started to freaking out.
I mean full on tears freak out from the sheer fear of feeling unqualified to make the distance between the first ladder step and the to of where she was.
I coaxed her down after many reassurances that she would not fall and while she insisted that her sister forced her to do this rebellious and dangerous act.
Eventually, I got her down.
Then the second time came around. And I could see this determined mindset glaze over her eyes as she made her way back on top of the monkey bars. Made it all the way across and again found herself stunned by the distance between where she was and the first step.
Again the tears came and the insisting that she couldn’t, that she was going to fall. I stood underneath her yet again and kept my hands a little bit further down than the first time and after less coaxing, she jumped and her feet landed safely on the first step.
Then came the third time. A little less tears and a even more determination I stood in front of her and told her that she was braver than she thought, she just had to trust her strength and jump.
She jumped, landed on the first step and I looked her in the eye and told her ” see, you’re much stronger than you think.”
I watched her as again and again she embraced the top of the monkey bars, wiped her sweaty hands on her skirt to prepare her grip and jumped. She looked at me with a ” look what I did on my own” sort of look and I just smiled at her.
Friends how often do we find ourselves afraid of jumping?
How often do we measure the distance of where we are and where we’re trying to go and just feel overwhelmed with hopelessness and defeat? And yet all that time that we freak out, convincing ourselves that we can’t do it – God is standing in front of us coaxing us, reminding us that he is capable and that makes us capable of jumping and knowing that we won’t fall.
I’m not sure what was going through my head three years ago when I graduated college with for once no real plan or stability to rest my feet on. I just remembering knowing I needed to jump and trusting that God would catch me.
I remember a year ago telling my dad through a tear soaked phone that I never would have chosen a life of unpredictability, not much security and continuous chaos. I feel like a storm most days, a really haphazard one, I feel like frantic human storm 90% of the time and the other 10% a frantic unicorn. Because this life though crazy, unstable and honestly really stressful is so freaking magical because it’s nothing I ever would have intended or planned for myself.I like structure and lists and highlighted planners – the creative artistic life doesn’t necessarily go in line with that. But all I’ve known is the fear and freak out of jumping, doing it anyway and being caught and provided for every single time.
Looking into her eyes as she swore up and down that she wasn’t capable enough to reach or jump reminded me so much of myself in this season I’m in of three years later and still jumping. Scrambling to piece together jobs, catch-up on bills, be on time for the next ones and yet still pursue and chase the crazy things I feel so intentionally called for. I ask myself everyday what the heck am I doing ?
I find myself in my freak out seasons applying to full time jobs in an office somewhere because that makes sense, it’s safe and practical.
Tonight, in an email I sent my creative consultant Kat (btw if you’re looking for creative guidance and someone to keep you in check and in line with your dreams, HIRE HER: http://www.mischiefmanaged.info) I was sending her a list of jobs and asking her guidance on what to take, I told her that I was orchestrating out of being desperate, basing decisions in my need for just basic survival, she ended her email with,
“Head high. I know you feel desperate but YOU ARE NOT.
You have everything you need.”
I’m extending that message and mantra to all my frantic unicorns out there. The ones who can describe their hustle depending on the day. Today, my hustle was blood, sweat and gasoline for various reasons. The ones who wake up daily thinking ” what the heck are you doing” the ones who are crazy enough to not only chase dreams and pursue callings but believe they’ll grab them and live the best life with them too.
Freak out if you must but promise me, no matter how terrifying it may seem, you’ll jump anyway.
from my heart to yours.